Brussel sprouts popularly known as sprouts are small green leafy buds which resemble miniature cabbages. They flourish well in cool weather or light frost conditions. Sprouts grow to around 90cm in height. They are rich in dietary fiber, protein, minerals and antioxidants which all play crucial roles in maintaining a healthy body. Botanically, sprouts belong to the Brassica family like cabbages, kale, broccoli and collard greens.
This makes them excellent juicing vegetables. Below are 10 main health benefits of sprouts.
- 1 Sprouts Have Weight Loss Benefits
- 2 Rich In Flavonoid Antioxidants
- 3 Boosts The Immune System
- 4 They Help Prevent Cancer
- 5 They Destroy Free Radicals
- 6 Promotes Good Eyesight
- 7 Offers Vitamin A Benefits
- 8 Prevents Or Delays Alzheimer’s Disease Onset
- 9 Boost’s Metabolism
- 10 Mineral Benefits
- 11 Important Steps To Consider When Juicing With Brussels Sprouts
- 12 Conclusion
Sprouts Have Weight Loss Benefits
Sprouts are among the few low glycemic nutritious vegetables which are highly recommended in weight loss programs because; 100 grams of sprouts offer approximately 45 calories. Nonetheless they contain 3.38 grams of protein, 3.80 grams of dietary fiber; 10% of RDA and zero cholesterol.
Rich In Flavonoid Antioxidants
Sprouts are among the few vegetables rich in flavonoid antioxidants like indoles, thiocyanates, lutein, indoles, zea-xanthin, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane. Together, all these flavonoid antioxidants offer protection from various cancers i.e. colon, prostate and endometrial cancers.
Boosts The Immune System
Sprouts contain DIM (Di-indolyl-methane) which is an indole 3 carbinol metabolite that is a very effective immune modulator, anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent through its interferon-y receptor potentiating actions. Sprouts are therefore capable of boosting the immune system instantly when they are taken frequently.
They Help Prevent Cancer
Sprouts also contain glucoside sinigrin. According to numerous laboratory studies, sinigrin has been proven to protect the body from cancers like colon cancer by eliminating any pre-cancerous cells that may be in the body. Although sprouts have been proven to prevent colon cancer, some studies suggest that sinigrin also has the potential to prevent many other cancer types.
They Destroy Free Radicals
Sprouts are one of the best sources of vitamin C. 100 grams sprouts offer approximately 85 milligrams or 142% RDA. When combined with other vitamins with antioxidant properties i.e. vitamin A & E, sprouts protect the body by destroying free radicals which are known to cause a variety of health problems.
Promotes Good Eyesight
Sprouts contain Zea-xanthin which is a very important dietary carotenoid. Zea-xanthin is absorbed into the eyes via the retinal macula lutea where it provides protective light filtering functions against UV light. Zea-xanthin has also been proven to have antioxidant functions in the retina. The dietary carotenoid thus prevents retinal damage which in turn promotes good eyesight even with age.
Offers Vitamin A Benefits
Sprouts are rich in vitamin A which is a very powerful antioxidant. They contain 754 IU/100 grams Vitamin A. One of the main functions of Vitamin A is maintain healthy skin and mucus membranes. Vitamin A also protects the oral cavity and lungs against cancer. Other Vitamin A benefits include; protecting the body from anaemia (caused by iron deficiency), cardiovascular diseases, bone loss, prostate and colon cancers.
Prevents Or Delays Alzheimer’s Disease Onset
Sprouts are an excellent source of Vitamin K. For instance, 100grams of sprouts provide approximately 147 percent of RDA. Vitamin K plays a major role in promoting healthy bone formation as well as strengthening (osteotrophic). Adequate vitamin K levels in the body help limit neuronal damage preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease onset.
Sprouts also contain numerous B complex vitamin groups i.e. thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and niacin. All these vitamins are crucial for substrate metabolism. Sprouts therefore boost metabolism attracting other benefits i.e. promoting weight loss and increasing energy levels in the body.
Sprouts are rich sources of minerals like calcium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium and phosphorous. For instance, 100 grams of fresh sprouts provide 25 milligrams sodium or 1.5 percent of RDA and 389 milligrams potassium or 8 percent of RDA. Potassium is a very important cell and body fluid component because it helps to control the heart rate as well as the blood pressure countering the effects of sodium. Manganese on the other hand is an important co-factor for superoxide dismutase which is a crucial antioxidant enzyme in the body. Iron helps in the formation of red blood cells. It is also useful for cellular oxidation.
Important Steps To Consider When Juicing With Brussels Sprouts
Since we already know why we need to juice Brussels sprouts more often, let’s now shift our focus to the trickiest part which is juicing them. Unlike other vegetables, Brussels sprouts can be very tricky to juice because they have plenty of leaves. This shouldn’t be a problem because the outer leaves are equally nutritious. All you need to do is wash them thoroughly before you start juicing them. If you are interested in a more detailed guide on how to juice Brussels sprouts, you are in the right place. Below is step by step guide that will make your Brussels sprouts juicing experience easier and healthier.
Step 1: Choose fresh Brussels sprouts
This is one of the most important steps to consider when you want to make your perfect Brussels sprouts juice. You must consider choosing extremely fresh brussels sprouts for your green juice to be tastier and healthier. Fresh Brussels sprouts don’t show any signs of wilting i.e. bent leaves. They are also dull green in color. Avoid yellowish or wilted Brussels sprouts because such sprouts aren’t fresh.
Step 2: Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly and cut them
This is the second most important step to consider when juicing Brussels sprouts. You must make sure your sprouts are extremely clean before juicing them to avoid eating/drinking dirt. Because Brussels sprouts grow like cabbages near the ground, they accumulate more dirt than regular vegetables. This explains why they need more intense cleaning. After making sure they are clean, cut them into small pieces to ensure they fit in the juicer opening.
Step 3: Put the pieces into the juicer
After cutting your Brussels sprouts up into small pieces, push them through gently into the juicer opening. It is advisable to make at most one cup of juice at a time because it ensures you capture the maximum nutritional value of your sprouts. Unless you are considering using the pulp, you must avoid juicing a lot of Brussels sprouts at once because you will be left with a lot of pulp.
Step 4: Add another juice and drink immediately
This is the last step to consider when juicing Brussels sprouts. To make the green juice tastier, it is advisable to mix it with another juice i.e. carrot juice. You must also consider drinking it immediately because Brussels sprouts juice loses its health benefits fast when left in open air.
In summary, sprouts offer very many health benefits which is why they should be consumed frequently. Although there are other sprouts benefits that are not mentioned in this article, the above benefits are adequate enough to convince anyone to start juicing sprouts on a regular basis.
“By Allan Phinney”