Brussels sprouts are part of a group of food called cruciferous vegetables which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, collards, kale, and others. Studies show that cruciferous plants are some of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense, foods out there. Brussels sprouts are rich in a wide variety of nutrients including antioxidant carotenoids, B-complex vitamins, vitamins A, C, and K, and an essential health-boosting compound called sulforaphane. There are many ways in which Brussels sprouts can improve your health, so read on to find out how!
Brussels sprouts contain an impressive line-up of antioxidants including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and glucosinolates. Sulforaphane—a potent antioxidant phytochemical also obtained from cruciferous vegetables—is produced when glucoraphanin (a type of glucosinolate) is converted through a chemical reaction. Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds, and they’ve been researched extensively for their anti-cancer effects. They’ve been shown to inhibit the growth and development of cancer by protecting cell DNA, inactivating carcinogens, inducing cancer cell death, and providing anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that Brussels sprouts can reduce the risk of many types of cancer including prostate, colorectal, lung, stomach, bladder, skin, and breast. Glucosinolates are found in all cruciferous vegetables; however, Brussels sprouts are at the top of the list for total glucosinolate content and most commonly eaten cruciferous vegetable.
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