They’re the divisive festive vegetable that often split opinion at the dinner table more than Brexit or football. But here’s 6 amazing reasons why your mum insisted on making you endure a forkful of Brussels sprouts on Christmas Day.
1. They could protect against cancer
Several studies have suggested that sprouts have particular cancer-fighting potential, thanks to their high antioxidant count, which can ward off harmful free radicals that contribute to diseases like cancer.
2. They’re high in fibre
Fibre is not only important for regular bowel movements, but it can also improve cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels and can help to prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer. A 100g serving of the winter sprout contains 3.5 grams of fibre, and we all know that every little bit helps when it comes to hitting your daily count.
3. Sprouts are rich in vitamins and nutrients
One of the best things about the humble sprout is its portfolio of nutrients, minerals and all-important vitamins. As well as fibre, each sphere packs a punch of vitamin K (which helps blood to clot), vitamin C (necessary for growth and repair) and vitamin A (good for vision and eye health). They’re also high in folic acid, which is important for producing and maintaining red blood cells, and maganese – an essential nutrient for optimum brain health.
4. They’re low in calories
Half a cup (or 78 grams) of sprouts contains just 28 calories, which is why you’ll often find them included in healthy weight loss recipes.
5. They contain ALA omega-3 fatty acids
For those of us who chose not to eat fatty fish, getting enough omega-3 can be a challenge. These fatty acids are crucial for brain health, helping to slow cognitive decline and fight against depression and anxiety. Sprouts are brilliant source of omega-3 fatty acids, with around 135 mg of ALA in each 78 gram serving.
6. They’re good for bone health
Thanks to their high vitamin K content, sprouts are a great way to keep your bones in tip top shape. Studies have found that this essential vitamin is helpful in increasing bone density and limiting fractures in osteoporosis patients, as well as decreasing the risk of bone injury in postmenopausal women.