I find Brussels sprouts irresistible. Resembling miniature heads of lettuce, I just can’t help take these adorable veggies home with me every fall. However, my love for Brussels sprouts is not just about outward appearances; this precious veggie is a nutritional powerhouse that’s perfect for the girls. Here’s why Brussels sprouts are a fall must have:
1. Good for “the girls”
Contains glucosinolates, which have cancer protection properties. In fact, a recent study from researchers at Florida A&M and Texas A&M found that compounds created from Brussels sprouts are effective for breast cancer treatment.
2. Helps with fat loss
In just four sprouts, you get the benefit of three grams of fiber and only 30 calories. This high-fiber, low-calorie veggie assists your fat loss efforts by filling you up and keeping hunger at bay, so you will eat fewer calorie-dense foods.
3. Keeps you feeling good
Especially high in vitamin C, Brussels sprouts support your immune and adrenal systems.
4. Helps you focus
Brussels sprouts have been heralded as one of the best foods to help improve your focus, because they contain sulforaphane— a compound that helps to protect new brain cell formation.
5. Makes a chic side dish
Foodies everywhere agree that Brussels sprouts have made a comeback. So, serve this fashionable fall food as a delish side dish or appetizer at your next gathering.
Here’s an easy method to prepare your Brussels sprouts that results in a rich nutty flavor— not that bitter taste get from the boiled Brussels sprouts we had as kids.
JB’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon walnut oil*
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
A pinch of garlic and fresh ground black pepper
Fresh ground black pepper
*Walnut oil is my preference for this recipe, but you can substitute it for another oil suitable for high-heat cooking.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. Rinse Brussels sprouts. Cut off the ends of each sprout, and remove a few of the outer leaves if yellowed or brown. Then, cut each sprout in half. This will decrease cooking time and ensure the sprouts are cooked evenly.
3. Place the sprouts on the baking pan and coat the sprouts with the oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper. Spread sprouts into a single layer.
4. Cook for about 20-30 minutes until crisp and slightly browned on the outside and soft inside. The larger the sprouts, the longer the cooking time required. Stir the sprouts or shake the pan half way through the cooking time to brown them evenly.
Push Toward Your Best
I used to believe that good nutrition and living fit was just about managing quantity and macronutrient (protein, fat, carbs) balance. However, many foods offer benefits beyond what a standard nutritional label shares— like cancer protection, mood improvement and focus enhancement, to name a few. By incorporating more nutritional powerhouses into your diet like Brussels sprouts, you can take your fitness and health to the next level. I’ll be sure to continue to share my favorites with you. Keep pushing— your best is waiting.
Do you have a few favorite nutritional powerhouses? I want to hear about them. Hit me up on Facebook and Twitter.
Maymud, K. (2005) Keeping A Breast: Ways To Stop Breast Cancer. Bloomington, Indiana: Authorhouse.
Study finds vegetable-derived compound effective in treating triple-negative breast cancer: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/aaop-sfv101112.php