Brussels sprouts aren't among the most well-loved vegetables. But as a member of the nutritionally potent cruciferous family, they're worth a place in your healthy diet. Not only are Brussels sprouts a good source of protein, iron and potassium, but they also offer other benefits that can boost your overall health.
Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. The nutrient keeps your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. A 1/2-cup serving of Brussels sprouts contains 48.4 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 50 percent of what men need each day and about 65 percent of what women need on a daily basis.
The average diet contains far less than the 25 to 30 grams of fiber needed for good health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fiber keeps your digestive system working normally, encourages regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. Fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. A 1/2-cup serving of Brussels sprouts supplies 2 grams of fiber.
Often called folic acid, folate is a B vitamin that is present in large doses in leafy green vegetables. Folate aids in the formation of the neural tube and can help prevent certain birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate. It also plays a role in the formation and maintenance of DNA. Folate might reduce your homocysteine levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, according to MayoClinic.com. One-half cup of Brussels sprouts provides 47 micrograms of folate. This translates to about 12 percent of the 400 micrograms you need each day.
Brussels sprouts contain certain antioxidants compounds that offer protective benefits. A 2011 study published in the "Journal of Food Science" notes that Brussels sprouts contain compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that can reduce your risk of cancer. The article also reports that cooking Brussels sprouts can leach these beneficial compounds from the vegetable, though even cooked Brussels sprouts still offer nutritional benefits. <source: healthyeating.com>
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed and dried, ends trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
- 1/2 tsp (scant) fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add brussels sprouts and garlic to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice then toss. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Spread onto a cookie sheet in an even layer.
- Bake in preheated oven, tossing once halfway through baking, until golden brown on edges, about 25 - 30 minutes. Serve warm spritzed with more lemon juice to taste and topped with parmesan cheese.
- Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Whole Foods