Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts and their Detox Properties:
How does Cruciferous Vegetables Detox our Bodies?
So, what are the health benefits of eating this cruciferous vegetable called Brussels sprouts, and how do they detoxify the body? Detoxification is important to our internal biology. Detoxification functions to continuously keep our bodies safe from toxins that we are exposed to from the environment, as well as those we make internally as a normal part of our metabolism. This internal cleansing requires a lot of energy and nutrient resources to keep it operating in a healthy way.
Why Eat Brussels Sprouts, What Other vegetables are part of the Cruciferous Family?
Brussels sprouts are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables that include cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, kohirabi, arugula, daikon radish, collard greens, horseradish, land cress, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, shepherd’s purse, turnips and watercress. These vegetables are delicious and special because they reinforce important detoxification antioxidants and inflammation protection that fight against heart disease, arthritis, thyroid disease and many others. One health benefit of brussel sprouts is that it assists in neutralizing and removing toxins from the body. The vegetable provides a source of cleansing to reduce serious illness such as cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative disorders. Detoxification is a function in all of the body’s cells, but it is mostly concentrated in the liver. The chemistry is broken down into two forms of development that ultimately work together to remove toxins. These toxins are excreted or discharged from the body through the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, or sweat glands.
Brussels Sprouts are Vitamin Enriched:
Another health benefit is that Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamins that can minimize oxidation of certain molecules in the body. They prevent theses molecules from turning into free radicals that may cause cell damage and possible oxidative stress. The side effects of oxidation include possible muscle loss, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Eating foods that combine antioxidants may slow down oxidative damage. Researchers suggest that Brussels sprouts may have an effect on the body’s ability to lower blood pressure and support kidney health. Brussels sprouts contain vitamin C, K, omega-3’s and copper that can lower cholesterol and fight against disease.
Cultivation of Brussels Sprouts
Cultivation of Brussels sprouts in the United States began around 1800, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana (Mills 2001). Commercial production began in the United States in 1925 in the Louisiana delta, with the center of production moved to mid coastal California by 1939, with some production in New York State (Mills 2001). The first plantings in California’s Central Coast began in the 1920s, with significant production beginning in the 1940s.
Currently, there are several thousand acres planted in coastal areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties of California, which offer an ideal combination of coastal fog and cool temperatures year-round.
Buying and Storing Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts season runs from late August through March, depending on where you live. The cold causes the sprouts to produce sugars making them naturally sweet tasting when cooked. The larger ones have a more cabbage like taste. Look for a vibrant green color and purchase them whole. Purchase sprouts that are intact without a lot of spots and are nice and firm. Once you get them home, store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag lined with paper towel to absorb moisture that often develops in the bag for up to three days.
Cooking Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts aren’t hard to cook. Roasting Brussels sprouts helps to concentrate their sweetness and bring out a pleasant nuttiness. I recommend cutting them diagonally so that each sprout separates into thin, like shredded shavings.
Note: Potential risks of consuming Brussels sprouts for people taking blood-thinners is to avoid sudden change in your diet by eating more or less foods containing vitamin K due to blood clotting.
Mills, H.A. 2001. Brussel sprouts, Brassica oleracea var gemmifera. University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 1999. Crop profile for Brussels sprouts in California. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved December 12, 2017.