Vegetables and Vegetables

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprout

Many people believe that Brussels sprouts and cabbage are the same thing. is this really true? And, after all, what are the benefits of Brussels sprouts? Can I plant this vegetable easily at home? How can I use this vegetable in the kitchen?

Find out now the answer to these and other questions about Brussels sprouts:

WHAT IS BRUSSELS SPROUTS? IS BRUSSELS SPROUTS CABBAGE?

The scientific name for Brussels sprouts is Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera. Caution: broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage have very similar scientific names, but they are different varieties.

As this vegetable is also known as cabbage, many believe that Brussels sprouts and cabbage are the same thing, but this is not true.

The two vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae family, so they are related, but they do not mean the same thing. The two are similar in appearance, have similar scientific and popular names, but are not synonymous.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS ORIGIN

It is believed that Brussels sprouts had its origin in Belgium, in a region close to the city of Brussels – from where its popular name comes from – in the 16th century. After that, it spread throughout Europe from the time of the First World War and then started to be cultivated in other continents, especially the American one.

BRUSSELS SPROUT PROPERTIES

  • It has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals, preventing premature aging and cell mutations;
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties : the vitamin K present in this vegetable regulates the body’s inflammatory responses;
  • It is rich in Omega-3 : this fatty acid is essential for good metabolism and insulin control;
  • It has detoxifying properties : in this way, it reduces body swelling, gives more energy and provides well-being;
  • Source of vitamins , especially vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A: vitamin C is an antioxidant and enhances the immune system ; vitamin K is an important anti-inflammatory that also improves bone health; finally, vitamin A is responsible for protecting eye health.

 

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: BENEFITS

  • Improves the immune system : vitamins A and C are responsible for a significant benefit to the immune system, which is strengthened and fights disease faster;
  • Reduces LDL cholesterol : the fibers present in this vegetable bind to bile salts produced by the liver. As these salts are produced from cholesterol, the more fiber ingested, the more cholesterol spent on production, therefore less free cholesterol in the body;
  • Protects cellular DNA: our cells undergo constant oxidative stress, whether due to a diet rich in free radicals or exposure to pollution. Excessive oxidative stress leads to mutations and disease, but Brussels sprouts have antioxidants that block this action.
  • Helps prevent cancer: Cruciferous vegetables often contain phytochemicals called glucosinolates. These compounds act by inhibiting the oxidative stress of cells and activating liver detoxification mechanisms, thus preventing the development of serious diseases such as cancer;
  • Prevents diseases of the cardiovascular system : due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Brussels sprouts prevent and reverse the damage caused to blood vessels by unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking and sedentary lifestyle;
  • Brussels sprouts slim down : because it is rich in fiber, it helps to keep blood sugar levels constant and prevent insulin spikes, which cause fat accumulation. It is also low in calories and provides satiety;
  • Protects the stomach : consuming Brussels sprouts frequently prevents the proliferation of bacteria of the Helicobacter pylori species in the stomach. In excess, these bacteria can lead to the development of gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: WHERE TO FIND

This vegetable can be found ripe and packaged in vegetables, supermarkets and some grocery stores. Its seedling or seed versions are sold in houses specializing in gardening and vegetable gardens and even through Internet sites.

When purchasing seeds or seedlings through the Internet, always check their origin.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: HOW TO PLANT

Before planting Brussels sprouts, you need to know these characteristics of the plant:

  • Size: The Brussels sprouts are medium sized and can reach up to 1 m in height;
  • Growth Rate: Shows slow or medium growth;
  • Type of soil : Drained soils rich in organic matter, such as humiferous;
  • Ideal temperatures : from 12°C to 21°C. The cold promotes the compact shape of Brussels sprouts heads. For planting in warmer places, heat resistant varieties are recommended;
  • Watering : It has a certain level of tolerance to drought, but it must be constantly watered so that the soil is only moist, not waterlogged;
  • Light: likes places with plenty of light, preferably with direct sunlight;
  • ideal pH : between 6.0 and 6.8;
  • Flowering: The flowering of this species will happen until the second year of its life cycle, as long as it is in an adequate place for its development;
  • Germination: takes place within a week after planting;
  • Multiplication: Its multiplication must be done by means of seeds, which must be initially placed in seedbeds and only after a certain period be transplanted to the definitive location;
  • Sowing: must be carried out in the months of March and April in the case of greenhouses and sowing and between May and July in the definitive place of planting;
  • Transplantation should be carried out on a day with little sun, preferably cloudy, when the plants reach 10 cm in height or 4 to 6 leaves;
  • Essential Nutrients : Sensitive to lack of sulfur, boron and calcium;
  • Among its natural enemies , stand out the white cabbage fly, the cabbage moth, nematodes and aphids (ex: aphids).

Now that you have this basic information about planting and growing Brussels sprouts , you are ready to start your own planting. Follow the recommendations below:

  • The preparation of the garden must be done in advance, up to three weeks in advance, so that the fertilizer is well distributed;
  • The seedlings must be transplanted with a space of 60 to 75 cm between each one;
  • Shallow soils need to be watered more often than deep soils;
  • Weeds and plants that may be competing for nutrients should be removed frequently;
  • Remove the apical branch one month before harvest. In this way, the development of the cabbage will benefit;
  • Harvest: Should be carried out when the heads of Brussels sprouts are of good size and firmness, about 90 to 140 days after sowing. To do this, simply rotate your petioles until they come loose from the stem. Harvesting must start from the bottom up;
  • Conservation: must be done in cold and dark rooms with temperatures between 0°C and 3°C and humidity from 90% to 95%;
  • Uses: it is used in side dishes, salads, soups and stews.

BRUSSELS SPROUT RECIPES

BRUSSEL SPROUT RISOTTO

Ingredients

  • 500g of Brussels sprouts
  • the chopped onion
  • the cup of rice
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • five tablespoons of butter
  • One tablespoon of mustard sauce
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • Seasonings to taste

preparation mode

  1. Thoroughly wash the Brussels sprouts and remove the ends. Cut them in half;
  2. In a saucepan, put three cups of water and wait for it to boil. Add sprouts and cook until al dente;
  3. Drain the cabbage well and reserve the water used for cooking;
  4. In another pan, saute the chopped onion in oil. Add rice, cabbage, mustard sauce and spices of your choice;
  5. As soon as the ingredients are sautéed, gradually add the reserved cooking water and mix well;
  6. Hit the salt. Add butter and grated cheese to improve consistency. It suits.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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