Brussels Sprouts: Healthy And Indestructible

Green florets are one of the typical winter vegetables and are generally not well received by children – Brussels sprouts are healthy and, if prepared correctly, taste very good.

Hardly any cabbage polarizes as much as healthy Brussels sprouts – and all those who reject it because of its taste are not convinced by the fact that Brussels sprouts are said to be health-promoting. Many consumers do not even know what is really in the winter vegetables. However, it is worth taking a closer look at the health factor. Because of its vitamins and minerals, the green florets can easily compete with fruits and vegetables that are generally known to be particularly healthy.

History and cultivation of Brussels sprouts

How tasty and healthy Brussels sprouts are was appreciated comparatively late. Even in the 16th century, when other types of cabbage had long been part of the diet of people in Europe, the wild precursor of Brussels sprouts was frowned upon. It was not until the 18th century that Belgian farmers took up the wild variety and bred the Brussels sprouts that are known today and have a slightly nutty taste. Starting in Belgium, it quickly became more popular in other European countries.

The plant, on the trunk of which up to 50 florets the size of a table tennis ball can grow, is related to the savoy cabbage. Brussels sprouts are a typical winter vegetable that is in season from October to February, and in some years also in September and March. Interesting: While frost is harmful or even deadly for other plants, it cannot harm cabbage, on the contrary: the cold can even improve the taste and make the cabbage sweeter.

Store Brussels sprouts properly

In order for Brussels sprouts to remain healthy, it is important to observe the storage conditions. Unlike other vegetables, cabbage cannot be stored for long after the stem has been broken and the florets harvested. Therefore, the harvest time is also the selling time. When purchasing, consumers should make sure that the product looks fresh and really green. At home, it should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed after a few days.

What ingredients are in Brussels sprouts?

To explain why Brussels sprouts are considered healthy, let’s first take a look at their energy values. Like most other types of cabbage, it is very low in calories. Cooked 100 grams have around 35 calories. For comparison: the same amount of peas has around 80 calories, and potatoes around 70. Even more interesting for the health factor: the nutritional values.

Which ingredients make Brussels sprouts healthy?

Above all, the high content of vitamin C makes Brussels sprouts so healthy. According to the consumer center, vitamin C has an antioxidant effect and can render so-called free radicals in the body harmless. It also inhibits collagen breakdown. Collagen is a very important component of skin, bones, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and teeth. And the fact that cabbage occupies a special position as a supplier is made clear by a comparison with other supposed vitamin C bombs: With its 110 milligrams, it even beats oranges and lemons, which contain around 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. 100 grams of Brussels sprouts already cover the daily requirement of a man.

The mineral potassium is one of the electrolytes. It is responsible for cell function, balance, and signal transmission. A potassium deficiency is mainly noticeable through difficulty concentrating and muscle weakness.

However, Brussels sprouts also contain a comparatively high proportion of purines. This substance is formed by the body itself but is also ingested through food. When purines are broken down, uric acid is produced, which is mainly excreted in the urine. If there is too much uric acid in the body, it can build up in the joints, for example, and trigger gout. People who suffer from gout or have an increased risk of developing it should therefore eat little Brussels sprouts.

This is how Brussels sprouts are prepared in a healthy way

Astrid Donalies from the German Nutrition Society (DGE) explains that Brussels sprouts can theoretically also be eaten raw. But: “Like other cabbage vegetables, Brussels sprouts can cause flatulence, which is why they are often perceived as inedible. Raw food fans should grate it finely, slice it thinly or use the individual leaves.” Yellow or wilted leaves should always be removed.

The vegetables are more digestible when boiled or steamed. Expert Astrid Donalies explains the influence of preparation on whether and how healthy Brussels sprouts are: “Vegetables should be prepared as gently as possible so that the loss of minerals and nutrients is kept to a minimum. Brussels sprouts can be steamed well in a little liquid. For example, the heat-sensitive vitamins K and C are better preserved than with long cooking in plenty of water.” If you cut the stalk half a centimeter deep, the cooking time will be shorter. Thicker florets can be cut crosswise, Donalies says.

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