Anti-cancer Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Did You Know…that Brussels sprouts contain a substance that causes cancer cells to self-destruct? 

The idea of Brussels sprouts may not immediately set your taste buds tingling, but this vegetable’s health benefits are guaranteed to tantalize.  Brussels sprouts contain more glucosinolates—a kind of anti-carcinogenic compound—than any other cruciferous vegetable.

 

Glucosimolates Fight Cancer

Glucosinolates are special phytonutrients that serve as the chemical source for a large number of cancer-protective substances.

All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, however, recent research indicates that the combination of compounds found in the Brussels sprout are especially potent and valuable.  The anti-cancer benefits of Brussels sprouts stem primarily from four specific glucosinolates: 

Glucoraphanin
Glucobrassicin
Gluconasturtiian
Sinigrin
   

 Sinigrin, in particular, appears to cause cancer cells to self-destruct.

Of all the the studies on the Brussels sprout available in PubMed, the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C., more than half connect it to cancer prevention.  Brussels sprouts provide nutrients that support the three processes in your body most intricately involved in cancer development—and cancer prevention:

  • Detoxification
  • Antioxidant deployment
  • Anti-inflammatory activity

Chronic issues with any of the above processes increase your risk of cancer.  When malfunctions occur simultaneously, your risk of cancer increases substantially.

Sprouts Prevent a Multitude of Cancers and Stop DNA Damage 

Research so far shows Brussels sprout intake can decrease your risk of bladder cancer… colon cancer… prostate cancer… ovarian cancer… breast cancer… and lung cancer.  Evidence from a study conducted in the Netherlands points to a possible reason for the Brussels sprout’s broad-spectrum cancer protection.  It appears the sprouts keep the body cancer-free by protecting DNA from damage.

For the three-week study, researchers analyzed the effect of Brussels sprouts on two groups of healthy men.  One group ate 300 grams of Brussels sprouts each day, while the other group ate a diet devoid of all cruciferous vegetables.  Testing at the end of the study showed the daily dose of Brussels sprouts led to a 28% decrease in measured DNA damage.

Your Daily Dose of Vitamin A Through Zinc 

Along with anti-carcinogenic glucosinolates, Brussels sprouts provide a wealth of other nutrients.  They offer significant quantities of crucial nutrients, including…

 

 

FolateManganese

Choline

Copper

Potassium

MagnesiumPantothenic acid

Calcium

Phosphorus

Zinc


Brussels sprouts are also good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K.  In addition to all that, they deliver your daily dose of fiber and protein, with a side of disease-fighting phytochemicals.

The World’s Healthiest Food 

To extract maximum health benefits, experts recommend that you steam your Brussels sprouts.  The George Mateljan Foundation, which runs The World’s Healthiest Foods site, recommends this Five-Minute Method:

“Fill the bottom of a steamer pan with two inches of water.  If Brussels sprouts are cut into quarters, steam for 6 minutes.  If you have chopped them into smaller pieces, steam for five minutes.”  When perfectly cooked, the sprouts should have a “crisp, dense texture” and a bright, “green,” mild sweetness.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email