Brussels Sprouts: The powerhouse of vegetables

Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are a powerhouse of nutritional value and health benefits. Getting these into your diet over the Christmas period will be an easy way to help yourself and the health conscious family members stay on track without worry.

Close enough to 100 studies have been published regarding Brussels sprouts and nearly half of them are studies on health benefits. The sprout is truly one of the best nutritionally dense vegetables you can eat. They are an excellent source of vitamin C (immune system, helps fight high blood pressure and heart disease) and vitamin K (used to help the blood clot, bone metabolism and blood calcium levels). The sprout is also high in fibre which helps the digestive system function correctly. Below is a chart with the nutrients you can find in Brussels sprouts.

sprout graph

For the readers who are into building muscle. Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium are all found in the sprout. Zinc and magnesium help with increased levels of testosterone in the body which is the ultimate hormone for helping build muscle. A recent study found that athletes with a high-calcium intake, combined with intense training, have higher counts of both free and total testosterone. That would imply that calcium may provide anabolic effects. Once again the sprout is coming up top trump for muscle building hormones.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon

With all the information you have digested on the Brussels sprout you will need a recipe to go with it for over the Christmas period. I guarantee you will love eating sprouts after you have tried this recipe.

bacon sprout

Ingredients

·  1.5kg of Brussels sprouts, trimmed

·  200g chestnuts, chopped

·  200g smoked bacon lardons

·  1tsp vegetable oil

Method

·  Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sprouts and cook for 5 mins. Drain and refresh in cold water.

· Toss the sprouts with all the other ingredients in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Tip onto a large baking tray in a single layer. Put in the oven and roast for 30 mins, tossing halfway through, until the bacon is crispy and the sprouts are golden and tender.

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