Brussels sprout, a precious antioxidant

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Robert Maurer

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I Brussels sprouts they are spherical buds similar to small cabbages that develop in the Brassica oleracea plant, gemmifera variety. These sprouts are the edible part that is harvested while still young to be cooked and eaten. The Brussels sprouts plant obviously belongs to the brasicaceae family as well as the cauliflower, broccoli and other cabbages.

The harvesting period for Brussels sprouts takes place during the winter season when they begin to bloom with cold temperatures and in the presence of the period with cold weather and frost. We can therefore indicate from September to March the seasonal period in which we can find Brussels sprouts.

The Brussels sprouts plant grows to a height of almost one meter and develops the shoots along the entire stem from the base to the apex. The sprouts are harvested when their size is about 2 or 3 centimeters.

These small spheres are composed of fairly consistent leaves that are dark green on the outside and lighter in the central part. This color change is due to the fact that the light does not penetrate the center of the sprout globe and so the chlorophyll is more absent and its green color is less.


Composition of Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts have an excellent nutritional composition both in the presence of proteins, fibers, minerals and vitamins but also as active ingredients that are beneficial to health such as numerous antioxidants including flavonoids and phenols in addition to other substances with an anticancer action such as sinigrin.

The presence of Vitamin C it is very high in this vegetable as well as the presence of carotenoids which are essential elements for the formation of vitamin A in the human body. Also in broccoli we find vitamins such as K which helps especially for bones and B vitamins.

Among the mineral salts, iron and potassium stand out which are very bioavailable and therefore the body easily absorbs and uses them for its physiological functions. It also contains good percentages of copper, calcium, manganese and phosphorus.

The presence of fibers, on the other hand, also cleans the entire gastrointestinal tract, helping the transit and elimination of feces. Furthermore the fibers attract water and they are essential for the general functioning of digestion as well as regulating blood sugar and fat absorption. With fibers we can counteract constipation and constipation bringing intestinal transit back to normal.

Finally, Brussels sprouts also contain folic acid and thiamine which are correlated with a stimulating action of brain activity and therefore help concentration and performance in the mind.


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Antioxidants in Brussels sprouts

In Brussels sprouts we find a huge amount of different substances with antioxidant action and among these we remember the flavonoidstiocianati, sulforafano, character, zeaxantina e isotiocianatus.  

The antioxidants present in Brussels sprouts are excellent substances that serve to counteract the free radicals present in our body. These radicals are produced by cellular metabolism and are waste substances which must be reduced and eliminated.

In fact, free radicals are responsible for cellular aging and oxidation of the entire organism: therefore being able to stop or slow down these processes helps to keep us younger and healthier. The consumption of Brussels sprouts rich in antioxidants therefore has a direct action to reduce the presence of these free radicals.

Furthermore the oxidation of the body together with an acidosis situation leads to create a ground a risk of inflammation of every kind and degree in the whole organism which then leads to various ailments and diseases.

Getting natural antioxidants through your diet is the best prevention to maintain a more basic body pH and Brussels sprouts are a real treasure trove of these antioxidative elements.

Vitamin C itself and beta-carotenoids are antioxidants that help the body neutralize free radicals.
Furthermore these antioxidant substances also have specific actions which are useful for the prevention of many forms of tumors in particular breast, prostate and colon. For example zeoxanthinin protects the retina of the eyes.

The deficiency of these antioxidants in the diet can cause numerous diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, respiratory tract infections, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases.


Read also

> Broccoli and other foods for cancer prevention

> Three recipes with Brussels sprouts


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