What's so good about sprouts?
Posted on January 29 2020
Love them or hate them, brussels sprouts are a traditional part of every Christmas dinner. They might get a bad rep, but a helping of sprouts is one of the most nutritious side dishes going. And when they’re cooked right, they actually taste pretty good (honestly). So, let’s see why brussels sprouts deserve a bit more love and attention this Christmas.
They’re rich in antioxidants
They may be small, but brussels sprouts pack in plenty of antioxidants. We all need some extra protection in winter, and sprouts offer up high levels of vitamin C to give your immune system a much-needed boost. But it doesn’t stop there. They also contain vitamin A to help keep your eyesight in top notch condition, and kaempferol, an antioxidant that can decrease inflammation and promote heart health. Antioxidants are pretty much your body’s natural defense system against pesky free radicals. So, getting enough of them can help your body keep up the fight. More sprouts, anyone?
They contain plenty of fibre
The fibre content of sprouts makes this festive veggie a natural choice to support your digestion. A 100g serving of brussels sprouts offers up 3.5g of the stuff, making them a great choice if you’re trying to up your fibre intake. Fibre is important for helping to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as keeping you regular. It’s worth noting that it’s a good idea to get your fibre from a variety of sources, so mixing things up with a helping of sprouts is bound to do you some good.
They’re good for your bones
Vitamin K is a commonly overlooked nutrient, but it’s absolutely key for your bone health. As well as helping to maintain bone density, this essential vitamin helps wounds to heal properly, thanks to the role it plays in coagulation. Just 8 of these mini veggies provide over double your recommended daily allowance of vitamin K. Not to mention, sprouts also pack in a broad range of minerals, including manganese, copper, phosphorus and iron, which are all needed to build strong bones and help avoid issues as you age. Who would have thought sprouts were such a great way to keep your bones in top condition?
Top tips for cooking sprouts
Soggy sprouts are the worst. But knowing how to cook them can make a difference. You can opt for steaming instead of boiling if you want that fresh, nutty taste. Or, if you’re not a fan of the standard flavour, try roasting with some garlic and olive oil in the oven. You can even add in some chopped bacon if you really want to make the veg taste better! There are also plenty of ways to work sprouts into other side dishes if your family need a bit of encouragement to eat them on Christmas day. Combine with the stuffing, or work them into your cauliflower cheese. Whatever way you eat them, they’re sure to add some nutrition to your plate.
What to remember
They might split opinion at the dinner table, but there’s no denying that sprouts offer up a surprising amount of vitamins and minerals. Low in calories and high in nutrients, they’re a nutritious choice this Christmas. The key to getting the best of these veggies is to cook them carefully. If your family are still on the fence when you serve up your sprouts, try preparing them a bit differently this year. You can make them a tasty and nutritious addition to the table!