- They are high in antioxidants and fiber, which can help protect against cancer
- They are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, and mustard greens
- They are alkalizing to the body, which can help neutralize stomach acidity
- They are a good source of nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K
- It may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and promote heart health
Low-alkaline diets offer many health benefits that are locking in foodies and dietitians from all over the world.
With this latest craze in nutrition, we will show you the Brussels sprouts health benefits.
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that is high in antioxidants and fiber.
These nutrients have been shown to help protect the body against several health problems, including cancer.
In this blog post, we will discuss the numerous benefits of Brussels sprouts and how adding them to your low-alkaline diet can help improve your overall health.
We will also provide tips on how to cook Brussels sprouts to maximize their health benefits and make them taste great – whether you love them or hate them!
The little sprouts resemble cabbage in their appearance.
They are a type of cabbage that can either be eaten raw (with a dash of balsamic vinegar for flavor), boiled, or baked.
They’re typically light green and have a slightly bitter taste.
History and Production
The sprouts are grown in Europe and, most notably, in Brussels (hence the name).
Brussels sprouts belong to the Brassicaceae family of vegetables, which includes kale, cauliflower, and mustard greens.
Actually, they are believed to have originated in France, where the name was first coined in the 18th century, but they were first cultivated in the Brussels district of Belgium around the year 1500.
The cultivation intensified during the 19th century as demand for these mini cabbages grew significantly.
By the early 1900s, Brussels had become the world’s leading producer of Brussels sprouts.
Brussels remains one of the leading producers and accounts for a large percentage of global production.
California and New York are the leading growers in the US.
Nutrients per Serving
You are looking at a cruciferous vegetable high in antioxidants and vitamins.
They are also a good source of dietary fiber (3.8g per 100g), vitamin C (85mg per 100g), and potassium (389mg per 100g).
These nutritional values make the little sprouts one of your best options in alkaline-promoting foods.
Some of the Brussels sprouts health benefits you can expect in your low-alkalinity diet include:
- They may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
- They can help reduce inflammation related to conditions like arthritis and asthma.
- They can help improve cognitive function and memory recall.
- They support the digestive system and may even enhance immunity.
What Does Acidic/Alkaline Mean?
The difference between acid and alkaline foods is that alkaline foods have a higher pH level (7-9), while acidic foods have a lower pH level (6.5-6.8).
Thus, the higher the pH level, the more alkaline the food.
Too much acid in your diet can cause stomach problems because it can increase the natural acidity of the stomach’s own gastric juice.
This causes damage to the stomach walls, leading to inflammation and even ulcers.
The anti-inflammatory compounds of Brussels Sprouts protect the cell from damage.
Alkaline foods, on the other hand, help to neutralize stomach acidity and protect the stomach from damage.
Ph Value of Brussel Sprouts
Although Brussels sprouts have a Ph that reflects closer toward acidic foods, they are still alkalizing to the body.
This means that a pH of between 6.0 and 6.3 helps regulate and maintain your body’s pH levels by reducing the acids in your stomach.
Their low-fat content and other greens, such as broccoli, asparagus, and peas, are known to prevent and alleviate acid reflux.
Together with its low fat and carbohydrate content, the low pH level also offsets the high pH of the stomach (if you are experiencing acid reflux).
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Like cabbage, sprouts are high in phenolic compounds.
These compounds are hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives and have an overall positive effect on your health.
Some of the most important derivates include catechins and sulforaphane.
Catechins are antioxidants that protect your cells from dreaded damage by free radicals.
We all want to fight off signs of premature aging for vanity’s sake.
On the other hand, Sulforaphane is a plant-based compound with anti-cancer properties.
Together, these compounds help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
They also contain vitamins like B6 and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
All these nutrients help to energize you and improve your mood.
Aside from their health benefits, they are also delicious!
Granted, the sprouts have an acquired taste that does not suit every palette, but when prepared right, they are scrummy!
1- High in Nutrients
One of the most important nutrients the sprouts contain is vitamin C.
As we know by now, this is crucial for your immune system to fight infections and boost your DNA synthesis.
Like carrots, sprouts also provide antioxidant nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin E, which can help protect you against cancer and other diseases.
They’re also a good source of dietary fiber and calcium. With a whopping 42mg of calcium per 100 grams, you should always aim to add them to your diet.
Sometimes, an alkaline diet can lack calcium.
2- Rich in Antioxidants
As we’ve illustrated, Brussels sprouts are a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can improve your health in several ways.
First and foremost, antioxidants are responsible for protecting cells from damage.
This is why they’re often used to fight against diseases like cancer and heart disease.
They also contain sulfides, which have antioxidant properties of their own.
This helps to protect the liver and lungs from damage caused by free radicals.
The extra fiber can also help digestion and regular blood sugar levels.
Finally, they’re low in calories and cholesterol-free, making them an ideal food choice for people who want to get a handle on their weight and cholesterol.
3- High in Fiber
The high fiber helps to keep you feeling full and satiated for longer – an ideal start to any weight loss journey.
There is a lot of debate surrounding the effects of fiber on an alkaline diet.
Some people believe that fiber can help to balance the pH levels in the body, while others contend that there are no benefits to adding more fiber to an already alkaline diet.
4- Rich in Vitamin K
Vitamin K is essential for adequately functioning blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
It also helps to maintain healthy skin and nails, and it assists in the absorption of other nutrients.
So how does vitamin K contribute to an alkaline and high pH diet?
Is it healthy?
That should be an obvious and resounding yes!
Foods that are high in vitamin K include leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, soy products (such as tofu), fortified foods (such as breakfast cereals), skim milk, and low-fat dairy products.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin K is 70 micrograms for adults. In a single cup, you can expect about 159 micrograms of vitamin K
5- May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Brussels sprouts also contain sulforaphane, an important phytonutrient that promises cardiovascular benefits.
Sulforaphane has been linked to lower blood pressure and inflammation, which may improve heart health overall.
With several large-scale studies revealing that there is a strong link between an alkaline diet and improved insulin sensitivity, you should consider introducing more sprouts into an alkaline diet.
6- May Reduce Inflammation
The significant amounts of sulforaphane also lend the little cabbages potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Many studies have also proven that one of the anti-aging effects of an alkaline diet is that it has the power to decrease inflammation and cause an increase in growth hormone production.
That being said, you can expect great results when looking to alleviate inflammation.
7- High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to promote the absorption of other nutrients from food, stimulates immune system function, and supports collagen production.
One study showed that people who ate Brussels regularly showed a decreased risk of developing cancer over time.
Additionally, studies have shown that consuming vitamin C in combination with other antioxidants can help improve the skin’s appearance and reduce fine wrinkles and age spots.
You can expect around 85mg of this in every 100 grams of sprouts.
8- Easy to Add to Your Diet
This cruciferous little guy is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
In addition, it’s low in calories (just 80 per cup), so it can be a healthy snack or part of your regular meal plan.
You will benefit only by introducing enough calcium into your diet or slowly transitioning into an alkaline diet.
Brussels Sprouts Recipes
Brussels sprouts are the perfect food as a side dish, but you may not be familiar with it – or how to prepare it.
In the words of Todd English:
Below are two recipes that are perfect for high-pH Alkaline diets.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans
Brussels sprouts may not be everyone’s favorite, but they are worth trying – especially roasted.
This recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans is a delicious way to show them off to perfection.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (~0.75 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (~0.36 ounces)
Recipe Notes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
Place cut sprouts into a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cut one inch deep into the top of each Brussels sprout using a sharp knife.
Then, drizzle generously with olive oil /ghee.
Bake until slightly browned around the edges and tender when pierced with a fork – about 20 minutes total.
Bake without nuts if desired as well.
Add some bacon to the mix for a delicious smokey taste if you prefer something meatier.
Spicy Asian Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
This spicy Asian chicken with Brussels sprouts is a delicious and healthy dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
It’s quick and easy to make, leaving you feeling full and satisfied.
Either use this recipe to slowly transition into an alkaline diet or use it as a once-in-a-while treat.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or thighs)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper if desired
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth; if using canned broth, reduce sodium by adding salt
- 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts packed lightly into the center of each bowl before adding the chicken breasts
- 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (as needed)
Directions: In a large resealable bag, combine soy sauce or tamari sauce, ginger, garlic powder, honey or agave nectar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Add chicken; turn to coat evenly.
Seal the bag tightly; shake until coated evenly.
Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.
Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and slightly browned.
Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat it over medium-high heat.
Add the Brussels sprouts to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and slightly caramelized.
Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Once the Brussels sprouts are cooked, return the cooked chicken to the skillet with the Brussels sprouts.
Stir everything together to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if needed.
You can add more soy sauce, sriracha sauce, or salt and pepper according to your preference.
The Brussels from Brussels
Brussels sprouts are the perfect addition to an alkaline diet and will provide you with all the nutrients and antioxidants needed for a healthier lifestyle.
With delicious recipes and many ways to include it into already low Ph meals, Brussels sprouts can be a surprisingly healthy and low acidity ingredient to embark on your alkaline diet.
Reinette Robbertze is a highly qualified professional in the health and nutrition industry, having completed both Journalism and Nutrition diplomas. With a remarkable portfolio of health blogs and magazine articles to her name, Reinette’s writing is fueled by her genuine passion for healthy living. Drawing on her academic background, Reinette delivers authentic and insightful information to her readers. Her engaging writing style, blended with personal anecdotes, creates an immersive experience that keeps readers engaged and informed. Keep following her work for the latest updates and informative articles on health and nutrition.