It all started with a Thanksgiving and Christmas ritual, featuring micro-mini sprouts that are delicately cut, cleaned and cooked to make a nutritious side dish or main course. But given their superfood value, nutrient density, and lipid-lowering qualities, they’ve been co-opted all over the world. This is why this Belgian vegetable is now grown in India, mainly in the Himalayas and Nilgiris and has become a popular winter indulgence.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family like cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and broccoli. They look like mini cabbages and are rich in many nutrients that have been linked to several health benefits. Most importantly, they boost the body’s metabolism to improve your fat and calorie burning abilities, thereby helping you lose weight. Their rich fiber content reinforces satiety and delays the feeling of hunger.
A superfood for all ages
• They are low in calories but nutritionally dense, high in fiber and vitamins (such as vitamin K, vitamin C, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folic acid) and fortified with minerals (such as potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus).
• Due to their high fiber content, they can help relieve constipation because they add bulk to food.
• They regulate serum cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease
• The high fiber content makes this vegetable low on the glycemic index and ideal for people with diabetes, as it helps keep blood sugar levels within normal limits.
• They promote satiety and therefore weight maintenance
• The vitamin K content of the vegetable may help protect against osteoporosis by stimulating bone metabolism. Vitamin K is also important for blood clotting.
• It is rich in vitamin C, an important antioxidant for boosting immunity, iron absorption, collagen production, tissue growth and repair, preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation .
• Brussels sprouts are a healthy addition to any diet and are easy to incorporate into side dishes and appetizers. People often enjoy them roasted, boiled, sautéed or baked. You can also add Brussels sprouts to pasta dishes, frittatas, or stir-fries for a tasty and nutritious dinner.
Homemade Alternatives to Brussels Sprouts
Indian alternatives to Brussels sprouts are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, turnips and radishes. And contrary to what many think, can be suitable substitutes.
• Cabbage – Cabbage and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Cabbage contains more alpha-carotene than Brussels sprouts. You can make regular vegetable dishes or add them to coleslaw for a tastier version.
• Cauliflower – Rich in vitamin C, it has a similar flavor and texture when added to meals. It can be made into sabzis, gravy bases, or vegan steak.
• Radish – Both are rich in vitamin C and potassium. However, radishes contain 63% fewer calories than Brussels sprouts. It can be made as a sabzi or as a pickled side dish.
• Turnips – The roots and leaves are rich in vitamin C. Turnip greens are rich in fat-soluble vitamins K and A. They can be added in boiled form to mashed potatoes or made into baked cakes and crisps.
• Green cabbage – Brussels sprouts and collard greens are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, dietary fiber and potassium. Collard greens contain more folate and are an excellent source of vitamin A. Slice it to use as a pizza topping, chop it up and add it to scrambled eggs, salads and stews.
• Broccoli – Like Brussels sprouts, broccoli is also packed with nutrients. It contains high levels of vitamin C, fiber and folic acid. Both are also similar in taste and texture. They can be added to stir-fries or soups.
The best way to have Brussels sprouts
• Drizzle roasted sprouts with olive oil, black pepper and garlic.
• Cut them into thin slices and mix them in their raw form with green salad.
• Add nuts and dried berries to roasted sprouts for a festive side dish.
• Sear the sliced Brussels sprouts for a crispier texture.
In facts and figures
A cup of raw Brussels sprouts provides:
0.264 g fat
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