While the effects of Brussels sprouts aren’t likely to win you any friends—unless you’re interested in hanging with the lads at the local fraternity—these cruciferous little devils pack a serious health punch.
Once considered a delicacy in Belgium—and since named Britain’s least favorite food, according to one recent poll—Brussels sprouts are loaded with compounds that disarm cell-damaging free radicals and help detoxify the body. In fact, less than a cup a day of the little critters is thought to reduce the risk of cancer—particularly those affecting the breast, liver, colon and bladder—and reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 71% in men and 59% in women, according to one recent study. In addition, Brussels sprouts’ off-the-charts vitamin C content—which clocks in at 4 times that of an orange—can help shore up the body’s immune response and give your skin a healthy glow (but not in a freaky Paris Hilton-esque fake-and-bake way!)
If you’re still conjuring up images of a childhood spent avoiding sprouts, step away from the steamer and instead try roasting the sprouts until crisp and brown. If masking the taste is what you’re after, consider adding a touch of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and course ground pepper, or shredding and then sautéing them for inclusion in casseroles and other comfort foods.
Now that’s a super fuel worth tooting your horn about!