Brussels Sprouts are Great for Gut Health
Brassicas contain a compound which makes them taste bitter and unpleasant to some while others will fail to detect it. This reaction all comes down to your genetic makeup; about half of all humans can detect the compound and are therefore more likely to dislike some brassicas - particularly Brussels sprouts!
Nevertheless, Brussels sprouts are extremely nutritious
And great for your gut health!
Brussels have been found to contain the highest level of glucosinolates (with their cancer-prevention qualities) They are also notable for their carotenoids and polyphenol content.
While most of us prefer sprouts that come with a milder flavor, it is actually the bitterness of those glucosinolates that are the most nutritious.
So you have to make your choice!
Brussels sprouts are a must have vegetable for a British Christmas meal!
And don't just boil them to death which apart from taking away any taste also reduces their nutrients.
Instead, try stir frying or lightly steaming instead.
Another suggestion is to roast Brussels sprouts with garlic, olive oil and salt.
Growing those Brussels sprouts
We grow them every year on our allotment and you don't have to pick them all in the winter as research has shown that the highest levels of nutrients are actually found in the spring when the longer days, higher levels of sunlight and perhaps warmer temperatures result in greater phytochemical levels.
Brussels sprout seeds can be sown outside in a sunny bed from winter to late spring or if you prefer, grow in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are established. When you plant them out, leave about 24 inches between each plant as they become quite tall plants. Minimize soil disturbance by no unnecessary digging. Mulching with plenty of organic matter will keep the weeds at bay and stop the soil from drying out in summer.
When you start harvesting, take the sprouts off starting from the base of the plant and move upwards. Don't forget about the large head at the top of the stalk as this can be eaten too.
Brussels sprouts, raw. (2019).
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/342600/nutrients. (Accessed, 2 August 2021).
Brussels sprouts, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. (2019).
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169971/nutrients. (Accessed, 2 August 2021).
Cormick, G., & Belizan., J. M. (2019). Calcium intake and health.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6683260/. (Accessed, 2 August 2021).