A while back, I posted on the benefits of the often overlooked (and often hated/reviled) Brussels sprouts. Now don’t stop reading, because as I stated back in the previous post the likely reason for your disgust was due more to how they were prepared than the actual taste. Besides listing some of the benefits of the little guys I also gave you a couple ways to cook them to improve your experience. Today, I am going to share some even more compelling reasons to add Brussels sprouts to your diet.
Brussels sprouts, Superfoods!?!
Yes the Brussels sprout is a superfood for a whole host of reasons, but the beneficial components of them that I am going to talk about today are also contained in the cruciferous vegetables. The cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, etc. and all share the same properties. So if you aren’t going to add Brussels sprouts to your diet, than at least add more from the cruciferous family.
Brussels sprouts not only are awesome for you, but they will also help make you slimmer. So you may be asking how Brussels sprouts make you slimmer. Well it has to do with the anti-estrogenic effect the cruciferous veggies have. They help your body deal with the xeno-estrogens we take in on a daily basis from things like plastics or cosmetics.
Xeno-estrogens are these dirty little buggers that act like estrogen in your body (estrogen mimic’rs like the phyto-estrogens in soy). They can contribute to the body fat stored in women’s legs and the excess fat stored around men’s chests. These are areas that neither gender likes to store excess fat so that is where cruciferous vegetables come in to the picture to help.
How did I find out about this benefit?
I am going to take you on a little journey of learning to share how I came to find out about xeno-estrogen clearing benefit of Brussels sprouts. I listen to Robb Wolf’s podcast and just a little while agos I was listening to episode 136 with guest Brad Davidson (yes, I am a ways behind). Brad is an in-the-trenches kind of expert on clearing excess estrogen out of the system.
Check out his follow-up post on How to Get Lean Legs for even more great info.
So Robb’s podcast led me to the idea that we needed to get rid of excess estrogen to help with weight loss. That connection led me to Brad and further to the estrogen clearing benefit of Brussels sprouts. This then led to me reading a recent study on the benefits of Indole-3-Carbinol. Finally for today’s post to the humble Brussels sprout along with other cruciferous veggies contain this awesome compound.
Research supports Brussels sprout for fat loss.
New research demonstrates that cruciferous veggies are full of a compound called Indole-3-Carbinol. The researchers at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan recently reported that it actually prevented weight gain in overfed mice.
Even better, this compound changed the way their fat cells functioned, improved the health of the fat cells, and resulted in less fat storage.
How does Indole-3-Carbinol benefit fat loss?
Indole-3-Carbinol also increases the secretion of adiponectin (a hormone associated with lower levels of fat), lowers blood sugar levels, and raises the synthesis of leptin.
Leptin and adiponectin are both released from your fat cells. And the Taipei study suggests that improving the health and function of those cells improved levels of these crucial fat loss hormones.
Whether you love the little green globes or loathe them, you have to admit that mom was right about Brussels sprouts. They are good for you on multiple levels. Yes, we can try and isolate single compounds to help with fat loss, but at the end of the day your weight and physique has more to do with what’s on your plate than that expensive little pill.
Don’t forget to eat your Brussels sprouts tonight!
p.s. in case you wanted to read the study…Source: Nutrition. 2011 Apr;27(4):463-70.