Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
12:20 AM 25th December 2021

Five Reasons Why You Should Eat Your Brussels Sprouts This Christmas

Brussels sprouts are a festive vegetable that are incredibly beneficial to our overall health. Not only can they aid eye health, they are also packed with vitamins and minerals. Sharon Copeland, optician at Feel Good Contacts gives five reasons why you should eat your brussels sprouts this Christmas.

1. They are rich in fibre

Fibre is an essential part of our diet. Not only does it aid regular bowel movements, it can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. A diet rich in fibre can help to prevent diseases such as diabetes, bowel cancer and heart disease.

2. Sprouts are packed with vitamins and nutrients

Brussels sprouts contain a wide range of nutrients, minerals and vitamins including:

Vitamin K – helps the blood clot
Vitamin C – aids growth, development and repair of body tissues
Vitamin A – great for excellent vision and eye health
Folic acid – produces and maintains red blood cells
Manganese – supports brain health
Lutein and zeaxanthin – important nutrients for eye health

3. They contain omega-3 fatty acids

Brussels sprouts are a great way of getting omega 3 fatty acids for those who choose not to eat oily fish. Not only do omega-3 fatty acids support brain health in battling anxiety and depression, but they also aid eye health by producing tears, which can help those with dry eye. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration AMD and in addition to this, omega-3 fatty acids help to make up the cells in your retina.

4. They support bone health

The vitamin k in brussels sprouts helps to keep your bones healthy by increasing bone density and reducing the risk of bone injury in women who are postmenopausal.

5. They may have potential cancer-fighting properties

Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants and compounds which are said to protect against cancer causing agents. They contain a compound called isothiocyanates and research suggests that these compounds could have anti-cancer effects. This includes restricting the growth of tumours. Nevertheless, there is no concrete evidence of this.

So, there you have it, while the humble sprout is a dreaded dish at the Christmas dinner table for some, it has numerous health benefits and not just for our eyes. At Feel Good Contacts, they recommend eating a varied diet this Christmas to reap the maximum health benefits. If you're looking for some more food suggestions to support your eye health in particular, take a look at their top 10 food tips to improve your eyesight.

For people who suffer with thyroid problems you may be advised by your doctor to limit the amount of brassica vegetables that you eat (this includes brussels sprouts). The reason being is that these vegetables can interfere with the way in which iodine is absorbed and iodine is vital for the production of thyroid hormones.