Yep, I know that Brussels sprouts are the marmite of the Christmas world.
Me? I’m a sprout lover. I can’t get enough of them!
Whether you love ‘em, or hate ‘em there’s no disputing that they are right up there with the best when it comes to nutritional value.
Ten nourishing facts about Brussels sprouts
1. 80g (roughly 3oz in old money) of Brussels sprouts has four times more vitamin C than an orange. Plus, they’re an excellent source of vitamins A and K too.
2. Sticking with health facts, Brussels sprouts contain a lot of protein for a vegetable, 3-4g/100g. Bet that had never crossed your mind.
3. They’re packed full of fibre too – though you are probably already aware of that… Again, nearly 4g of fibre per 100g.
4. Sprouts are also high in folic acid, a nutrient considered beneficial for fertility.
5. Brussels sprouts also contain a nutritional benefit you might not expect – omega 3 essential fatty acids – which makes them anti-inflammatory too!
6. And if none of those health benefits have got you excited yet, what about this: Brussels sprouts have one of the highest glucosinolate contents of our lovely cruciferous veggies. Glucosinolates are important phytonutrients needed for a number of cancer-protective substances made by the body.
7. There is a gene known as TAS2R38 (catchy name, eh?) which some people possess, and it makes Brussels sprouts taste bitter. Are you one of them?
8. To pick the best sprouts you need to make sure they feel hard (compact) and the leaves aren’t flaking off. The freshest ones are green with a white base.
9. Brussels sprouts don’t need to ripen before you eat them. So, you could say, in this instance size doesn’t matter.
10. They contain high levels of sulforaphane. As well as being one of the cancer protective compounds in sprouts it is sulforaphane that creates the rotten eggs smell when they’re overcooked.
Well, now that I’ve got the slightly more serious stuff over and done with, as it’s the festive season I thought I’d also throw in a few fun facts about Brussels sprouts too. So here are a handful to make you smile…
Five fun facts you never knew about Brussels sprouts
1. In the UK, Brussels sprouts are grown in an area that covers 3,240 football pitches. I’ll leave you to decide whether that’s a good use of space or not.
2. Scientists, with the help of some school children, have shown that the energy from 1,000 sprouts can light a Christmas tree. I’ve not investigated in too much detail quite how, mind you…
3. Believe it or not someone actually rolled a Brussels sprout to the top of Snowdon… using their nose. Such an accolade definitely deserves recognition. His name was Stuart Kettell and he was raising money for Macmillan Cancer support.
4. The heaviest sprout ever grown so far (or at least the one that was noted and measured) weighed 8.3kg (18lb/3oz). That’s quite big bearing in mind they’re usually less than an ounce.
5. There are more than 110 different varieties of sprouts… So for all you sprout aficionados out there, you’ve got some comparing to do!