3 Brain Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

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As a coach, entrepreneur and someone who literally physically trains for a living, I’m always looking for ways to optimize Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite green veggies to eat, not just for health benefits but for their brain benefits as well.

There are plenty of foods that can be considered “healthy”, but high performers  draw from an even smaller evidence-based pool of foods that have been proven to grant them a mental edge.

If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO or any role in which mental performance affects work output and quality, then you likely tend to eat for optimized brain function.

Here are 3 scientifically-proven brain benefits of Brussels Sprouts:

1.) Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Brussels sprouts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with 135 mg of alpha-linoleic acid in each half-cup (78-gram) serving of cooked Brussels sprouts. 

These omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, cognitive decline and blood triglycerides, all of which negatively affect brain function.

Brussels sprouts are especially good for those who don’t eat fish or seafood, since getting enough omega-3 fatty acids can be a challenge without those sources.

Including a few servings of Brussels sprouts in your diet each week can help you easily meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs, with a half cup (78 grams) providing 12% of the daily requirement for women and 8.5% for men.

2.) May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Brussels sprouts also contain alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that allows insulin to work more efficiently to lower blood sugar. 

This is benefits the brain since studies have found that Insulin resistance may damage the cognitive system and lead to dementia states.

3.) May Reduce Inflammation

Lastly, multiple studies have found that kaempferol, one of the main antioxidants found in Brussels sprouts, has especially potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation has the following effects:

  • measurable brain shrinkage (especially in the areas associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the 6th leading cause of death).

  • shut-down of energy production in brain cells, leading to mental fatigue, brain fog, and memory loss.

  • chronic inflammation has been linked to numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

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Sources…

  1. Brussels sprouts Benefits: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-brussels-sprouts#section3

  2. Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance in brain and possible therapeutic approaches. - NCBIhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627981

  3. Inflammation effects: https://bebrainfit.com/brain-inflammation/