5 Surprising Side Effects of Eating Brussels Sprouts

Aside from their smell, Brussels sprouts have a handful of side effects—and they might not all be positive.

Of course, any time we can get extra veggies in our diet, the better! However, not everyone reacts the same. Some people may even have a negative experience after eating high-fiber veggies like Brussels sprouts.

My favorite way to cook them up with lots of flavors and roasted on a sheet pan similar to these recipes. They get slightly crispy and caramelized, which is totally different from the mushy steamed sprouts we all remember from childhood.

So, what gives? Keep reading for the surprising side effects of this crunchy veggie.

1. They may worsen tummy troubles.

Cruciferous veggies are particularly hard to digest if you already have trouble with proper digestion. Folks with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, are often steered away from foods with certain fibers that can produce gas and bloating during digestion.

These fibers, also known as FODMAPs, are high in the cruciferous veggie family of broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

If you have IBS, you might still be able to consume these vegetables. I would recommend a trial-and-error approach here to see how your body responds.

2. You’ll have regular GI movement.

Conversely, if you don’t notice any tummy trouble after eating Brussels sprouts, then you may actually experience the opposite effect: better digestion!

Brussels sprouts contain four grams of fiber per cup. This adds more bulk to our digestive tract and may help move things along faster as a result.

When adding a new source of fiber, be sure to drink plenty of water to help aid in the movement of your GI tract.

3. They may improve your blood pressure.

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium has many functions, including managing heart health and blood pressure.

The DASH diet, a proven program designed to lower blood pressure, emphasizes fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium to protect your cardiovascular system.

One of the main mechanisms for lowering blood pressure involves the way potassium counter-balances sodium in the body. Thus, since sodium can raise blood pressure in some cases, an emphasis on potassium-rich foods can help offset the potential rise.

4. They may help manage your cholesterol.

High cholesterol can be improved with diet changes, but it might look a little different than you think!

Cholesterol is metabolized through the liver after digestion. Foods that are high in fiber can actually improve absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract before they even make it to the bloodstream circulation.

Choosing high-fiber foods for your meals can help lower the amount of cholesterol that gets absorbed and excrete it all together.

5. They may boost your immune health.

Brussels sprouts are a sneaky source of vitamin C in our diet. One cup of raw Brussels sprouts—when cooked turns into about a half cup—packs more than our daily recommended dose of vitamin C!

Vitamin C helps fight sickness, improves inflammation, and contributes to skin health.

Incorporate shaved Brussels sprouts in your salads, or roast them on a sheet pan as a side dish for an immune system boost this summer!

Article by Caroline Thomason, RDN for eat this, not that©

Source: 5 Surprising Side Effects of Eating Brussels Sprouts (msn.com)

Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cauliflower

If you’ve stepped foot in a grocery store any time over the past few years, it’s almost a guarantee that you have encountered some of your favorite foods in cauliflower form. From pizza to rice to even cookies, cauliflower is certainly having a moment.

Thanks to its neutral flavor and its versatility, cauliflower is a natural addition to many favorite recipes. And as an added bonus, the taste is rarely compromised when this cruciferous veggie is included. It has become a solution for those who are trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake, increase their fiber intake, or limit their calories.

Cauliflower scores high points in the nutrition department. Not only is it low in calories and a natural source of important vitamins and minerals like immune-supporting vitamin C and bone-building calcium, but it also contains good-for-you phytochemicals like chlorophyll (yes, the same good stuff that you find in your uber-trendy chlorophyll water).

We already know that cauliflower is a beloved veggie for the weight-loss crowd thanks to its high-fiber, low-calorie nutrition content. But for others, there are some secret effects of eating this popular veggie that everyone should know about before jumping on the cauli bandwagon.

1. You may experience excessive gas.

Like all cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and Brussels sprouts), cauliflower contains the complex sugar raffinose. This sugar is tough for the human body to break down, and in turn, it travels to the large intestine undigested where bacteria ferment it—leading to possible gas and bloat.

2. You may be at a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.

Many people turn to cauliflower as a low-carb and low-cal weight loss-friendly food, but eating this veggie has benefits beyond helping your jeans fit.

Cauliflower contains an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol. And this antioxidant is linked to a reduced risk of developing reproductive cancers in both men and women (like breast cancer and prostate cancer).

Another component found in cauliflower called sulforaphane has been linked to a reduced risk of developing certain cancers as well.

3. You may experience a reduced effect of your blood-thinning medication.

Most people know that eating foods that naturally contain vitamin K should be monitored when taking blood-thinning medication to avoid unwanted interactions. In some cases, taking in too much vitamin K on an inconsistent schedule can cause the dose of the blood thinner to not work as well, increasing a person’s risk of developing a dangerous blood clot.

While green leafy veggies are notorious for being vitamin K-rich foods, cauliflower contains this blood clot-supporting nutrient too. If you are taking a blood thinner, going cauliflower-crazy can lead to an unsavory effect.

4. You may experience hypothyroidism if you have an iodine deficiency.

Cauliflower contains a slew of phytonutrients that offer some amazing health benefits. However, one such phytonutrient produces a molecule called isothiocyanates, which can interfere with iodine absorption in those with low dietary iodine intake, especially if cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are eating in large amounts.

However, if there is no iodine deficiency, the risk does not appear to be present. In one study, those who ate 5 ounces of cooked Brussels sprouts (another source of isothiocyanates) every day for four weeks did not result in hypothyroidism.

5. You may feel less hungry.

The darling of cauliflower claims is that it is a great weight-loss food. Since it is a low-carb, low-cal, low-fat, and high-fiber food, it checks almost all of the boxes when it comes to a slim-down food.

Fiber is particularly key to weight loss, as eating it in adequate amounts has been linked to increased satiety—possibly resulting in people eating less over the long run.

6. You may have a strong immune system.

Eating one entire head of cauliflower will supply you with four times the recommended amount of vitamin C. And since this nutrient is linked to immune support, enjoying some riced cauliflower in your citrus smoothie may give you that extra boost that your body needs during cold and flu season.

Article by Lauren Manaker for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cauliflower (msn.com)

The #1 Best Drink to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

Sip on this to reduce your risk for the most common form of dementia.

BuzzFeed

The dietary pattern most closely linked with Alzheimer’s disease protection is the Mediterranean Diet. This diet is reminiscent of the eating style which has been seen in traditional cultures among people living in the countries lining the Mediterranean Sea.

A terrific drink choice that aligns with the Mediterranean Diet for protecting brain health includes a well-made smoothie. Familiar smoothie recipes consist of a Mediterranean Diet-approved combo of fruit, milk, or yogurt, and added protein like nuts, sometimes whole grains, and even vegetables.

Fruit offers a natural hit of sweetness, while milk or yogurt delivers creaminess, protein helps to keep hunger pangs at bay, whole grains amp up fiber, and veggies add extra vitamins and minerals. Smoothies can be an appropriate snack replacement (aim for around a 300-calorie drink) and an easy way to get a nutritional boost.

Healthy smoothie combinations to blend up

Here are some healthy smoothie combinations to excite your taste buds while protecting your health. Add water and ice as needed to achieve appropriate consistency.

  • 1 cup strawberries + 1 cup yogurt + 1/4 cup almonds + 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 medium banana + 1 cup unsweetened soy milk + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup mango + 1/2 cup pineapple + 1 cup skim milk + 2 tablespoons chia seeds + 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 medium apple + 1 cup light almond milk + 2 tablespoons peanut butter + 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup blueberries + 1 cup light oat milk + 1/2 cup silken tofu + 1/2 cup cauliflower

Article by Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD for Eat This, Not That©

Source: The #1 Best Drink to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk, Says Dietitian — Eat This Not That

Surprising Effects of Eating Blueberries

There’s a reason many registered dietitians claim that blueberries are the healthiest fruit you can eat. Why? Because blueberries are full of antioxidants that can incredibly benefit your body’s overall health. Blueberries can take care of your heart, your body, and even your mind in ways that you may not even be aware of! That’s why we decided to list out a few secret effects of eating blueberries that you may not realize.

Here’s why you should incorporate blueberries into your diet on a regular basis:

1. Blueberries lower your risk of heart disease.

Blueberries are a great source of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Blueberries specifically contain anthocyanins, which have been proven in studies to improve your health and reduce your heart disease risk. The anthocyanins are what give the blueberries that dark blue hue we all know and love.

2. Blueberries lower your blood pressure.

The anthocyanins can also help with lowering blood pressure, according to Harvard Health. Having lower blood pressure helps with your heart health and lowering your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Blueberries lower your cholesterol.

The anthocyanins are at it again! This powerful antioxidant is anti-inflammatory and can help to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, according to Nutrients. This, again, can help with lowering your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Blueberries help you live longer.

The antioxidants in blueberries have also been proven to have anti-aging properties. A study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says antioxidants can help fight free radicals in your body. The free radicals are what cause oxidative stress, which can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.

5. Blueberries help with weight maintenance.

Along with improving your heart health and making you live longer, blueberries have also been proven to help with overall weight maintenance and have even been proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In particular, blueberries are full of fiber, which is helpful for your body’s digestion, gut health, and even weight loss. One cup of blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber, which is 12% to 14% of your recommended daily fiber intake.

6. Blueberries make your brain sharper.

This small fruit really is super! It can help your heart, it can help your body’s weight, and it can even help with your cognitive function. According to one study, consuming blueberries regularly has been proven to help with sharpening one’s memory and attention to tasks.

Plus, one article published by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station through Rutgers University says that blueberries help with overall blood flow to the brain. When you have clogged arteries and your blood flow is slower to the brain, you are at a greater risk of vascular dementia.

Article by Kiersten Hickman for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Effects of Eating Blueberries, Says Science (msn.com)