Brussels sprouts are part of the disease fighting cabbage family but unlike other vegetables, they’re packed with protein. Although the protein is incomplete — it doesn’t provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids — it can be made complete with whole grains. More than a quarter of their calories are from protein.   But protein isn’t the only healthful vitamin in this little vegetable.

They are also very high in fiber which helps to lower our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fiber, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to do so, ultimately lowering the cholesterol amount within our bodies.

They are rich in vitamin C, another anti-cancer agent. Vitamin C helps to ensure a healthy immune system, ward against hyper tension, lower blood pressure, fight lead toxicity, combat cataracts, and serve as a powerful antioxidant that prevents “cellular rust,” which can lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Brussels sprouts are especially high in vitamin K which promotes healthy bones, prevents calcification of the body’s tissues, serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and is essential for proper brain and nerve function.

Brussels sprouts also contains over 20% of the RDA of vitamin A that boosts immunity, protects eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.

Glucosinolates in Brussels sprouts and their detox-activating isothiocyanates are shown to fight against and even prevent various cancers, including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer.  Glucobrassicin, a glucosinolate abundant in Brussels sprouts, has been shown to fight inflammation on a genetic level.

Folic acid allows the body to perform many essential functions including DNA synthesis and repair, red blood cell creation, and prevention of anemia. Folic acid is also well known for its prevention of fetal deformities and Alzheimer’s disease.

Eating one cup of boiled brussel sprouts will give you approximately 25% of your daily recommended amount.

While these tiny cabbage shaped vegetables may not be a favorite-they’re packed with so much healthy goodness-it might be time to make them a regular in your diet.