Brussels Sprouts

These tiny cousins of cabbage are loaded with heart-healthful soluble fiber

Photo: Mike Lorrig

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This cabbage family member is high in potassium, carotenoids, vitamin B6, and folate, all of which contribute to heart health. Brussels sprouts also top the charts for soluble fiber, packing 2 grams per 1/2-cup serving. According to a 19-year survey that examined the effects of fiber intake on heart attacks in about 10,000 adults, those who ate the most soluble fiber had a 12 percent reduction in coronary heart disease events. Soluble fiber also slows digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, giving rise to lower and more stable blood glucose and insulin levels, which is good for your metabolism and your arteries.

Choose It & Use It Look for bright green sprouts with compact heads. To maximize their nutritional benefits, don’t overcook them: opt for a quick sauté, or steam for 5 minutes and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.