In my quest to continue to grow long healthy hair I've been researching a range of beneficial foods. One food which is chock full of beneficial hair growth vitamins, nutrients and herbs are Brussel sprouts.
The leafy green vegetables, which look like miniature cabbages, contain excellent amounts of hair growth triggering vitamins A, C, E and K as well as folic acid, iron and zinc.
They also are chock full of dietary fiber, to name just a few of the hair healthy ingredients in this little vegetable. Because they contain sinigrin, they are believed to protect against colon cancer.
Long popular in Brussels, Belgium, historians believe the hair growth triggering vegetables were likely cultivated in ancient Rome and may date back to as early as the 13th century.
Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species which includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. They are cruciferous (they belong to the Brassicaceae family - old name Cruciferae).
Although they contain compounds such as goitrin that can act as goitrogens and may in some situations interfere with thyroid hormone production. Realistic amounts in the diet do not seem to have any effect on the function of the thyroid gland in humans.
Nutritional And Medicinal Value Of Brussel Sprouts
Listed below are the nutritional and medicinal value of Brussels sprouts, raw (edible parts only).
per100g (3.5 oz)
US recommendationsfor adults*
|Vitamin A (equiv)||38 μg||(5%)|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.139 mg||(12%)|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.090 mg||(8%)|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.745 mg||(5%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.309 mg||(6%)|
|Folate Acide (Vit. B9)||61 μg||(15%)|
|Vitamin C||85 mg||(102%)|
|Vitamin E||0.88 mg||(6%)|
|Vitamin K||177 μg||(169%)|
* USDA Nutrient Database
It should also be noted Brussel sprouts have the following values:
Energy 179 kJ (43 kcal)Carbohydrates 8.95 g-
Sugars 2.2 g-Dietary fiber 3.8 g
Fat 0.30 gProtein 3.38 g
Brussel Sprouts - Vitamins And MineralsWhich Encourage Hair Growth
Brussel sprouts contain an excellent source of vitamin C which has been proven to be important in helping to promote healthy hair growth.
Not only does vitamin C, an antioxidant, strengthen the immune system, it assists in metabolizing B vitamins and amino acids into the body.
Properly balanced B vitamins and amino acids have been proven key in triggering and maintaining optimal healthy hair growth.
Vitamin C Deficiency And Hair
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C may help protect against free radical damage which can result in hair becoming dry, weak, brittle or thinning.
Free radical damage may also slow the natural hair growth cycle. The vitamin C in Brussel sprouts may help to prevent free radical damage.
Some scientists believe a diet enriched with the proper levels of vitamin C (500 to 1,000 mg at least two times daily) may help to prevent or combat alopecia, hirsutism or even male pattern baldness.
Brussel sprouts also contain Vitamin A which is important for scalp health. Vitamin A is known to stimulate hair follicles as well as encourage the scalp to produce much needed root and hair hydration.
Vitamin A deficiencies may lead to dry scalp, roots and strands which can contribute to hair loss. When the scalp, roots and strands receive proper levels of Vitamin A it will encourage healthy hair growth.
Brussel sprouts also are rich in Vitamin E which helps generate new blood vessels and increase circulation to the scalp and roots.
When the scalp and roots are receiving proper circulation it helps trigger new hair growth which encouraging hair health.
Vitamin K, a non-B complex vitamin which is fat-soluble, helps to maintain healthy hair as well as helping trigger hair growth.
Vitamin K helps the body build proteins which are necessary for strong roots and strands as well as a healthy scalp. Brussel sprouts are a great source of Vitamin K.
Brussel sprouts include excellent levels of iron. Healthy hair which is growing at its maximum potential requires iron which carries oxygen to the hair. When the body is deficient in iron, oxygen may not be carried to the scalp, roots and tresses.
Hair which is starved for proper levels of oxygen may weaken, fall out and stop growing. Studies have shown that people with an iron deficiency may experience a range of hair loss conditions. Researchers have found that if hair loss is already an issue, deficient levels of iron in the body may exacerbate the problem.
Brussel sprouts contains zinc, a necessary building block for healthy hair growth and maintenance. Proper levels of zinc contributes to sebum production which keeps the scalp, roots and strands hydrated.
Zinc also provides cell regeneration and protein synthesis. A chronic zinc deficiency may lead to stalled hair growth. Worse, it may contribute to hair loss.
Cooking And Preparation
The most common method of preparing Brussels sprouts for cooking begins with removal of the buds from the stalk. Any surplus stem is cut away and the surface leaves loosened by this cutting are peeled and discarded.
Cooking methods include boiling, steaming, stir frying and roasting; however, boiling results in significant loss of anticancer compounds.
To ensure even cooking throughout, buds of a similar size are usually chosen. Some cooks will make a single cut or a cross in the center of the stem to aid the penetration of heat. Overcooking Brussel sprouts may result in them becoming grey and soft with an exceptional strong flavor.
Hair Healthy Brussel Sprout Recipes
Brussels sprouts, like other brassicas, contains sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of the anticancer compounds, steaming, and stir frying do not result in significant loss.
There are several great ways to prepare Brussel sprouts. One popular method is to saute thinly sliced Brussel sprouts in butter until tender. Toss with cooked fettuccine, sliced prosciutto and grated fresh Parmesan.
If you prefer, you can roast Brussel sprouts. Toss halved Brussel sprouts with olive oil and then roast until tender. Toss in golden raisins, chopped hazelnuts near the end of cooking.
One other option is to toss thinly sliced Brussel sprouts with thinly sliced apples, fresh thyme, olive oil with a dash of fresh lemon juice.
Packed with phytonutrients, Brussel sprouts offer a wide range of hair health and hair growth benefits.Besides all the hair growth and hair health benefits Brussels sprouts as well as other brassicas are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells. It also appears to block the growth of cancer cells.