Fertility Superfoods: Sprout it Out Loud! Brussels Are Great For You!
I had this brussels sprouts dish in a dimly lit fancy-pants restaurant posing as a speakeasy bar in New York almost 10 years ago and knew that I had to make it at home. It’s a great side dish to add to your Thanksgiving dinner since this is the peak harvest time for this nutritious crop. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables that include cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. Cruciferous veggies are all superheroes in the fertility food game.
Cruciferous veggies have a phytonutrient called Diindolylmethane (DIM) that helps clear excess estrogen from your body. Too much estrogen is often associated with endometriosis which is characterized by very heavy, painful periods and infertility. Estrogen dominance can also contribute to symptoms such as weight gain (particularly around the hips), swollen and tender breasts, fibrocystic breasts, irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, hormonal headaches, poor memory, insomnia and fatigue.
Brussel sprouts are high in folic acid which is a nutrient that is essential for proper cellular division. A deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy has been linked to miscarriages and birth defects because without it, the cells of the fetus’ nervous system do not divide correctly.
Sulforophane is a highly potent antioxidant found in cruciferous veggies. It is in highest concentrations in broccoli sprouts, but brussels sprouts also boast a high content of this anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory phytonutrient.
Brussels Sprouts Tossed with Bacon, Almonds and Cranberries
3 cups of brussels sprouts, washed and quartered
3 slices of organic bacon, diced
2 TB Grass-fed Butter (make your own by following the recipe on this link!)
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds
Before you get all huffy about how much fat is in this dish, get with the times! Nutrition scientists are coming out with studies on almost a weekly basis refuting the “Fat is bad for you” myth. At Acubalance, we’ve been saying that fat is necessary for a balanced fertility diet for years now because fat is one of the building blocks the body needs to create steroid hormones.
Bring a pot of water to boil.
Prepare the brussels sprouts by washing and quartering them.
Blanche brussels sprouts by dropping them into a pot with enough water to completely cover them.
Boil brussels sprouts for five minutes.
Remove the brussels sprouts from the pot with a slotted spoon and drop them into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.
Dice bacon. (Tip: It’s easier to dice or slice bacon if it is frozen so stick it in the freezer 2-3 hours before cooking)
Brown bacon on medium heat until crispy.
Brown brussels sprouts in a pan with butter.
Toss crispy bacon, browned brussels sprouts, with the slivered almonds and dried cranberries (or fresh pomegranate seeds).