By Sawyer Carlton

While not everyone is fond of the Brussels sprout, there is no denying it is one of the healthiest vegetables around. Thought to originate near Brussels, Belgium, the Brussels sprout began to spread across Europe during World War I and is now fighting cancer and increasing fiber counts for people around the globe.

Brussels sprouts have a distasteful reputation, and now there is science to explain why. A study conducted by Cornwall College in 2011 found that Brussels sprouts contain a compound that tastes bitter to certain people, however 50 percent of the population has a mutation that prevents them from experiencing the bitterness.

Despite their taste, these miniature-sized, cabbage-like vegetables are known to prevent common types of cancer. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, Brussels sprouts provide nutrients to the body’s detox system, antioxidant system and inflammatory/anti-inflammatory systems. When any of these systems are unbalanced, there is a significant increase in risk of cancer. Chemicals in this cruciferous vegetable aid in balancing these body systems and therefore help to prevent breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer and more.

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, there are 4 grams of fiber in every cup of Brussels sprouts as well as certain compounds that protect the lining of your stomach from bacterial overgrowth, helping your digestive track go with the flow. Brussels sprouts are also chock-full of vitamins C and K. Although their flavor may prevent them from being enjoyed by all, these little sprouts are extremely beneficial to your overall health!