Nutritional & Health Facts About Brussels Sprouts

Dr. Purushothaman
April 21, 2024

Brussels sprouts look like tiny cabbages. They are small are leafy green buds. Most health-conscious people prefer the consumption of Brussels sprouts as it is a storehouse of nutrition. This vegetable is full-on rich in protein, dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins and even antioxidants.

Brussels sprouts grow in cool climatic conditions and in places where there is frosting. This winter crop reaches around 90 cm in height. The sprouts grow from the stalk right from the base towards the top. The sprout looks just like cabbage in miniature, around 1 inch in diameter. The sprout is filled with a cluster of thick leaves arranged thickly in a round shape.

The tip of the stalk is trimmed so that the sprouts which are at the bottom part of the stalk starts developing into equal-sized ones. The growing buds should be in shade and not under direct sunlight as hot weather will make the buds lose and not so compact. Europe and the United States are the countries that use Brussels sprouts in large numbers.

 Following are the important benefits of Brussels sprouts

  • Brussels sprouts are very nutritious and are usually included in the diet of any health-conscious person. It contains protein, dietary fibre and no cholesterol.
  • Even though it is small in size, the amount of nutrition it contains is very surprising. It is a storehouse of antioxidants like isothiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, indoles and sulforaphane. These antioxidants give protection from cancers such as colon cancer, prostate cancer and endometrial cancer.
  • It contains Glucoside named sinigrin, which helps in fighting against colon cancers as they destroy cells that are prone to become cancerous.
  • It is a good source of Vitamin C, vitamin A and Vitamin e, these help protect the human body from all kinds of virus infections caused by the free radicals.
  • The very important dietary carotenoid that is found in Brussels sprouts is Zea-xanthin, which is absorbed into the retina of the eye that helps in providing antioxidants that help in UV light filtering.
  • Vitamin A present in Brussels sprouts helps in keeping mucosa healthy and give a glow to the skin. It is also very essential for eye health. Vitamin A also helps in preventing oral cancer as well as lung cancer.
  • Bone health is maintained when the consumption of food containing Vitamin K is taken regularly. Brussels sprouts contain vitamin K in abundance that helps to promote bone health. It also helps in decreasing damage to the nerves in the brain. In short, it is very essential in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. So it is advisable to consume this vegetable regularly and include it in the daily diet to gain more health benefits.
  • Our body’s metabolism is maintained with the help of vitamins like Vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, niacin and thiamin. Sprouts contain a good supply of Vitamin B complex which is very essential for the body.
  • Potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, iron and phosphorus are the minerals that are found in abundance in sprouts. Consuming a very small amount of 100g is sufficient for the body to gain proper nutrition that helps it to remain healthy.

Selecting and storing Brussels sprouts

The sprouts grow well in cold climatic conditions. It is harvested as soon as the buds at the lower part become mature and are an inch in diameter. The features of fresh sprouts are firm top, with compact dark green heads. Do not pick loose leaved yellow coloured and light ones.

You can store it in a zip lock pouch inside the refrigerator if you want the vegetable fresh for two-three days.

Preparing and serving

Remove discoloured ones and remove the outer leaves of fresh ones. You need to trim the stem end off. Then wash and soak in saltwater for some minutes. This will remove dirt and insect eggs from it. Blanch the sprouts in boiling water for five minutes and cook them.

It can be steamed, cooked or boiled. Roasted and salted ones serve as snacks. Mix blanched ones and braise with other vegetables to serve as a side dish. These are also added to chicken casseroles.


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