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Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Latin Name : Brassica oleracea (Gemmifera Group)

Brussels sprouts are a miniature cabbage lookalike vegetable, belonging to the green leafy vegetables, the cruciferous group. It is thought to have originated in the 13th century in Brussels, Belgium and hence its name.

It is a cool-weather vegetable, the yield being best at temperatures of 59 - 64 deg F. Brussels sprouts belong to the same family as cabbage, collard greens, kale, broccoli.

Basically, they are the buds that grow in the axils of leaves which whorl around a thick central stem or stalk, in a helical fashion. These buds or sprouts as they are sometimes called, start maturing from below upwards. The buds are harvested when they are 1-2 inches in diameter but before the lower leaves start turning yellow. Brussels sprouts can be harvested several times or the entire stalk can be harvested at one go.

Brussels sprouts can be eaten by boiling, microwaving, steaming, stir-frying or roasting. Boiling destroys a lot many nutrients, in fact, anti-cancer compounds. Other modes of cooking do not affect nutrient levels much.

Overcooking can destroy their flavour and taste. For best health benefits, cut brussels sprouts and let them sit for 5 minutes, to extract the maximum health-giving components, and then steam them.

Brussels Sprouts Plants

Freeze Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be frozen to avail their benefits when they are not available fresh.

Select green, firm and compact heads. Make sure they are free of insects. Remove all yellow or brown leaves and then wash them well. Sort them into 3 sizes.

Next, blanch them in water for -

  • 3 minutes for small heads
  • 4 minutes for medium heads
  • 5 minutes for large heads

Cool immediately in cold water below 60 deg F or under the ice. Take care to ensure the cooling is done for the same amount of time as blanching.

Drain the water. Put in freezer bags, seal and freeze.

Steaming Brussels Sprouts

Cut brussels sprouts into quarters and let them sit for 5 minutes, to enhance the health-giving nutrients, before steaming them or cooking it the way you wish to.

Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Facts

  • They are high in Vitamins C and K, with 100 grams providing about 140% of daily need of Vit C & 150% of the daily requirement of Vit K.
  • Low in Calories and fat, just 45 calories in 100 grams.
  • Contain a decent amount of dietary fiber.
  • No cholesterol.
  • Presence of appreciable amounts of Vitamins A & E.
  • Rich in minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese, calcium and phosphorus while being low in sodium.
  • Good amounts of many B complex vitamins including folates.

Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Value

 Brussel sprouts (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) fresh, Nutrition value per 100 g 

 

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

 

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

43 Kcal

2%

Carbohydrates

8.95 g

7%

Protein

3.38 g

6%

Total Fat

0.30 g

1%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

3.80 g

10%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

61 mcg

15%

Niacin

0.745 mg

4.50%

Pantothenic acid

0.309 mg

6%

Pyridoxine

0.219 mg

17%

Riboflavin

0.90 mg

7%

Thiamin

0.139 mg

13%

Vitamin A

754 IU

25%

Vitamin C

85 mg

142%

Vitamin K

177 mcg

147%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

25 mg

1.50%

Potassium

389 mg

8%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

42 mg

4%

Copper

0.70 mg

8%

Iron

1.40 mg

17.50%

Magnesium

23 mg

6%

Manganese

0.337 mg

15%

Phosphorus

69 mg

10%

Selenium

1.6 mcg

3%

Zinc

0.42 mg

4%

Phyto-nutrients

 

 

Alpha - Carotene

6 mcg

--

Beta - Carotene

450 mcg

--

Crypto-xanthin-beta

0 mcg

--

Lutein-zeaxanthin

1590 mcg

--

Brussels Sprouts On The Central Stem

Brussels Sprouts Health benefits

Pub Med has done about 100 studies on brussels sprouts and more than half of these are on its health benefits in relation to cancer.

Brussels sprouts contain the highest amount of total glucosinolates content among all cruciferous vegetables.

  • The phytochemicals, thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates provide excellent protection against breast, lung, prostate, colon, ovary cancers.
  • The glucoside sinigrin also provides protection against colon cancer by destroying the precancerous cells.
  • The antioxidants Vitamins A, C & E prevent free radical damage.
  • Zeaxanthin prevents macular degeneration of the eye, a form of retinal damage.
  • The high Vitamin K levels provide bones strength, control neuron damage in the brain, thus benefiting in Alzheimer's.
  • The various minerals control the heart rate, blood pressure, promote haemoglobin formation and prevent oxidation of tissues.
  • The high fibre content reduces cholesterol as well as many digestive issues like constipation, indigestion and also lowers blood sugar and controls weight. Sulforaphane also prevents the growth of H.Pylori in the stomach.
  • Vitamins A, C, E, and manganese as well as the flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol, etc, control free radical damage.
  • Glucobrassicin gets converted to Indole-3-carbinol, and along with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin K fights many inflammatory conditions.
  • Sulforaphane is an anti-inflammatory. It prevents blood vessel damage, heart attack and atherosclerosis. Folate suppresses homocysteine formation and thus prevents heart disease.

W.H.Foods suggest consuming 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, 4 to 5 times a week to derive the maximum health benefits.

Coles de Brucelas

Braised Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts can be braised in saltwater as

  • It cooks them faster
  • It brings out their natural flavour without the typical smell and taste that many people dislike.

Brussels sprouts can be braised with plain water or a broth or even by their own moisture.

Brussels Sprouts For Weight Loss

Brussels sprouts are extremely low in fats and have no cholesterol. Importantly they are high in protein. With the added advantage of being nutritionally rich in a variety of vitamins and dietary fibre. This makes brussels sprouts an ideal food to incorporate in a weight loss diet. Their consumption ensures that even when dieting, the requirement of enough vitamins and minerals so important to everyday body functions is met.

Precautions

As with all cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts too may cause swelling of the thyroid gland. Therefore those with thyroid gland issues should avoid its consumption.

This does not mean that brussels sprouts are goitrogenic or goitre causing. It is just that, certain substances in these cruciferous foods react to unique health circumstances in certain people to cause enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

More On Brussels Sprouts

Some of my other hubs on Healthy Foods

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts - The Indian Way

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

julieannbrady on September 01, 2014:

I too love Brussels Sprouts and have been promoting them for years. It's nice to meet somebody else who loves them as much as me. I always told everyone, they are good for you.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 26, 2013:

Thanks moonlake.

moonlake from America on January 26, 2013:

I make brussels sprouts for most every family get together, our youngest son loves them. Good information. Voted up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 31, 2012:

Sue, moderation is the keyword in everything, Even healthy food can harm if taken in excess. Most of the green leafy vegetables are very rich in vitamin K and vitamin K is a blood coagulant. So it is imperative that foods containing vitamin K in high quantities are consumed moderately as also proper precautions should be taken if any medicines are taken.

Glad you husband got medical aid in time.

Thanks for your input.

Sue on December 30, 2012:

My husband loved his green veggies. He ate a couple of large portions per day. He was taken to hospital breathless and eventually was diagnosed with clots on both lungs. Had the doctor not realised he was ill and not sent him to hospital he would have been dead the next day! He is now on warfarin for life. A dose of 11mg per day. His blood is now stable; he rarely eats any green veggies now. Maybe once a week he will have kale, broccoli or cabbage.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 30, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by Perrya.

perrya on December 28, 2012:

I love them with salt and butter.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 28, 2012:

Thanks for the visit Au fait. Glad you like this healthy vegetable.

C E Clark from North Texas on December 28, 2012:

I have always loved Brussels sprouts since one of our neighbors brought us some from her garden when I was about 11. They're one of my favorite vegetables. I like them steamed with just a little butter, but your recipes here look yummy too!

Voted up and useful!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 03, 2012:

@ dwachira - Thanks for reading. Nice to know you found it interesting and useful. Thanks for sharing.

@ HyphenBird - always a pleasure to have your comments, Brenda. Thanks.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on November 02, 2012:

Now I have to have brussels sprouts. These recipes look so good. I love the caramelized recipe. Oh I love them all! We have not had brussels sprouts in a long time. I will pick up some today. Thanks for the heath information and the recipes. My vote is YUM.

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on November 01, 2012:

Hi Rajan,

It is obvious that you really take time to prepare your hubs, they are well informing and the write up is well organized. I didn't know Brussels sprouts can be frozen for more benefits. Great article, voted up and shared.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 24, 2012:

@ midget - Thanks for reading and leaving your comments Michelle and thanks for sharing too.

@ everythingdazzles - Glad you liked the hub, Janelle. Thanks for visiting.

Janelle from Houston on October 22, 2012:

Love all of the suggestion. Brussels sprouts are so tasty and awesome. Thank you.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on October 22, 2012:

Like brussels, Rajan, just find them a bit bitter! But they're chock full of benefits, as this comprehensive hub well outlines. I share this as well!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 13, 2012:

@ dinkan - thanks for reading. appreciate the sharing.

@ Esmeowl - you are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on October 13, 2012:

I am trying to serve more brussels sprouts at our meals and am always looking for a variety of ways to serve them. Thanks for the great ideas.

dinkan53 from India on October 13, 2012:

Smaller sprouts are tastier and i love to have it in roasted form with salt and olive oil or as steamed form. Thanks for sharing the health benefits of brussels sprouts. Voted and shared.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 08, 2012:

@ Dee aka Nonna - Thanks for your input and compliments.

@ janshares - Appreciate your sparing time to read and appreciate. Thanks for stopping by.

@ alocsin - thanks for reading. Appreciate the votes and sharing.

@ rebecca - glad you liked the write up. Thanks for the visit.

@ Gypsy - Thanks Rasma, for the read, compliments and sharing.

@ Angelo - thanks for being here. Glad to see you.

@ Sueswan - glad you know this small but very useful tip. Always a pleasure to see you.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 08, 2012:

@ Ruchi - thanks for visiting.

@ donnah - thanks for reading and sharing.

@ lambservant - glad you like the information. thanks for stopping by.

@ Brett - thanks for taking out time to read and share. Much appreciated.

@ Life and Luxury - I do hope you try making Brussels sprouts the Indian way. Thanks for visiting.

@ TT - Thanks for all the compliments. Appreciate your sparing time to read, comment and share.

Sueswan on October 08, 2012:

Hi Rajan,

I like brussels sprouts steamed. I did not know that they should be left to sit for five minutes before steaming.

I thought of my dad when I read your hub. He was not a big vegetable eater but he loved brussels sprouts. :)

Voted up and awesome

Angelo52 on October 08, 2012:

Lots of good information. I usually buy my sprouts frozen and microwave, then add a few italian mix herbs to season.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on October 08, 2012:

Another interesting and informative hub. Now we're talking about one of my absolutely favorite little round green veggies. Love these. Thanks for the additional information and passing this on.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 07, 2012:

I love Brussel sprouts. Thanks for the reminder to get some soon and cook them up. I knew they were nutritious but WOW! What a lone list!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on October 07, 2012:

We actually cook these a lot -- my favorite way is broiling them with a bit of garlic. Gives them a slight crisp and makes them delicious. Voting this Up and Useful. SHARED.

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on October 07, 2012:

Thank you for this hub, rajan. I absolutely LOVE brussel sprouts, fresh or frozen. This was very helpful to me regarding medicinal value, some of which I was not aware, and cooking methods. I will keep these points in mind. Voted up and useful. The pics are gorgeous and thanks for the divider link.

Dee aka Nonna on October 07, 2012:

I love brussel sprouts and always knew they, like most green vegetables, are healthy but never realize just how healthy. Thanks for bringing all their benefits to light. My children loved them when they were little but by the time they became teenagers they would not touch them and as adults they have not changed their opinion....LOL. I have always loved them. The pictures of the recipes look great...will have to give them a try.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on October 07, 2012:

omg, the roasted Brussels sprouts looked heavenly! Thank you for all the useful information and the amazing recipes, Rajan. Voted up and shared.

Life and Luxury from South Beach, FL on October 07, 2012:

I love these little suckers. I think I am going to try Brussels Sprouts the Indian way. I usually eat them lightly boiled, steamed, or roasted. Thanks for devoting a hub to one of my favorite veggies.

Brett C from Asia on October 07, 2012:

Another very informative hub. These are a great vegetable to include in your diet. It is just a shame that they cause many people 'unpleasant side effects' lol ... some just seem to be able to clear a room very quickly after eating these healthy vegetables.

Shared, up and useful.

Lori Colbo from United States on October 06, 2012:

I am crazy for Brussels sprouts. I love the first YouTube recipe. Thanks for a wonderful and salivations hub.

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on October 06, 2012:

Brussel sprouts have a bad reputation, which led me to avoid them for most of my life. However, I tried them for the first time about a month ago. They were great! I will be eating these healthy little nuggets a lot more often. Great hub. Voted up and sharing.

Ruchi Urvashi from Singapore on October 06, 2012:

Great information on brussel sprouts. I need to try out this vegetable. Well written.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

Thanks Deborah. I know I can count on your continued support. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Take care.

Deborah from Las Vegas on October 05, 2012:

thanks Rajan, I know it's not an easy answer, I just wanted your opinion.

Thank you for your wonderful hubs and hard work in research!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

@ rcrumple - Richard, thanks for reading even though you are not a big fan of this vegetable. Glad to know you got tickled with this video. Thanks for stopping by my friend.

@ ehealer - well, this question is a tough nut to crack, Deborah. I'm not a nutritionist so I'd rather go by the various standards set for fat and other nutrient intake. That said, it also depends on the lifestyle, weight, age and most importantly the state of one's health.

@ KDuBarry - nice to know you are thinking of giving it another shot. Thanks for the visit and share.

@ Relationshipc - thanks for your input. I'm happy to note you found the hub useful. Thanks for visiting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

@ Marlene - I'm glad you like the info in my hubs. Thanks for finding the recipes useful hope you try them out. Thanks for the compliments and I appreciate your visit.

@ Jamie - Thanks Jamie for the visit, input and compliments. Much appreciated.

@ Martie - thanks so much. I'm glad you found it informative.

@ Vellur - Nithya, I'm glad you decided to give a try again. Thanks for all the kind words.

@ Audrey - thank you. Appreciate your visit.

Kari on October 05, 2012:

Awesome hub! We just had some Brussel Sprouts from our local farmers market, and I was wondering how nutritious they really are...now I know! They pack a lot of good value for such tiny things. We steamed them, and unlike perrya, I love the smell of them. Probably because I grew up smelling cabbage rolls as a kid and I am familiar with that scent for holidays and fun times.

KDuBarry03 on October 05, 2012:

I never cared for brussel sprouts, but my mom loves them a lot. Maybe I should give brussel sprouts another chance. Thanks for sharing, Rajan! Sharing this across twitter and the like.

Deborah from Las Vegas on October 05, 2012:

Hello Rajan! I had no idea that brussel sprouts were so good for you. I hated them as a kid, now I love them. Rajan, how much healthy fat do you think the average person needs daily. When I say healthy, I mean from lean sources, like cold water fish, avocados, small handful of nuts.

Rich from Kentucky on October 05, 2012:

Rajan -

Great presentation, but I can't handle this vegetable. The taste is simply not to my liking at all. Great job of providing all the vital information and benefits. The video had me laughing. This person obviously has way too much money considering the home and kitchen size and appliances. Great Hub!

Audrey Howitt from California on October 05, 2012:

I love Brussel's Sprouts! And some wonderful ideas here about what to do with them

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 05, 2012:

I do not like brussel sprouts, but after reading your hub I will try eating them. Very useful hub. All your hubs are very useful and gives a lot of information that benefits everyone specially in the health point of view. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on October 05, 2012:

Rajan, this is an excellent and well-researched hub about brussels sprouts health benefits. I LOVE brussels sprouts!

Jamie Brock from Texas on October 05, 2012:

I have always loved Brussels sprouts..I haven't had them in a while but they really are the perfect diet food- no fat, filling and they taste good just by themselves.. at least in my opinion. I would usually eat the steamed. I've never tried them braised like described in your hub... but it sounds yummy. Thank you for sharing. Voting up and useful :)

Marlene Bertrand from USA on October 05, 2012:

You always have the most informative hubs. I learned a lot about the benefits of brussel sprouts. But, I never knew that brussel sprouts could cause swelling of the thyroid gland in some people. That's something good to know. As a child I could barely stand to eat brussel sprouts. Now, as an adult, they are one of my favorite vegetables. I simply must try the caramelized brussel sprouts. Thank you for the recipes.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, perrya.

perrya on October 05, 2012:

Love them. But they so stink when cooking.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

Bill, I'm glad you're catching up, slowly but surely. It pleases me to know, thank you.

You too have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 05, 2012:

We just harvested ours out of our garden....great crop this year. Finally I know something about one of your hubs. Thanks for the great information about health benefits. I'll remember that while I'm eating our sprouts.

Have a great weekend my friend!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

Hi Linda,

Glad you found this useful and informative. I'm sure you'll like the Indian style brussels sprouts. Glad to see you and thanks for visiting.

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on October 05, 2012:

I love brussel spouts but I learned a lot about them in this hub. The Indian recipe looks delicious and I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for good information and a new recipe!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

Hi Carol,

Leaving them a bit crunchy does leave more nutrients intact. However it definitely tastes better when cooked more. I'm glad you like my hubs. Thanks for the compliments and the visit.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 05, 2012:

Hi Mycee,

Yes, they are indeed cute looking. Thanks for coming by & sharing.

carol stanley from Arizona on October 05, 2012:

We eat these little gems often. I usually like veggies very crunchy but these do taste better with a little more cooking. I knew they had tons of vitamins but they are really healthful . Thanks for sharing all this information. I always enjoy reading your hubs. Voting UP.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on October 05, 2012:

Wow! this looks so cool! like tiny cabbage :)

sharing this

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