Brussels Sprouts

About brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts Nutritional Profile

Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: High

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: High

Sodium: Low

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C

Major mineral contribution: Potassium, iron


About the Nutrients in Brussels Sprouts


Brussels sprouts are high in dietary fiber, especially insoluble cellulose and lignan in the leaf ribs. They are also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C.


One-half cup fresh, cooked Brussels sprouts has 3 g dietary fiber, 1,110 IU vitamin A (22 percent of the RDA for a man, 28 percent of the RDA for a woman), 47 mcg folate (23.5 percent of the RDA for a man, 26 percent of the RDA for a woman), and 48 mg vitamin C (80 percent of the RDA).


Brussels sprouts also contain an antinutrient, a natural chemical that splits the thiamin (vitamin B1) molecule so that it is no longer nutritionally useful. This thiamin inhibitor is inactivated by cooking.


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Brussels Sprouts


Fresh, lightly steamed to preserve the vitamin C and inactivate the antinutrient.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Brussels Sprouts


Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet


Buying Brussels Sprouts


Look for: Firm, compact heads with bright, dark-green leaves, sold loose so that you can choose the sprouts one at a time. Brussels sprouts are available all year round.


Avoid: Puffy, soft sprouts with yellow or wilted leaves. The yellow carotenes in the leaves show through only when the leaves age and their green chlorophyll pigments fade. Wilting leaves and puffy, soft heads are also signs of aging.


Avoid sprouts with tiny holes in the leaves through which insects have burrowed.


Storing Brussels Sprouts


Store the brussels sprouts in the refrigerator. While they are most nutritious if used soon after harvesting, sprouts will keep their vitamins (including their heat-sensitive vitamin C) for several weeks in in the refrigerator.


Store the sprouts in a plastic bag or covered bowl to protect them from moisture loss.

More Cooking Guide