Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Facts

Calories and Their Health Benefits

Pan of brussels sprouts
sf_foodphoto/E+/Getty Images.

Brussels sprouts have been around for hundreds of years, first being cultivated around 1700. You can purchase Brussels sprouts in bags with each individual sprout having been picked off its thick stalk or you can purchase a Brussels sprout stalk, which hosts small heads of Brussels sprouts neatly side by side in rows. Either way, they produce a strong flavor and pair well with meat and nuts.

Frozen Brussels sprouts are available all year long.

There are several varieties of fresh Brussels sprouts, which peak season is November through February.

Brussels sprouts are low in carbohydrate and calories and contain a large amount of filling fiber.

Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup cooked with no fat (155 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 56 
Calories from Fat 7 
Total Fat 0.8g1%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 33mg1%
Potassium 491.83mg14%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Dietary Fiber 4.1g16%
Sugars 2.7g 
Protein 4g 
Vitamin A 24% · Vitamin C 160%
Calcium 6% · Iron 10%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts, steamed without fat, contains about 56 calories and 4.1 grams of fiber, making it a low calorie, high fiber food. Consider how much fat you are using when preparing Brussels sprouts, as many recipes call for butter and bacon and can quickly make this low calorie food a high calorie one.

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts 

Brussels sprouts are a very good source of fiber, containing about 16 percent of your daily needs in one cup cooked.Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate that helps to keep you full, pulls cholesterol away from the heart, regulates bowels, and can help to stabilize blood sugar.

 

They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, with a cup providing more than the day's requirement of these vitamins. Vitamin C is an important water soluble vitamin that helps to repair tissues, boost immunity and can be useful in anti-aging. Vitamin K is an important fat soluble vitamin that plays a role in bone formation and blood clotting. For those on Coumadin, it's important to keep your vitamin K intake consistent. Aim to eat the same amount of green leafy vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, and kale daily. 

They are also a very good source of vitamin A, folate, and manganese, and a good source of vitamin B6 and thiamine.

In addition, Brussels sprouts are one of the cruciferous vegetables shown to have anti-cancer properties. There is some evidence that this may be accomplished in part by activating certain enzymes in the liver, which bind to carcinogens.

Common Questions About Brussels Sprouts

How do I prevent my sprouts from becoming ugly, green, and mushy?

The key to making a beautiful looking and flavorful Brussels sprout is to avoid overcooking. Cooking too much can cause the coloring to fade, appearing drab and khaki in nature.

To reduce cooking time you can blanch your Brussels sprouts first.

This will help to brighten the green in them, too. Place them in boiling salted water for about 30 seconds and then transfer them to an ice bath to slow down the cooking process. When you are ready to prepare them for consumption, cook them as you wish and serve them immediately.

Picking and Storing Brussels Sprouts 

Brussels sprouts can be purchased fresh or frozen. Choose small, firm sprouts that are compact and heavy. The best size sprouts are 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches (2 to 4 centimeters) in diameter. They should appear bright green and free of blemishes.

Store unwashed Brussels sprouts in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Use within three or four days.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Brussels Sprouts 

Brussel sprouts can be steamed, roasted, stir-fried, or shredded to use in slaws. They are a popular food item on low carbohydrate diets, probably due to their rich, heartiness and strong, nutty flavor. Cook them simply with a small amount of salt, pepper, and olive oil or fancy them up by adding heart healthy nuts and spices.

Aim to avoid high calorie, high fat recipes which use a large amount of butter, cheese, cream, or cured meats such as bacon. These recipes can be very high in calorie and unhealthy fat.

Recipes With Brussels Sprouts 

Many people make a sour face when they think of Brussels sprouts, but this vegetable is nutritious and delicious when prepared properly. Give your sprouts a makeover and experiment with these recipes.

Sources:

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 617.

Continue Reading