The Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts—Plus, Four Great Recipes to Try
Though small in size, Brussels are loaded with vitamins and minerals and each sprout is an antioxidant powerhouse.
You either love them or you hate them: That's how it is for many people when it comes to Brussels sprouts. We're here to sing the praises of this diminutive green vegetable because Brussels sprouts are healthy and delicious. They're part of the cruciferous family of vegetables along with cauliflower and broccoli, and though small in size, they are loaded with vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and potassium. Brussels sprouts are also antioxidant powerhouses that help to ward off free radicals which play a role in the development of some cancers and trigger an accelerated rate of aging.
Other ways that Brussels sprouts are healthy? Well, they're low in calories; one cup contains 56 calories and has four grams of fiber. Fiber is an important part of our diets as it helps our digestive tract stay healthy and encourages regular bowel movements. It also helps to reduce cholesterol levels which can, in essence, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. And they are so versatile, so you can enjoy eating them prepared in different ways; whether you choose to roast them, sauté them, or turn them into a salad, just know that overcooking Brussels sprouts produces a sulfur-like smell—this is likely what turns people off.
Fun fact: The bitter taste that some people experience when they eat Brussels sprouts or other cabbages may be directly related to genes (gene TAS2R38, to be specific). But if you do like to enjoy them? Then you're in luck: We're sharing four recipes featuring Brussels sprouts that that will add both flavor and fiber to your diet.
Brussels Sprout Lemon Pizza
A good strategy for healthy pizza is to always top it with as many vegetables as possible. This delicious recipe is a quick and easy route to homemade pizza; it uses store-bought dough topped with Brussels sprout leaves, lemon slices, and both mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheese. It's a simple combination that tastes indulgent.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts
Loaded with antioxidants, this Brussels sprouts dish is as pretty as a picture and well balanced for flavor. The sweetness of the grapes is perfect with the nutty flavors of the walnuts and the roasted Brussels sprouts.
Shaved Brussels Sprout, Meyer Lemon, and Quinoa Salad
Yes, salad! Raw Brussels are paired with quinoa, a plant-based protein that is delicious cold in a salad, served warm as a side dish or combined with vegetables for a complete meal full of flavor and fiber. The crushed pepper flakes adds a little spice to this hearty salad.
Spiced Lemon Brussels Sprouts
This super-easy side dish pairs perfectly with roast chicken, lamb chops, or broiled fish. For a vegetarian option, add sautéed chickpeas to bump up the protein. The Brussels are tossed in olive oil and curry powder, which gives a unique, deep and earthy flavor, and then topped with lemon zest to enhance the natural flavors of the Brussels sprouts.