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While Brussels Sprouts are a staple at any Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, adding more of these “mini cabbages” into your weekly diet can provide some significant health benefits. October – November is peak sprout season, so there’s no better time to start adding them to your fall plate. 

Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which provide above-average amounts of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and phytonutrients. Brussels sprouts, in particular, have specific nutritional properties that make them a must-add to your diet.

Nutrition for 1 cup, cooked

  • 56 calories
  • .7 g fat
  • 4 g protein
  • 11 g carbs
  • 4 g fiber
  • 243% recommended daily amount of vitamin K
  • 129% recommended daily amount of vitamin C

Benefits

  • Gut Health: The fiber in Brussels sprouts can help keep you regular and reduce constipation. Additionally, fiber promotes healthy digestion by feeding the bacteria in your gut. Research has determined that the chemical sulforaphane made from brussels sprouts helps protect the stomach lining by preventing bacterial overgrowth. 
  • Vitamin K: This vitamin helps to make various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and the building of bones. Vitamin K is found throughout the body, including the brain, liver, heart, pancreas, and bone. Increased blood levels of vitamin K have been linked to improved memory in adults as well. 
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Brussels sprouts contain the sulfur-containing compound glucosinolate, regulating the body’s inflammatory system and preventing unwanted inflammation. 
  • Vitamin C: As stated above, a cup of sprouts will give you about 130% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. While this vitamin is known for its immune-boosting properties, Vitamin C is important in the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and neurotransmitters. Lastly, it can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet, especially plant sources of iron that may otherwise be difficult to absorb fully. 
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Research has linked that intake of cruciferous veggies such as brussels sprouts to a decreased risk of diabetes. This goes back to their antioxidant and fiber content, helping in blood sugar regulation and insulin levels. 

Uses

  • Roasted with balsamic vinegar and honey
  • Shaved and eat raw in a salad/grain bowl
  • Roast, Shave and use as a crispy topping for pizzas or flatbreads
  • Toss in your favorite pasta dish or casserole for a nutritional boost 

Author: Emily Kahn | Miami University | Class of 2022 | B.S. in Kinesiology and Nutrition @ems.eatz