Few foods have a more polarizing effect than brussels sprouts. Luckily for you, we have an amazing Winter Sprout and Pistachio Salad recipe this week that is sure to make you love them. You can access that recipe here.
Some Brussel Sprout Facts
Brussels sprouts are scientifically known as Brassica oleracea var. Gemmifera, and visually, you can see that they are closely related to cabbage. They are also related to many other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower.
Mature brussels sprouts are 1-2 inches in diameter (2.5-5 cms) and grow in clusters of around 20 to 40 that attach to a stalk which can grow up to 3 feet tall. There are numerous varieties of brussels sprouts, with very interesting names, such as Jade Cross, Ruby Crunch, Red Bull, and Confidant.
Brussels sprouts are a healthy, nutrient dense addition to any diet and:
- Have powerful antioxidative properties
- May have potential cancer-preventative properties from glucosinolates (the cause of their bitter taste for those who do not enjoy them!)
- May decrease blood pressure
- May lower cholesterol levels
The Nutritional Breakdown
One cup, or around 88 grams of brussels sprouts amounts to around 38 calories. This adds up to approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 0.3 grams of fat. Additionally, they are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Folate.
When choosing brussels sprouts at the store, pay attention to their size. Smaller brussels sprouts are often sweeter, whereas the larger ones will often taste slightly more like cabbage. Additionally, pay attention to how they look. The best sprouts will be tight and firm, with healthy green leaves.
Now, understanding your genetics can play a key role in knowing if and how you would benefit from the consumption of brussels sprouts. This becomes very relevant when we look at certain genes.
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Vina, S. Z., Olivera, D. F., Marani, C. M., Ferreyra, R. M., Mugridge, A., Chaves, A. R., & Mascheroni, R. H. (2007). Quality of Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea L. gemmifera DC) as affected by blanching method. Journal of Food Engineering, 80(1), 218-225.
Zanteson, L. (2016). Shout-Out for Brussels Sprouts. Environmental Nutrition, 39(9), 8.