Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Brussels sprouts have been around for hundreds of years, having first been cultivated around 1700. They are hearty and have a strong, nutty flavor that pairs well with meat and nuts. You can purchase a Brussels sprout stalk, which hosts small heads neatly aligned side by side in rows, or you can buy a bag of loose sprouts that have already been plucked off for you. 

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

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (155g) Brussels sprouts cooked with no added fat or sodium.

  • Calories: 56
  • Fat: 0.8g
  • Sodium: 33mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Sugars: 2.7g
  • Protein: 4g

Carbs in Brussels Sprouts

One cup of Brussels sprouts contains 16 percent of your daily need for fiber, the indigestible carbohydrates that help to keep you full, pull cholesterol away from the heart, regulate bowels, and can help to stabilize blood sugar.

Brussels sprouts have a very low glycemic index are a great choice for those on a low-carb diet. 

Fats in Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts contains a greater percentage of unsaturated fats than saturated fats, though the overall fat content is so low as to be negligible. 

Protein in Brussels Sprouts

With about 4 grams of protein per cup, Brussels sprouts are a great source of vegan protein, though not a complete source of all essential amino acids. 

Micronutrients in Brussels Sprouts 

Brussels sprouts are a source of the B-vitamins necessary for cellular energy production, including vitamin B6, thiamine, and folate. Brussels sprouts contain 24 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A, which is great for your eyes and organs. Brussels sprouts also contain manganese, which helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. 

Health Benefits

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, with a cup providing more than a day's requirement of these vitamins. Vitamin C is an important water-soluble vitamin that helps to repair tissues and boost immunity. Vitamin K is an important fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in bone formation and blood clotting.

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 that bind to carcinogens.

Common Questions

What are Brussels sprouts named after?

The vegetable is named after the city of Brussels, Belgium, where wide consumption may have started. (This is the reason why "Brussels" is the correct name for these sprouts whether you are talking about one or many.)

Most mass-distributed Brussels sprouts eaten in the United States today come from California.

What's the best time of year to get Brussels sprouts?

You can usually find this vegetable whenever you'd like it, but peak season falls in the autumn and winter months.

Recipes and Preparation Tips 

Brussels sprouts can be steamed, roasted, stir-fried, or shredded to use in slaws and salads. Cook them simply with a small amount of salt, pepper, and olive oil, or fancy them up by adding heart-healthy nuts and spices.

Many people make a sour face when they think of Brussels sprouts, but this vegetable can be nutritious and delicious when cooked properly:

  • If using frozen sprouts, let them defrost before cooking.
  • Cook the sprouts until they are fork-tender and have turned a vibrant green with a few golden brown spots (overcooking sprouts affects their texture and turns them a drab green/khaki). This takes about five minutes when pan-frying.
  • To reduce cooking time, you can blanch your Brussels sprouts first. 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.
  • Turn the sprouts every so often to prevent them from burning. 

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

Instead, get started with our easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe. Then, branch out with some recipes that use Brussels sprouts for a fun and tasty twist, such as our Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Hash and Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Lentil Salad.

Allergies and Interactions

Brassica vegetables (crucifers) such as Brussels sprouts may cause blood sugar levels to dip too low and increase the risk of blood clotting. There is also potential for people with gastrointestinal issues to experience symptoms after eating Brussels sprouts.

Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts are goitrogenic, which means they interfere with iodine uptake, disrupting the thyroid gland's production of hormones necessary for regulating metabolism. This can exacerbate symptoms of thyroid disease and result in less-than-optimal iodine levels in breastmilk.
It is not necessary to avoid goitrogenic foods, however, as long as you also incorporate a sufficient amount of non-goitrogenic foods in your diet and get enough iodine from other sources.

People with intolerance to histamine-rich foods may experience allergy-like symptoms after eating Brussels sprouts and there is potential for cross-reactivity in people with allergies to cabbage, peaches, or mustard. 

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