What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Brussels Sprouts Regularly (2024)

For years, the joke was on Brussels sprouts. They were smelly. They tasted like vegetables. And kids everywhere would do anything to avoid them. And while that last one still may be true today, thanks to innovative new ways to cook them, the cruciferous veggie is finally getting the glow-up it deserves. That’s great news, given this antioxidant-packed veggie also has many health benefits to offer.

If you find that Brussels sprouts are now a go-to for you in meals, read on to find out what happens to your body when you eat Brussels sprouts regularly.

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Brussels Sprouts Regularly

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Good Source of Fiber

If there is one nutrient you are probably missing out on, it’s fiber. Just 5% of the U.S. adult population regularly eats the recommended amount of fiber daily. (Your goal: 28 to 34 grams of fiber per day.) One serving (½ cup cooked) of Brussels sprouts provides a little over 2 grams of fiber. Fiber is linked to a variety of health benefits, from better bowel movements to weight management. In addition, fiber is important for keeping your blood sugars in check since it slows down the digestion and absorption of food.

Supports Gut Health

The antioxidants and fiber in Brussels sprouts are a winning combination for supporting gut health. “Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates, plant compounds commonly found in the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables,” says Annette Snyder, M.S., RD, owner of NourishYOU. During digestion, these compounds are fermented by gut microbes, creating short-chain fatty acids that promote good gut health and enhance nutrient absorption.

May Lower Cancer Risk

The same plant compounds in Brussels sprouts that help support a healthier gut may have anti-cancer properties as well. Sulforaphane, in particular, has been linked to lower risk of cancer, and Brussels sprouts are particularly rich in this compound. Sulforaphane appears to help fight cancer by supporting detoxification processes in the body, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and even promoting cancer cell death. One study, for example, found that cruciferous vegetable eaters had a 41% lower risk of stomach cancer than those who rarely consumed them.

Helps Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is often associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. One study that followed over 50,000 people found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables had a 21% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. When researchers compared different types of vegetables to diabetes risk, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels sprouts) were associated with the lowest likelihood of developing the condition.

They’re Good for Your Heart

Most forms of cardiovascular disease, like hypertension, atherosclerosis and stroke, can be linked to underlying chronic inflammation. The best approach to tackling chronic inflammation? Following an anti-inflammatory diet that incorporates plenty of fruits and vegetables (like Brussels sprouts), which are rich in anti-inflammatory plant compounds.

Researchers have been particularly interested in isothiocyanates, which are produced after glucosinolates are broken down by the body. Isothiocyanates may combat inflammation and help lower cholesterol, and in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease.

Nutritional Content of Brussels Sprouts

Here’s a recap of the nutrition profile for a half-cup of cooked Brussels sprouts (boiled and unsalted):

  • Calories: 28
  • Total Carbohydrates: 5.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Total Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 16 mg
  • Calcium: 28 mg
  • Phosphorus: 43.5 mg
  • Potassium: 247 mg
  • Magnesium: 15.5 mg
  • Vitamin C: 48 mg
  • Folate: 46.5 mcg

How to Incorporate Brussels Sprouts into Your Diet

Gone are the days when Brussels sprouts were boiled into a mushy mess. Instead, we’re using them in dishes from salads to sides:

  • Shred raw Brussels sprouts to use them in place of leafy greens for a hearty salad like this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad featuring cherries, goat cheese and pistachios. Sprouts also pair well with kale: Try this .
  • Roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven makes them tender and caramelized. Once roasted, try pairing them with a flavorful sauce like in this recipe for Date and Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts. Or roast them on a layer of Parmesan, like these Parmesan-Crusted Brussels Sprouts.
  • Parboil the sprouts first to make them tender enough to smash before baking in these Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts.

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts So They're Actually Delicious

The Bottom Line

If you’ve had a bad experience with soggy, boiled Brussels sprouts in the past, we think you should give them another chance. The humble Brussels sprout is a great source of fiber and essential nutrients. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants that have been linked to better gut health and lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Start with these Simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts for the best flavor and texture—guaranteed, you'll want to go back for seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it OK to eat Brussels sprouts everyday?

    Go for it. “If you enjoy sprouts and can tolerate them, absolutely! They’re lower in calories and contain a myriad of important nutrients” says Snyder. To keep yourself from getting bored, use different preparation methods like shredding them into a salad or serving them roasted with a flavorful sauce.

  • What do Brussels sprouts do for your body?

    In addition to helping you reach your fiber goal for the day, Brussels sprouts have also been associated with other benefits like a healthier heart and a reduced risk of diabetes and cancer. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of essential nutrients like vitamins C, K and folate.

  • What are the disadvantages of Brussels sprouts?

    They can be tougher on your GI system. “Brussels sprouts do tend to promote gas and bloating in people with sensitive digestion (like with IBS) due to their fiber content,” says Snyder. They also contain a complex sugar called raffinose which humans can't break down. “When the undigested raffinose reaches the colon, our gut bacteria enjoy the buffet and produce gas as they digest, or ferment” she explains.

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Brussels Sprouts Regularly (2024)


What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Brussels Sprouts Regularly? ›

The health benefits of brussels sprouts include:

What happens if you eat Brussels sprouts every day? ›

In addition to helping you reach your fiber goal for the day, Brussels sprouts have also been associated with other benefits like a healthier heart and a reduced risk of diabetes and cancer. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of essential nutrients like vitamins C, K and folate.

What do Brussels sprouts do to your body? ›

Eating a lot of Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies may help protect against cancers of the stomach, lungs, kidney, breast, bladder, and prostate. Crunchy veggies like Brussels sprouts may also help you stave off other health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.

What is one major side effect of eating Brussels sprouts? ›

Although a healthy vegetable, consuming too many Brussels sprouts can be unsuitable for people on anticoagulants since it contains vitamin K, which results in blood clotting. Another issue with consuming Brussels sprouts excessively is that it can lead to gas and bloating.

Does Brussels sprouts burn belly fat? ›

Brussel sprouts are considered a natural weight loss food because they are high in fibre and protein and low in fat and calories. The perfect vegetable to shed tummy fat, Brussel sprouts also hold other health benefits for your nutrition.

Do Brussels sprouts clean your liver? ›

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another cruciferous vegetable high in sulfur. This sulfur is found in the form of compounds called glucosinolates. They stimulate detox enzymes found in the liver and may also be protective to cells. This enzyme action helps remove toxins from the blood and support the liver.

When should you not eat Brussels sprouts? ›

If any of the leaves have brown spots or are yellowing, it's a sign of early spoilage. If you remove the blemished leaves and the interior looks OK, you can still use the sprout. However, if the interior leaves are also showing blemishes or yellowing, it's best to toss it (or compost it, if you can).

What do brussel sprouts do for your skin? ›

Brussels sprouts provide high levels of Vitamin C, sulforaphane and antioxidants. When these key elements are combined, they protect the body against viral infections and cancer. The high concentration of Vitamin C also supports collagen production, creating better skin elasticity for a more youthful appearance.

Are brussel sprouts healthier than broccoli? ›

While broccoli may have a higher count of calories, fat, and carbs, it is richer in calcium, iron, and pantothenic acid (a B vitamin that does wonders for healthy hair), and has a bit more potassium. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, are lower in sodium.

What is the healthiest way to eat Brussels sprouts? ›

Roasting Brussels sprouts caramelizes their natural sugar and mellows out bitter notes, providing rich flavor and a crispier texture. Brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber and vitamins C and K, notes the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why do I feel so good after eating brussel sprouts? ›

Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, compounds that promote overall health and help prevent damage to cells ( 5 , 6). Eating Brussels sprouts as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help supply the antioxidants your body needs to promote good health.

What are the disadvantages of eating sprouts everyday? ›

Effects of consuming sprouts:

They are extremely hard to digest especially for people having vata dosha. Sprouting increases the concentration of protein, fibre and other nutrients and usually higher protein and fibre is considered hard to digest. 2. Regular consumption of sprouts can lead to diarrhea.

How many Brussels sprouts should you eat a day? ›

A ½ cup of Brussels sprouts is a good source of Vitamin K (137% RDI) and Vitamin C (81% RDI) Kids, Ages 5-12 Teens and Adults, Ages 13 and up Males 2½-5 cups per day 42 - 6½ cups per day Females 2½-5 cups per day 3½-5 cups per day *If you are active, eat the higher number of cups per day.

Are Brussel sprouts anti-inflammatory? ›

In addition to helping clot blood, this nutrient plays a role in bone health and may help protect against bone loss. They may reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory power of Brussels sprouts may reduce risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Are Brussel sprouts good for your hair? ›

By incorporating Brussel sprouts into one's diet, the body is supplied with the elemental building blocks required for robust and resilient hair. Cysteine: The Amino Acid for Hair Growth: Brussel sprouts also house cysteine, an amino acid with a positive impact on hair growth.

Is it OK to eat sprouts everyday? ›

Do not eat the same sprouts every day. Vary what sprout you are taking to ensure that you are getting variety of nutrients. Sprouts are high in proteins and fibre. This may make it difficult to digest for some people and may cause flatulence,” warns Dr Nakra.

Can too many brussel sprouts hurt your stomach? ›

Cruciferous Vegetables

Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are high in sulfur and can cause bloating and gas. Try some of these vegetables to see if they are easier to digest: carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, green beans, celery and squash.

How many sprouts is too much? ›

You can have as much sprouts as you want on a daily basis. They contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin A, and riboflavin. In terms of minerals, they contain manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Why do bodybuilders eat brussel sprouts? ›

The chemical compound sulforaphane in sprouts also reduces cell death, which is crucial to sustaining muscle mass and facilitating fast recovery after a heavy session. A tasty bit of nutritional science, we're sure you'll agree.

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