Health & Medical Eating & Food

What Are the Nutritional Values of Brussels Sprouts?

    Calories

    • One cup of Brussels sprouts contains approximately 56 calories. Nearly 40 of those calories are from carbohydrates. Almost 10 of the calories are from protein and about 6 calories are from fat per 1 cup serving. Brussels sprouts are a good choice for people who are trying to lose weight, as long as they are not prepared with excessive amounts of butter or covered with rich sauces.

    Vitamins and Minerals

    • Brussels sprouts provide a significant amount of many vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and vitamin K. One cup of the vegetable contains 161 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. The same amount contains 273 percent of the RDA of vitamin K. They are also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium and copper. Other vitamins and minerals found in Brussels sprouts includes vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.

      Pregnant women who want to increase their intake of folate (folic acid) should consume Brussels sprouts as part of their diet. A 1-cup serving contains 93.6 mg of folic acid--about 20 percent of the RDA. Folic acid is necessary for fetus nervous system development. A deficiency of folic acid during a woman's pregnancy can lead to birth defects in the baby, including spina bifida.

    Other Health Benefits

    • Brussels sprouts are a cholesterol-free food. They are also low in fat and sodium. One cup of the vegetable has only 22 mg of sodium. These attributes make Brussels spouts a good choice for people who are concerned about cardiovascular health. Brussels sprouts are a good source of dietary fiber--both soluble and insoluble. Fiber helps promote good colon health, as well as satisfying hunger and making you feel full longer.

      According to The World's Healthiest Foods, Brussels sprouts contain plant phytonutrients that help the body protect against diseases. Scientists are particularly interested in sulforaphane, which increases the body's levels of detoxifying enzymes. An September 2004 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that sulforaphane may help halt breast cancer cells from multiplying. A study published in the December 2008 issue of the medical journal Carcinogenesis had similar findings.

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