Brussels sprouts don't have the best reputation in the United States, but cookbook author Mollie Katzen says roasted brussels sprouts are tasty enough to change even the most devout hater's mind. They're also good for you: Boston.com health writer Deborah Kotz lists brussels sprouts as a wintertime superfood. Purchase brussels sprouts that are still attached to the stalk, if possible, and store them in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
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Low in Fat
According to the health and nutrition site Live Better America, a 1-cup serving of brussels sprouts roasted with chopped onion, minced garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil contains 130 calories, 35 calories of which are supplied by 4 grams of total fat. Only about 0.5 gram of this is saturated fat. For an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet, 0.5 gram is 3 percent of the saturated fat total she should limit herself to daily. Brussels sprouts roasted in vegetable oil do not contain cholesterol.
High in Fiber
Roasted brussels sprouts contain 18 grams of carbohydrates in each 1-cup serving, with approximately 6 grams supplied by naturally occurring simple sugars and 7 grams of dietary fiber. A man should have 34 grams of fiber daily, and eating a serving of roasted brussels sprouts would fulfill more than 20 percent of this requirement. A woman needs 28 grams of fiber each day. Brussels sprouts would supply 25 percent of her recommendation in each roasted cup of the vegetable.
Excellent Source of Vitamins
A 1-cup serving of brussels sprouts roasted with onions, garlic and olive oil contains enough vitamin C to provide about 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance for adults consuming 2,000 calories per day. That's more vitamin C than you'd get from eating 1/2 cup of cooked spinach, one raw tomato or 1/2 cup of cantaloupe. In addition, roasted brussels sprouts are a better source of vitamin A than dairy products, fish like salmon and eggs. The roasted vegetable supplies you with approximately 25 percent of an adult's RDA for vitamin A in each 1-cup serving.
Potentially Low in Sodium
Without any added seasonings, brussels sprouts are extremely low in sodium. But adding just 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your brussels sprouts when roasting them can bring the per-serving sodium content up to 320 milligrams, or almost 14 percent of the 2,300-milligram limit advised for healthy adults. To keep your sodium intake under control, prepare roasted brussels sprouts without salt or a seasoning blend containing sodium and don't add salt at the table. Instead, use herbs, spices, lemon juice or flavored vinegar to enhance the flavor of the cooked vegetables.
Dense With Glucosinolates
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable and a member of the same Brassica plant family that contains collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips and cauliflower. All cruciferous vegetables contain a high concentration of glucosinolates, compounds that your body breaks down into a number of other compounds, including indoles and isothiocyanates. According to the National Cancer Institute, indoles and isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer and inhibit the growth of existing tumors. A diet rich in cruciferous vegetable dishes like roasted brussels sprouts may lower your cancer risk.
- NPR: Vegetables with Flair for the Thanksgiving Plate
- Boston.com: Winterize Your Diet With These Five Superfoods
- Fruits & Veggies More Matters: Brussels Sprouts -- Nutrition, Selection, Storage
- Live Better America: Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic & Onions
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Carbohydrates
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin C
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin A
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium
- National Cancer Institute: Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention