Why Your Mom Was Right: You Should Eat Your Brussels Sprouts

Brussel sprouts

“Mangez vos legumes!” That’s “eat your vegetables” in French. The French are known to have introduced Brussels sprouts to the U.S.

I remember growing up and there would be certain vegetables I just wouldn’t eat; however, my mom kept on telling me to eat my Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Looking back on it now, my mom was really trying to teach me how healthy I can be when I eat cruciferous vegetables, which are part of the brassica (cabbage) family. The basic cruciferous vegetable list also includes arugula, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, radish, kale, horseradish, rutabaga, turnip, and watercress. How many of those did you regularly eat as a kid? Not very many, I’m guessing? Lots of parents have a difficult time getting their kids to eat certain cruciferous vegetables because they taste bitter and pungent, especially when overcooked.

Cruciferous vegetables in general are your best overall source for nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoids, folic acid, and fiber. Brussels sprouts are also an excellent source of vitamin K, containing 218.8 mcg per cup.

If the only issue with kids eating cruciferous vegetables is the bitter taste then the best solution is to prepare them differently. It’s possible that you accidently overcooked them by boiling them in water for too long. The best method of cooking Brussels sprouts is to chop off the stems, cut them into quarters, and lightly steam them for about five minutes. I like to sprinkle on olive oil and add a couple of cloves of garlic for flavor.

When prepared with a little more flavor, it will certainly be easy to enjoy your cruciferous vegetables. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables. Want to know why? You and your kids will be begging for seconds of these green nutrient-rich balls once you hear benefits of Brussels sprouts.

The next time your mom or anyone else offers you Brussels spouts, don’t hesitate to pile them on your plate. I always reap all of the benefits of Brussels sprouts by having them as a side to my meal or just mixing them with brown rice or quinoa.

Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 172, 176.
“What’s New and Beneficial About Brussels Sprouts,” The World’s Healthiest Foods web site; http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=10, last accessed January 30, 2014.
“3 Reasons You Should be Eating Brussels Sprouts,” FitDay web site; http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/3-reasons-you-should-be-eating-brussel-sprouts.html, last accessed January 30, 2014.