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  • Writer's pictureDr. Stefanacci

Functional Foods: Brussels Sprouts

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

All parts of the Brussels sprout plant are edible and they can be consumed pretty much in any form: baked, grilled, boiled, steamed, or eaten raw. However, in whatever form you choose to consume these superstar veggies, aim to cut them first and let them sit on the counter for about five to forty minutes before cooking to allow their beneficial containing compounds to form. Then when cooked, these components will not be destroyed through the cooking process and all benefits will be received in the body. This method can also be used with broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables!

Nutrient Content of Brussels Sprouts:

Brussels sprouts are another green, cruciferous vegetable with high amounts of Vitamin K, so it is important to note that the quantity consumed must be limited if you are on a blood thinner such as Warfarin or Coumadin. As always, discuss with your doctor to have the medication titrated appropriately so you can consume this awesome veggie. In addition, Brussels sprouts contain many other great nutrients, see below for specifics and the benefits of each:

Food For Thought

Brussels sprouts are touted for their anti-cancer properties, specifically due to the glucosinolate compound found in the veggie. Glucosinolates are phytonutrients that are the chemical starting point for many cancer protective substances. According to a comparative study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Brussels sprouts specifically can completely abolish cancer cell growth, halting breast tumor cells in their dirty little tracks. Brussels sprouts are powerful little veggies that have antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory effects as well as can help lower cholesterol, and aid in cardiovascular health and digestive health due to their fiber content.

Autumn Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad


2lbs Brussels sprouts

1/2C chopped walnuts or pecans (both are great in this recipe)

1/3C dried cranberries

1C red apple chopped

(Amounts are adjustable based on tastes*)

3/4tsp dijon mustard

2TBSP maple syrup

3TBSP apple cider vinegar


1/2tsp pepper

*Salt to taste


Slice Brussels sprouts using a mandolin slicer or by hand very finely holding by the stem; Add to mixing bowl and separate slices

In a saucepan or toaster oven roast walnuts or pecans until fragrant, add to mixing bowl when cooled

Add dried cranberries to mixing bowl

Add chopped apple to mixing bowl

For the dressing:

Mix the dijon mustard, maple syrup, ACV, and pepper and mix

Slowly stir in EVOO

Toss salad


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