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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Brussels with an S


I never spell Brussels sprouts wrong. As a kid, I left off the 's' during a spelling bee and since that day, it's been permanently sealed in my brain (fun fact: they are indeed named after the Belgium city where they originated in 1785). I snapped this photo of these beautiful bundles of joy (still on the stalk) at my local market. And I have to say, I actually like the taste of Brussels sprouts.

They have been called the most loathed vegetable in the world, but I don’t think they deserve their bad rap. When Brussels sprouts are overcooked, they can get a little slimy, and emit a pretty unpleasant sulfur-ish smell. But if cooked properly, they can be absolutely delicious. After washing, just boil for 5-8 minutes or steam for up to 10 minutes (per about 40 sprouts). You can then dress them up with a little garlic and sliced almonds. Or, follow this link to a whole slew of recipes, from Brussels sprout kabobs to casseroles and soups.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that these itty bitty cabbages (after all, that's basically what they are) are extremely good for you. They’re rich in vitamin K (which helps clot our blood), vitamin C (an antioxidant that boosts immunity), folate (prevents birth defects and keeps our blood healthy), fiber (for digestive health) and potassium (which helps control blood pressure). These little green gems have been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and a stronger immune system, and they provide just 60 calories per cup. If you’ve never tried them, now’s the time. Many chefs believe that they taste best when harvested in mid to late winter.

P.S. If you have a thyroid condition, you may want to avoid Brussels sprouts. They do contain substances called goitrogens which may interact with existing thyroid conditions.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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