Have Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast Some Days. Here’s Why

by Mira

Brussels sprouts are a great breakfast food. Try them with eggs fried sunny-side up sometime, and you will get hooked on them. Here are some of their health benefits.

If you’re not eating enough cruciferous veggies because you’re not particularly fond of them, I recommend starting with Brussels sprouts. Just take a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts, add some water (very little) and olive oil and leave them in the oven for 20 minutes. The result will be tasty and silky almost. I often have them for breakfast, which says something. In fact, they’re refreshing and in time you will see you might actually crave them (which can almost never be said about broccoli).

Why all this talk about the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables? Well, like all veggies, they contain lots of vitamins and minerals. They also contain glucosinolates, which are phytonutrients with cancer-prevention properties. It’s important to eat a varied diet because all these nutrients vary from veggie to veggie, and no matter how many vitamin supplements you take, you won’t be getting these phytonutrients. You will also not be getting the unique combination of compounds which each veggie brings to the table (pun intended), and which brings all sorts of health benefits besides cancer protection (which everyone is after) and vitamins and minerals. Brussels sprouts, for instance, also protect your DNA by virtue of containing some compounds which block certain enzymes.

Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
© Mira at Wizzley

Brussels Sprouts Are a Good Source of Fiber

A 10 oz package of Brussels sprouts will give you 43% of the recommended daily intake of fiber.  Now, you won't eat a lot of these little cabbages in one sitting. Still, If you steam or bake them, they will help lower your cholesterol some. They will also help keep you full for hours.

Some 53% of the fiber mentioned is soluble, and 47% insoluble. That's great. The insoluble fiber cleans your colon, while the soluble fiber reduces your cholesterol and balances your blood sugar levels, while also keeping you full.

If you want to see the benefits of all this healthy fiber -- fiber, which, by the way, can also help you lose weight -- I suggest you don’t serve Brussels sprouts with bacon, however tempting that may be. Especially if you're having eggs as well. But I agree that will be one tasty breakfast.

I also think that sometimes your body knows best what it needs. As I said, I actually crave Brussels sprouts now and then. So I try to have one or two bags in the freezer at all times.

You don't have to eat a lot of them at once. Simply incorporate them on your plate or in various recipes, and serve only 3-4 of the little things on a plate with all sorts of foods and colors.

Nutrition Data for Frozen Brussels Sprouts

A package of 10 oz (284 grams) of Brussels sprouts has 11 grams of fiber (43% DV) and 11 grams of protein. Now you may understand why they can be such a great breakfast food. Then there are the vitamins: A (35% DV), C (351% DV), B1 / Thiamin (20% DV), B2 / Riboflavin (20% DV), B3 / Niacin (9% DV), B6 (29% DV), B9 / Folate (87%), B5 / Pantothenic acid (8%). These B vitamins play an important role in helping the body produce energy and blood cells, and keeping your heart, muscles, nervous system and digestive system working well. They also help your immune system, which is why many people with cancer take B vitamin supplements.

NB: Brussels sprouts -- and other leafy greens -- contain a large amount of vitamin K, in this case 375% DV, so eat them in moderation: vitamin K is a blood-clotting agent.

B Vitamins and Cancer

Apparently, the relationship between B vitamins and cancer prevention is not a fact, but researchers are working on identifying ways in which B vitamins may be connected to a lower cancer risk. Surprisingly, one study of 2009 seems to suggest that vitamin B6 and B9 supplements could actually lead to cancer. A larger study, the results of which were published in 2012, concluded there was no direct link between supplements of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 and the risk of getting cancer.

Mineral Content of Brussels Sprouts

Minerals. Brussels sprouts have a lot of them: calcium (7%), iron (15%), magnesium (14%), phosphorus (18%), potassium (30%), zinc (6%), copper (5%), manganese (44%), selenium (6%), and sodium (1%). Of course, they will vary with the soil. This is just standard nutrition data.

Brussels Sprouts and Other Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Risk

There are then several large studies, some on animals and others on humans, which have concluded Brussels sprouts protect against:

  • colon cancer
  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • bladder cancer

These studies were concerned with this vegetable in particular.

Source: Article on http://www.naturalnews.com

Then there are studies about the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables as a group. While some of them show no conclusive relationship between these veggies and a lower cancer risk, others conclude that they reduce the risk of four types of cancer in humans:

  • colorectal cancer
  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • lung cancer

Source: Article on http://www.cancer.gov

Brussels Sprouts Are Also A Good Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Brussels sprouts also have omega-3 fatty acids: 381 mg. Considering that the American Heart Association recommends 1 gram per day, this is plenty! Even though this is again for a 10oz package, it's still good news. A bit from here, a bit from there, and it adds up. So now you know another way to get omega-3s into your diet. An 10 oz package of frozen Brussels sprouts also contains 173 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids is very good. It is, in fact what is now considered the ideal ratio, i.e. 1:2.

In Western countries the ratio is now somewhere about 1:15. Americans eat up to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3. While some omega-6 fatty acids help certain health conditions, many of them promote inflammation in the body, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Brussels sprouts also prevent inflammation in the body not only on account on their omega-3 content, but also due to a glucosinolate called glucoraphanin. A compound made from glucoraphanin was shown to be an anti-inflammatory agent in the cardiovascular system.

Brussels Sprouts Are a Great Breakfast Food

With their minerals, B vitamins, high content of vitamin A and vitamin C, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and their fiber, Brussels sprouts are a great way to start your day. You will eat a refreshing breakfast that will taste good and feel healthy. You will also feel full for hours owing to the high fiber content.

Now, it’s probably better to eat only a few of these guys precisely because of that high fiber content, but do try them for breakfast with other veggies, for instance alongside some eggs fried sunny-side up.

One Breakfast Combo I Enjoy
One Breakfast Combo I Enjoy
© Mira at Wizzley

My Favorite Breakfast Combo with Brussels Sprouts

One breakfast combo I like consists of two fried eggs, baked carrots and Brussels sprouts. I eat the eggs and veggies with two slices of bread (buttered) with bell peppers.

Enjoy your Brussels sprouts!

I hope I turned you onto this healthy veggie. And if you do like it already, I'd love to hear how you prepare and serve it. I would appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment below.

You Can Lower Your Cholesterol with Food Try

If you're looking to lower your cholesterol with food, try this book by French chef Alain Braux. You won't find fancy illustrations or even fancy French gourmet food, for that matter (this is the Nouvelle Cuisine, the new style of French cooking), but you will find plenty of great advice that might change the way you eat, with measurable health benefits. In fact, Alain Braux includes results of his blood work, too, so you can see how he WAS able to turn his health around with food rather than with cholesterol-reducing meds.

Now, this is not meant as medical advice. Do talk to your doctor before changing your medication or diet.

I'm just recommending a book that makes a lot of sense and has helped me some as well. I don't eat as healthy as Alain Braux, but little by little, I incorporate his advice into my recipes. It's a book you may find you will return to often.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol with French Gourmet Food. A Practical Guide

Updated: 08/31/2015, Mira
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Mira on 08/31/2015

The fact that you're throwing them in boiling water first is good, because, at least in my experience, they tend to have small particles of dirt :)

Veronica on 08/31/2015

That is how I cook them for Christmas Dinner . Quickly into Boiling water, drained and quickly stir fried. A smidgeon of fresh black pepper.

Mira on 08/31/2015

Your idea, too, of chopping them in half and stir-frying them, is excellent.

Veronica on 08/31/2015

I haven't had them for breakfast yet but what a good idea. I am a great advocate of eating anything green regarding vegetables.

I think in England in the past they were boiled to death and it put many people off Sprouts but now the cooking styles are better .

I chop them in half and plunge them into boiling water for just two minutes , no longer ; Then I quickly toss them in hot oil for two minutes and serve. I do however like texture to my vegetables and therefore not too soft. It also keeps the vitamin C content better down this way.

A great post and idea.

Mira on 08/31/2015

I imagine they have similar health benefits on account of being all cruciferous vegetables containing sulphoraphane. But I imagine the amounts vary and there are also phytonutrients specific to each cruciferous vegetable. Now that you mention it, I do intend to grow Brussels sprouts: they are such an interesting plant!

frankbeswick on 08/31/2015

Question: Brussels sprouts are exactly the same species as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc,[Brassica oleracaea] though a different variety of it. It therefore seems to me that all members of this species are equally healthy to eat? A tip though, if you are growing them, dress the soil with lime before you plant. You will see the benefits.

Mira on 08/31/2015

The bread is from a sliced loaf. It's wholewheat. I'd like to make and eat more bread but I gain weight if I do. And that drink is coffee. I like it with milk and honey. Disguises the fact that it's not made very well :). I use an ibric and the results are not that great.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/28/2015

Mira, Thank you! Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower for breakfast: no problem! Your combo certainly is attractive, nutritious, and tasty. Is the bread under the beautiful bell peppers a roll or ends from a smaller sized homemade bread loaf? Is that coffee or tea?

Mira on 04/11/2014

When I have eggs for breakfast (as opposed to plain oatmeal or something else), I always accompany the eggs with a very small portion of veggies: bell peppers, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and so on. As you say, it's a wonderful way to add some extra veggies to your diet. I often keep some carrots and bell peppers in the fridge for this purpose, to have them with eggs or with bread and olive oil. This diet has served me well weight-wise. I managed to lose a few kilos.

Tara_W on 04/11/2014

I had never thought of having veggies with breakfast until recently and surprisingly they go really well with eggs. It's a great way to get some extra veggies into your day. I haven't had brussels sprouts with breakfast yet but I am keen to try them.

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