When you think of a Brussel sprout, your mind probably flashes to your yearly Christmas dinner.
Sprouts are a very popular leafy green vegetable that are perfect for roasting, sautéeing, grilling, and pan frying.
There is often some confusion surrounding the family that Brussel sprouts belong to, and we’re here to clear this up for you!
Sprouts are not a legume, but what are Brussel sprouts? Read on to find out all about this delicious vegetable, what vegetable family it belongs to, and much more.
After you’ve read our ultimate guide to Brussel sprouts, there won’t be a question left unanswered. Let’s dive in!
What Are Brussel Sprouts?
Brussel sprouts are part of the Brassica oleracea species. They are a member of the same vegetable family as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, and kale.
They look exactly like mini cabbages, which isn’t far off what they are! As they are of the same species as cabbage, they are very similar in their makeup.
Brussel sprouts grow on thick stalks, and they are usually somewhere between one and two inches in diameter. When they are harvested, they can range from light green to dark green.
Sprouts grow all year round, but the best time for them to grow is between August and March.
This is why they are often considered a winter vegetable, and they feature on most Christmas dinners around the world.
Sprouts are very easy to prepare, and they can be used in various ways on different dishes.
What Do Brussel Sprouts Taste Like?
Brussel sprouts are earthy in their taste and they can be slightly bitter. The smaller ones are often much sweeter than the bigger ones.
If your sprouts are harvested after the first frost, they often taste much sweeter.
What Is A Legume?
Legumes belong to the Leguminosae family.
They are often confused with pulses and beans, but legumes actually refer to the entire plant, including the stamps, pods, and leaves.
When we refer to pulses, we are just talking about the edible seed. Examples of legumes include things like edamame beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and soy nuts.
Legumes are very popular and are often eaten as part of a Mediterranean diet. While they are eaten in Europe, they are consumed in much smaller quantities.
Are Legumes Similar To Brussel Sprouts?
There are some similarities between legumes and Brussel sprouts.
They have some very similar characteristics and health benefits that mean that they can sometimes be used in place of each other.
Health Benefits Of Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts have many different health benefits which make them a great vegetable to add to your meal.
High In Nutrients
Brussel sprouts are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also low in calories, making them a perfect addition to any meal.
They are rich in vitamin K, encouraging healthy bones. They also contain lots of vitamin C which is great for immune function.
The high fiber content of Brussel sprouts also helps to support your gut health, aiding digestion.
On top of containing all of these nutrients, Brussel sprouts are also very low in calories, making them great if you are hoping to lose weight.
Rich In Antioxidants
Brussels sprouts contain many different antioxidants which are great for your health and will help to prevent damage to your cells.
High In Fiber
Brussel sprouts contain very high levels of fiber which is very good for your health. Fiber helps to increase the frequency of your stools, relieving constipation.
Fiber has also been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Consuming a diet rich in fiber is very important, so make sure to stock up on sprouts and other fruits, vegetables, and whole grains!
High In Vitamin K
Brussel sprouts contain a large amount of vitamin K.
This nutrient plays a very important role in your body and it can help to protect your body from progressive bone loss.
Vitamin K is very important for those who are taking blood-thinning medication.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Brussel sprouts also help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. This leads to a decreased risk of diabetes.
Health Benefits Of Legumes
Legumes also have many great health benefits, many of which are very similar to the health benefits of Brussel sprouts.
Provide Key Nutrients
Like sprouts, legumes provide great nutrients. They are very high in fiber and they are low in calories. They also contain iron, calcium, potassium, and many other nutrients.
Rich In Antioxidants
Legumes are also rich in antioxidants. This can prevent cell damage and the antioxidants can also lower your risk of lots of diseases.
You will have a lower chance of developing cancer or cardiovascular disease if you eat a diet that is rich in antioxidants.
Promote A Healthy Heart
Beans and lentils are a great way to promote heart health. It is important to limit your intake of red meat for heart health as these meats are very high in saturated fat.
Adding lentils and beans to your diet is a great substitute for this as they help to lower blood pressure and inflammation which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
May Lower The Risk Of Diabetes
Like Brussel sprouts, legumes are great for lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of legumes has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes among adults.
Legumes, unlike Brussel sprouts, are a great source of protein.
They can be used in place of meat for this reason.
If you follow a vegetarian diet or a vegan diet, you will see many different health benefits, and adding protein to your diet through legumes will promote these benefits.
Are Brussel Sprouts Good For Weight Loss?
Brussel sprouts are very good for weight loss. They can help you to lose weight very quickly when they are eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Sprouts are very low in calories and they contain very small traces of fat.
They also contain lots of vitamin C which help your body to burn off fat during exercise. If you have sufficient levels of vitamin C in your blood, you will be able to burn off more fat during exercise.
Are Legumes Good For Weight Loss?
Legumes are also great for weight loss. They are low in calories and high in protein and fiber. They can help us to feel much more full for longer, meaning that we avoid snacking on other things.
So, there you have it! While Brussel sprouts are not a legume, they do contain many of the same health benefits.
Both are great things to add to your diet to ensure that you are getting a healthy, balanced diet, with as many health benefits as possible!
So, if you’ve been wondering whether Brussel sprouts are a legume, you’ve got your answer.
We hope you’ve found everything you need in this ultimate guide to Brussel sprouts and legumes!