Most people know that consuming more vegetables can be beneficial. But how do broccoli and Brussels sprouts compare in factors like health, weight loss, and taste?
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable with a green stalk and flowering head. Brussels sprouts can be described as miniature cabbages.
Both vegetables can be healthy additions to your diet. For most of the objective measurements discussed here the nutritional differences are so small they are mostly irrelevant for the average person. Your personal situation may require different nutrients than the general population so the reverse may also be the case.
Keep in mind that due to their high vitamin K contents both broccoli and Brussels sprouts may interfere with blood-thinning medications. If you take these make sure you talk to your doctor before implementing large amounts of these foods.
Brussels sprouts are slightly more bitter than broccoli. Whether this is good or bad depends on your personal preference. The taste of these may be important for staying consistent with your eating habits.
This article will compare the nutrients in broccoli and Brussels sprouts, for which goals each could be more useful, and dishes you can combine broccoli and Brussels sprouts with.
Broccoli vs Brussels sprouts: nutrition
One of the main differences people want to know about is the nutritional difference between broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Below you can find a table comparing some of the nutrients in broccoli and Brussels sprouts and what consequences these differences have for certain goals.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that both broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain a relatively high amount of vitamin K. This may interfere with certain blood-thinning medications (3). If you take these kinds of medications you want to consult with your doctor before implementing large amounts of these foods in your diet.
|Nutrients In Broccoli||Broccoli (100 grams)||Nutrients In Brussels Sprouts||Brussels Sprouts (100 grams)|
|Calories||35 calories||Calories||36 calories|
|Protein||2.4 grams||Protein||2.5 grams|
|Carbohydrates||7.2 grams||Carbohydrates||7.1 grams|
|Part of the carbohydrates that is fiber||3.3 grams||Part of the carbohydrates that is fiber||2.6 grams|
|Fat||0.4 grams||Fat||0.5 grams|
|Vitamin K||176% of the DV*||Vitamin K||175% of the DV*|
|Vitamin C||108% of the DV||Vitamin C||103% of the DV|
|Vitamin A||31% of the DV||Vitamin A||15% of the DV|
|Folate||27% of the DV||Folate||15% of the DV|
|Vitamin B6||10% of the DV||Manganese||11% of the DV|
|Manganese||10% of the DV||Vitamin B6||9% of the DV|
|Potassium||8% of the DV||Potassium||9% of the DV|
|Riboflavin||7% of the DV||Thiamin||7% of the DV|
|Vitamin E||7% of the DV||Iron||7% of the DV|
|Phosphorus||7% of the DV||Phosphorus||6% of the DV|
|Vitamin B5||6% of the DV||Riboflavin||5% of the DV|
|Magnesium||5% of the DV||Magnesium||5% of the DV|
|Thiamin||4% of the DV||Selenium||7% of the DV|
|Calcium||4% of the DV||Calcium||4% of the DV|
|Iron||4% of the DV||Copper||4% of the DV|
Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
The first difference many people are interested in when comparing broccoli with Brussels sprouts is how much each food will help weight loss. Other nutrients play a role in losing weight as well but this section will compare a few main nutrients.
The first nutrient is total calories. 100 grams of broccoli contains about 35 calories vs 36 calories in 100 grams of Brussels sprouts. This difference is irrelevant to the bigger picture. A small detail is that broccoli contains more calories from fiber which does not get absorbed into your actual body as easily.
That leads to the next important weight loss nutrient, fiber. This nutrient has multiple benefits for weight loss. In short, fiber helps you with feeling less hungry, reducing cravings, and improving the health of your microbiome. All while not really counting towards your total calories.
Broccoli contains about 3.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, Brussels sprouts contain about 2.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. The amount of fiber in broccoli is slightly higher but even with that in mind Brussels sprouts still contain a nice amount of fiber too.
The final nutrient that will be discussed is protein which helps with reducing hunger and preserving and building muscle. These are all very helpful benefits when trying to lose weight. Broccoli contains about 2.4 grams of protein, Brussels sprouts about 2.5 grams. Both of these foods do not help a lot with reaching your daily protein goals.
With looking at these nutrients it looks like broccoli will be slightly better for weight loss than Brussels sprouts but the difference will likely be small. If you lack specific nutrients involved in weight loss that Brussels sprouts offer, they may be the better choice anyway.
A challenge with eating habits when trying to lose weight is being consistent. So due to the small difference in broccoli with Brussels sprouts when it comes to weight loss, the best choice is generally your personal preference.
Healthy eating is about both getting the right amount of certain nutrients and avoiding bad substances. This section will focus on getting the right nutrients. It may be possible that there is a difference in farming methods which could lead to more or less bad substances but these differences will not be talked about.
According to the second nutrition report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most common nutrient deficiencies are vitamin B6, Iron, vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 (4). Other nutrients that many people need more of include calcium, iodine, and magnesium (5, 6, 7).
The influence of different foods on vitamins and mineral levels is complicated, your intake of one nutrient can influence the levels of other nutrients. The difference in vitamins and minerals between broccoli and Brussels sprouts is so small it is not really relevant.
These things considered for most people broccoli will be more or less equally healthy as Brussels sprouts. In your personal situation, this may be different due to factors like the rest of your diet, genetics, habits, etc.
Lastly, some people wonder about how keto-friendly broccoli is compared to Brussels sprouts. For keto one of the most important nutritional details is net carbohydrate content. This is the total amount of carbohydrates minus the amount of fiber.
100 grams of broccoli contains about 3.9 grams of net carbs vs 4.5 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of Brussels sprouts.
Purely looking at the differences in terms of keeping your net carb intake per 100 grams of food low, broccoli is a slightly more low-carb-friendly vegetable than Brussels sprouts. Again the difference is not very big.
Broccoli vs Brussels sprouts: taste and cooking
In terms of taste, Brussels sprouts are more bitter than broccoli. That being said, these foods are used similarly in the kitchen. You can prepare both broccoli and Brussels sprouts by boiling them.
After that, you can combine them with different types of food for example in a salad. You can also just use broccoli and Brussels sprouts as a side dish in the same way as other vegetables.
The differences between broccoli and Brussels sprouts for most people in most of the objective measurements in this article are so small they are not really relevant. For your personal situation, recommendations may vary. Other substances in these foods that are not discussed may have an impact too.
Keep in mind that due to the high amounts of vitamin K in both broccoli and Brussels sprouts eating them may interfere with blood thinning medications. If you take in medications like that it may be smart to talk to your doctor before making any big changes in your lifestyle.
If you really don’t like one of the two options, choosing the other option may be better because it helps you stay consistent. Even if that means consuming fewer nutrients but actually sticking to the positive change.