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Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?

Brussels Sprouts are one of those vegetables that you either love or hate.

Some people absolutely love them and will want to eat them with every single roast meal they have.

Others will avoid them like the plague.

If you are unfamiliar with Brussels sprouts, you may wonder if they should be enjoyed raw or cooked. 

Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?

Like many vegetables, Brussels sprouts can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways.

You can prepare and cook them in a lot of different ways, and you can also eat them raw.

However, just because they are safe to be consumed raw doesn’t necessarily mean that you should eat them raw. 

In this guide, we’re taking a look at why you can eat Brussels sprouts raw, and whether it is better to consume them raw or cooked.

Keep on reading to find out more! 

What Are Brussels Sprouts?

First, let’s take a look at exactly what Brussels sprouts are.

As we have established, Brussels sprouts are a type of vegetable.

They are leafy, green vegetables that almost look like miniature cabbages due to their appearance.

Just like cabbages, they grow in small, compact heads, and they are plucked from the plant as buds.

This is why Brussels sprouts are so small in comparison to other types of cabbage. 

Generally speaking, Brussels sprouts will be roughly 1.5 to 4 cm in diameter, so when you eat them, you will generally eat a couple of Brussels sprouts at any given time.

These are wild cabbages, but they quickly became known as Brussels sprouts, and that is because these vegetables are most popular in Brussels.

These sprouts have been incredibly popular in Brussels for many years, and that is why they have earned their name.

Brussels sprouts have a very pungent smell and this is one of the things that they are most famous for.

This smell combined with their unique flavor has made them a somewhat controversial vegetable with people either loving them or hating them.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at if you can eat Brussels sprouts raw. 

Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?

As we established earlier, yes, you can eat Brussels sprouts raw.

Like many vegetables, Brussels sprouts can easily be enjoyed both raw and cooked, and you can prepare them in lots of different ways to ensure maximum enjoyment.

Most of the time, however, people will eat Brussels sprouts cooked, rather than raw. 

Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw, and a lot of people choose to do this to get as much nutritional value out of sprouts as possible.

Brussels sprouts are perfectly safe to enjoy raw, and they can be very flavorful.

However, when you eat Brussels sprouts raw, the consistency may not be the best, the only flavor that you will get out of the Brussels sprouts will be the sprouts themselves, and they are much more likely to cause gas. 

Brussels sprouts are associated with gassiness all over the world, and this is not only because they can cause people to suffer from gas, but also because of their smell.

After eating Brussels sprouts, a lot of people suffer from gas and will blame this gas on the sprouts. 

However, the likelihood of you suffering from gas is much higher if the Brussels sprouts are eaten raw.

Hence why most people tend to eat Brussels sprouts that have been cooked, rather than raw Brussels sprouts. 

Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?

Are Brussels Sprouts Better Raw Or Cooked?

Whether, or not, Brussels sprouts are better raw or cooked will ultimately depend on what you want out of the Brussels sprouts. 

If it is the flavor that you are looking for, then cooking them allows you to elevate the flavor of the sprouts and take them to a new level.

In contrast, if you are looking for nutritional value, then many believe that eating Brussels sprouts raw is more effective. 

Cooking Brussels sprouts will reduce their glucosinolate content, and it is this content that carries nutrients.

So, by cooking the Brussels sprouts, you are reducing their nutrients, and essentially making them less healthy.

However, you do have to weigh this up against the gas that can be caused by eating uncooked Brussels sprouts. 

Gas can cause bloating and discomfort, and the gas that is produced by eating Brussels sprouts comes from the difficult-to-digest sugars that are in Brussels sprouts.

Once cooked, these sugars become easier to digest, hence why they cause less gas. 

So ultimately, you have to weigh up the nutritional value of raw Brussels sprouts against the discomfort of gas to decide if raw or cooked Brussels sprouts are better for you.

What Is The Healthiest Way To Eat Brussels Sprouts?

If you don’t want to experience gas, and the unpleasant side effects associated with this, then the best way to eat Brussels sprouts is to cook them.

While cooking does reduce the nutritional value, it is possible to prepare these vegetables in a way that will make them as healthy as possible.

The best way to do this is to steam them. 

Steaming Brussels sprouts is a great way to cook vegetables because it helps to preserve the nutritional value of the sprouts.

Simply add your sprouts to a pot that contains a few inches of water and steam them.

You can either use the microwave or the stove to do this.

Either way, you will end up with yummy cooked sprouts that are as healthy as they possibly can be. 

To make delicious Brussels sprouts, there are plenty of other ways to cook the sprouts.

However, it will make them less healthy than if you were to simply steam them.

So bear this in mind when cooking your sprouts. 


In short, yes, you can eat Brussels sprouts raw.

Eating Brussels sprouts raw is a great way to preserve the nutritional value of these vegetables, and make them as healthy as possible. 

However, eating raw Brussels sprouts can cause gas, which is why many people choose to cook their sprouts instead. 

Thanks for reading!

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

With only 7 ingredients, you can make an easy and tasty shaved Brussels sprout salad! This salad is ideal for making ahead of time for holiday celebrations or packing for lunch.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 311kcal


  • mandoline


  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts shaved
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra-virgin, plus extra for drizzling
  • ¼ cup lemon juice fresh
  • ½ cup pine nuts toasted
  • cup cranberries dried
  • cup pecorino cheese grated, optional
  • cup chives chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • If you have a mandoline, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Toss them with the olive oil, lemon juice, pine nuts, cranberries, pecorino cheese, chives, and pinches of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  • Let the salad to come to room temperature for 15 minutes before tasting and adjusting the seasonings. Finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.



Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 483mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 854IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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