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Why Do Some People Hate Brussel Sprouts?

Brussel sprouts…. Ah, those little packaged veggies that don’t miss on the Christmas dinner table.

At only 26 calories per cup, they are a great food choice for people looking for a healthy food option or those who want to cut body weight.

They also add a pop of color to your plate.

Brussels sprouts are not only colorful and low in calories, but they also contain plenty of nutrients, including vitamins C and K, fiber, and antioxidants.

Despite the above, not everyone at the table is bound to pick them.

In most cases, a smaller percentage of people like the veggie with many others passing it and choosing other food options instead.

Ever wondered why?

Surely, the harmless little cabbages cannot be hated this much for no reason at all.

Here are some of the reasons people hate Brussels sprouts.  


The first and probable reason Brussels sprouts are frowned upon by some is that they have genes that make them taste bitter.

Science has proven that they contain a specific chemical that tastes bitter to some people.

The chemical can be likened to phenylthiocarbamide which has been known to cause bitterness in some and nothing in others.

Studies have found that people respond this way to Brussels sprouts as well.

Some people find the taste good while others cannot stand it.

Those with the TAS2R38 taste receptor gene tend to find the vegetable bitter.

About 50% of the people of the world have a mutation of this gene.

The other half is lucky and may find it actually tasty.

It Is Bitter

Despite some people being genetically predisposed to finding brussel sprouts bitter, the cruciferous vegetable has a naturally sharp taste.

It belongs to the same group as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower called cruciferous veggies.

These veggies have high amounts of glucosinolates which when metabolized in the body, can cause a sharp or bitter taste.

People with a higher number of tongue receptors are bound to find the vegetable to be bitter.

The taste is extrapolated leading to a more gross experience.

 If you are the type of person that gets disgusted easily on the table, Brussels sprouts may not be for you.

Bad Cooking

The way of cooking Brussels sprouts also plays a factor in why many people dislike it.

 Mathew Rawson, the chairman of the Brassica Growers Association, while speaking with The Sunday Telegraph, claimed that the method of cooking has something to do with why people don’t like it very much.

 He says that the traditional way of cooking where the cruciferous vegetables would be steamed after a cross is cut at the base is largely to blame.

“Boiling the Brussels sprouts was the only traditional method of cooking it. Putting the cross at the base introduced too much water in them. In the end, they turned soggy and unpleasant. People who cook them this way ruin the vegetables.” He told The Sunday Telegraph.

Mr. Rawson went on to say that he prefers stir-fried, steamed, or microwaved Brussels sprouts. This ensures the vegetable has some flavor in it. 

One Quora user also made a comment that agrees with the above sentiments.

 The person that goes by the name Felicity Oliver says that cooking the veggie to a mush is what makes it distasteful.

 She notes that her father reluctantly ate his mush before he discovered another way of cooking which he seemed to like.

The Sprout Effect

Last but not least, Brussels sprouts are not the most favorite vegetables because they cause flatulence.

Apparently, they contain raffinose, a sugar that needs a specific enzyme to break it down.

Unfortunately, the enzyme is only available in the human large intestine – the very last part of the digestive part.

When the sugar is digested hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gases are released.

The odor can be compared to the smell of rotten eggs. It is incredible, to say the least.

Most people would rather avoid the vegetable altogether.

Closing Thoughts

Vegetables are important for all-around health and nutrition. They offer tremendous benefits for the whole body that no other food group can.

Sadly, some of the veggies such as Brussels sprouts aren’t a favorite among many folks.

We have detailed the reason for this above.

If you don’t enjoy them, try other alternatives. You’ll be spoiled for choice!

Kenyalogue Contributor


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