Can You Eat Raw Brussel Sprouts?

Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are incredibly popular the world over. They have long been used to cook amazing dishes and create all sorts of culinary delights, and they are incredibly versatile, so they can be cooked and served in a multitude of ways.

Whether you roast them, fry them, grill them, or steam them, Brussels sprouts can be a great way to inject some health benefits into a dish. However, for as good as they can taste when cooked, there remains the question of whether or not you can eat them raw. 

Is it poisonous to eat raw Brussels sprouts, or do they just not taste very good? What would happen if you did eat a raw Brussels sprout? And what is the best way to cook them?

Can You Eat Raw Brussel Sprouts?

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s safe to eat a raw Brussels sprout, or what it would be like to eat one, then look no further than what you are about to read, as we are about to explore whether or not you can safely eat Brussels sprouts raw.

Can You Eat Raw Brussels Sprouts?

Technically speaking it is safe to eat Brussels sprouts in their raw form. However, there are problems that can arise from consuming Brussels sprouts while they are raw.

One problem you might encounter is gassiness. Brussels sprouts, even cooked ones, have long been associated with gassiness, but this effect can be tenfold when consuming a sprout raw. 

This is because the process of breaking down sprouts while raw leads to a build-up of gasses that are released by the bacteria in your gut.

When you cook a sprout, not only is it much easier to eat, but it is also much easier for your body to digest, as it will have softened, thus leading to less gassiness. 

You should also aim to cook your Brussels sprouts in order to kill off harmful bacteria and viruses before you consume them. Whenever any food is kept at room temperature, bacteria inevitably develops.

Even if kept in a fridge, food will still develop bacteria eventually. Thus, it is suggested to cook your sprouts whenever you plan to eat them.

What Is It Like To Eat A Raw Brussels Sprout?

As well as causing increased gassiness and being more difficult to digest, raw sprouts are also just generally unpleasant to eat. When they are raw, sprouts are rather dry and become much harder to chew on and swallow.

Vegetables like sprouts also taste far more bitter before they are cooked, which makes them incredibly unpleasant for some. 

It is largely pointless to eat Brussels sprouts raw because they are inferior in just about every way from cooked sprouts. By eating them raw, you are taking much of the enjoyment out of sprouts. 

What Would Happen If You Ate A Raw Brussel Sprout?

If you were to eat a raw Brussels sprout, the likelihood that anything terrible would happen is incredibly low. The worst you should expect to experience is an increase in gassiness, and perhaps some rather painful bloating.

This is more likely to occur if you have a very weak or slow metabolism. If your metabolism is quite strong, then your gut will be able to digest the sprout.

In some extremely rare cases, you may even experience nausea as a result of ineffective digestion and increased gassiness. 

If you were to experience any adverse symptoms from eating raw Brussels sprouts, make sure to remain calm and allow yourself time to rest, as all symptoms will pass eventually. 

How Should You Store Brussels Sprouts?

How Should You Store Brussels Sprouts?

If you have a bunch of Brussels sprouts that you want to keep for a later date, then there are a few things you should make sure to do to ensure that they stay in good condition. 

If you plan to use your Brussels sprouts shortly after getting your hands on them, then you should make sure to keep them within your refrigerator. This helps to keep bacteria from developing on the sprouts for up to seven days after they have been placed there.

If you were to simply keep your Brussels sprouts on your kitchen counter, then you may find that they develop bacteria far quicker.

If you want to keep your Brussels sprouts for an even longer period of time, then you should aim to place them into your freezer. This will help them to last for months longer so that you can really plan ahead when you want to eat them.

However, you should make sure to only freeze your sprouts once, as refreezing them can cause damage to their cellular structure which ruins their texture and their flavor.

What Is The Best Way To Cook Brussels Sprouts?

One of the best methods for making Brussels sprouts taste truly amazing is to roast them.

Roasting sprouts causes them to soften up slightly, which makes them fall apart in your mouth, and it can also cause them to crisp up slightly at the edges, which gives them an extra interesting dimension of texture.

Sprouts taste really great when roasted alongside some garlic, or even sauteed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The best thing about sprouts is that they are very versatile, so the sky really is the limit when it comes to finding ways to cook them.


Eating raw sprouts will not have any truly detrimental effects, but it is still very much advised against. Raw Brussels sprouts taste truly awful and have a much drier and more rough texture which makes them feel absolutely terrible in your mouth.

However, though the effects can sometimes be rare, you can also experience negative side effects from raw sprouts.

For example, if you have a low metabolism, then you will have more trouble digesting the sprouts which will cause increased gassiness and bloating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Healthiest Way To Eat Brussels Sprouts?

One of the healthiest ways you can prepare Brussel sprouts is to steam them. Steaming slowly cooks the sprouts and softens them, but does not degrade the nutrients in the sprout.

What Do Raw Brussel Sprouts Taste Like?

When they are still raw, Brussel sprouts are incredibly bitter and unpleasant, so it is not recommended to consume them while they are still raw.

Can You Eat Raw Brussel Sprouts While Pregnant?

Brussel sprouts can be a great thing for pregnant women to eat, as they contain plenty of nutrients and vitamins, and they are a great source of protein.

Brett White
Latest posts by Brett White (see all)