From reducing the risk of cancer to preventing heart diseases, and maintaining hormonal balance, cauliflower has some exceptional properties that make it one of the favorite veggies of the health conscious people. This article highlights why the vegetable with florets is exceptionally good for your overall health. Learn the amazing cauliflower benefits and add it to your healthy diet plan now.
What is a Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and belongs to the Brassicaceae. At present, it is used worldwide in a variety of cuisines owing to its great taste and numerous health benefits.
Cauliflower Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower has an impressive nutrient profile which makes it highly beneficial for your health. It has a good amount of protein and also contains a substantial amount of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats, and phytochemicals. With a high amount of dietary fibers and low fat, it is good for your digestive health(1).
Besides, it also serves as an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, B complex Vitamins and folate, and contains essential minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, etc. Cauliflower carbs amount to five grams in a cup of which 2 grams are from the fiber. Thus, it is quite low in carbohydrates.
Types of Cauliflower
Amazing Cauliflower Benefits on your health
From improving your digestive health to boosting your immunity, preventing kidney troubles, and what not; cauliflower benefits you in a number of ways. Below listed are some of the prime benefits of this healthy veggie that you must know.
1. Cauliflower benefits your heart
Studies show that regular consumption of cauliflower benefits the health of your heart. It is because cauliflower contains glucoraphanin and Vitamin K that aid in blood circulation and proper functioning of the blood vessels. Glucoraphanin gets converted in your body into isothiocyanates that has anti-inflammatory properties.
It prevents the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels thus aiding in the smooth blood flow and preventing the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis. Also, Indole-3-carbinol found in cauliflower has antiplatelet and antithrombotic properties which promote a healthy heart.
2. Aids in fighting cancer
Cauliflower contains an active compound known as sulforaphane that kills cancer stem cells and inhibits the growth of a tumor. It also protects you against prostate cancer. The vegetable is also rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K that can help fight various forms of cancer. Further, isothiocyanates and indoles present in it prevent bladder, liver, colon and lung cancer.
3. Helps in fighting inflammation
Cauliflower is an excellent source of antioxidants that fight the damaging free radicals present in your body and combat inflammation. It contains high amounts of carotenoids and flavonoids that reduce oxidative stress and have anti-cancer effects.
By killing the damaging free radicals, these also reduce the risk of various diseases including diabetes and heart conditions. The nutritious veggie also has a good amount of Vitamin C which also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that strengthen your immune system.
4. Benefits your digestive system and prevents stomach disorders
The abundant amount of dietary fiber present in cauliflower improves your digestion and regulates the bowel movement. It also helps in eliminating the toxins from your body.
Furthermore, compounds like sulforaphane, glucoraphanin, and glucosinolate found in cauliflower protect the lining of your stomach and inhibit the growth of Heliobacter pyroli, a type of bacteria and the isothiocyanates prevent stomach ulcers and other abdominal disorders. Thus, consuming cauliflower benefits your stomach and improves your digestion.
5. Boosts the health of your brain
Presence of phosphorous and choline, a B vitamin, makes cauliflower highly beneficial for your brain. Both of them play an active role in repairing the cell membranes and thus aid in the effective functioning of the nervous system and the brain. Vitamin B6 is another essential nutrient found in cauliflower which contributes towards brain health.
How to eat cauliflower?
There are numerous ways in which you can include cauliflower in your diet.
- Stream or roast it with spices and serve it as a side dish
- Grate cauliflower and substitute it for rice
- Blanched or salted cauliflower florets can be served with yogurt
- Fried cauliflower can be served as nuggets
- Boiled and mashed cauliflower is an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes
How to make cauliflower rice?
Cauliflower rice is a healthier low-carb alternative to regular rice. You can use it in numerous recipes. Here is how you can make healthy cauliflower rice.
- Take a cauliflower head
- Cut small cauliflower florets
- Put the florets in a food processor
- Process them to get grains of the size of rice or couscous
Add cauliflower to your diet and enjoy the numerous cauliflower benefits. Here are some interesting cauliflower recipes that provide you great taste along with the nutritional benefits of cauliflower.
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
The parmesan roasted cauliflower is a savory dish and an excellent way to enjoy cauliflower.
What will you need?
- One medium sized cauliflower head
- Half a cup of Parmesan cheese
- Four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Two teaspoons of crushed garlic
- Half a teaspoon of black pepper (freshly ground)
- One teaspoon of kosher salt
How to prepare?
- Preheat the oven to 425 F
- Take a baking pan and line it with a foil
- Spray the cooking spray on the foil
- Take a large bowl
- Cut cauliflower head into small florets and toss them in the bowl
- Next, add garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper
- Mix all the ingredients and spread the cauliflower florets on the baking pan
- Put the pan in the oven and roast for about thirty minutes, turning the side every ten minutes until the cauliflower becomes brown and tender
- Serve in a bowl
- Your roasted cauliflower is ready to be savored
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Love mashed potatoes? Wait a second. Switch the mashed potatoes with this cauliflower mashed potato recipe, it is low in calories and much more flavorsome.
What will you need?
- Two cups of cauliflower florets
- Two pounds of russet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- Half a cup of low-fat buttermilk
- One-eighth teaspoon of black pepper (ground)
- One-fourth teaspoon of salt
How to prepare?
- Add water to a large pot and bring it to boil
- Then add in the potato cubes
- Lower the heat and cover the pot
- Keep it on simmer for about ten minutes until the potatoes become tender
- Drain the potatoes and discard the liquid
- Meanwhile, in another pot add cauliflower florets
- Fill it up to two inches with water
- Bring the water to a slow boil
- After that, cover the pan and cook the cauliflower for another five minutes. Continue adding water if required to prevent cauliflower from scorching
- Once the florets are perfectly cooked drain the water and let the cauliflower cool
- After that add it to a blender along with one-fourth cup of buttermilk and blend to get a smooth puree
- Now, blend the cooked potatoes with the remaining buttermilk using an electric mixer
- Mix the potato and cauliflower puree to obtain a uniform mixture
- Add in salt and pepper
Side-effects of Cauliflower
While cauliflower is excellent for your health, consuming it in excess can cause severe health troubles. Some of the side-effects associated with cauliflower are:
- Cauliflower is known to contain complex carbohydrates that do not get completely broken down in the digestive tract. As such, intestinal bacteria might feed upon them which may cause bloating and release of gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen
- Cauliflower may cause severe anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction
- Cauliflower is a source of purines which break down in your body to form uric acid. Hence, its excessive consumption may lead to problems related to uric acid like gout and kidney stones
- It may interfere in the effectiveness of drugs like Coumadin and warfarin
Cauliflower is indeed beneficial for your health. It contains an abundant amount of nutrients that play an essential role in boosting your health. With its active compounds and essential nutrients, it serves as a super healthy food that works wonders for your vital organs and improves the functioning of the various body mechanisms.
So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the numerous cauliflower benefits by adding it to your diet. Savor it in roasted form or add it to your casserole recipes. Grilled cauliflower also tastes great. Eat it in whichever way you like and get its incredible benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many calories are there in cauliflower?
Cauliflower is low in calories. 100 g of the veggie provides you with only 25 calories.
2. Can you include cauliflower in a keto diet?
Cauliflower being low in carbs is one of the best vegetables for keto diets.
3. How long can cauliflower florets be stored?
Cauliflower florets should be consumed within four days of cutting them.