Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family – along with cabbage, kale, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. Recent studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of natural antioxidants due to their various phytochemicals.
Recent research also demonstrate that cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are highly correlated with preventing chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and various forms of cancer.
Top Benefits of Cauliflower
1. Reduces cancer risk
Numerous studies demonstrate that cauliflower is useful for preventing breast cancer as well as colon, liver, lung, and stomach cancers. Cauliflower has been shown to have chemo-preventive agents that stall early phases of cancer development to help shut off tumor growth.
2. Fights inflammation
Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which lower oxidative stress and the presence of free-radicals in our body. These compounds include vitamins, beta-carotene, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol.
Cauliflower also contains vitamin C (one cup serving contains 73% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C) which helps to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and keep the body free of harmful bacteria, infections, and common colds.
3. Decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and brain disorders
High levels of inflammation are correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Cauliflower’s anti-inflammatory abilities (found mainly in its supply of vitamin K, vitamin C, various antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids) help keep arteries and blood vessels free from plaque build-up. This lessens the chances of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
4. Provides high levels of vitamins and minerals
Cauliflower is a good source of vitamins C and K. Vitamin C is important for immunity. Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin responsible for healthy skeletal structure, blood clotting, and fighting inflammation in the body.
5. Improves digestion
Cruciferous vegetables are beneficial for digestion because of their rich supply of sulphur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. These compounds support proper nutrient absorption and toxin and waste removal.
6. Aids in weight loss
Cauliflower is extremely low in calories (only 29 calories per cup), and yet is high in volume and filling fiber. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight, since you can consume large amounts of cauliflower and fill up without over-consuming calories.
Cauliflower also helps to reduce constipation and to keep excess waste or water moving out of your body, which helps you feel immediately better.
7. Preserves eye health
The sulphoraphane found in cauliflower has been shown to protect the vulnerable tissues of the retinal area from oxidative stress that can result in blindness, cataracts, macular degeneration, and more.
Ways to enjoy Cauliflower
- Roast it: Cauliflower is delicious when roasted because roasting draws out its natural sweetness and caramelizes the florets.
- Salads and pilafs: Add roasted cauliflower to salads and grains like quinoa or rice dishes.
- Puree into soup: Cauliflower adds a great creamy texture to soups. Just chop, boil, puree, and stir into your favorite recipe.
- Serve mashed: Steam florets until tender, then puree them with milk, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.