Cauliflower is one of the most common winter season vegetables that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which includes broccoli, kale and cabbage. These beautiful florets brimming with an impressive nutrient profile, hold a myriad of health benefitting plant compounds that reduce the risk of several diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Cauliflower gets its name from the Latin word ‘caulis’ which means cabbage with a flower. The florets are also known as curd, which is bunched tightly comprising of immature flower buds attached to a central stalk. To retain the flavour and softness of the florets they are shielded from sunlight to avert the reaction of chlorophyll pigment and over-maturity.
Cauliflower abounds with a remarkable nutritional content despite being white in colour delivers indispensable therapeutic benefits. Being low in calories and high on vital vitamins and minerals, cauliflower helps to shed excess pounds and it also an easy to add veggie in the diet. Packed with plant compounds indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane avert the risk of tumour cell formation. Cauliflower is bestowed with almost every nutrient that you need such as C, K, B6, folate and minerals potassium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, which helps to boost overall health and immunity.
Incredible Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Potent Antioxidant Effects
The treasure trove of nutrients present in cauliflower such as vitamin C, E and other potent bioactive compounds and antioxidants that supports in delivering nourishment to the system. Power-packed with phytochemicals like indoles and glucosinates, namely glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin stimulate beneficial enzyme activity that safeguard the cells from oxidative stress and avert the damage caused by free radicals. Adding cauliflower in the regular meal plan lowers the risk of chronic diseases and maintain overall well-being.
Promotes Cardiac Wellness
Regular intake of cauliflower can support with proper blood flow and also maintain the normal functioning of blood vessels that have been attributed to the goodness of glucoraphanin. A huge amount of glucoraphanin in cauliflower is converted into isothiocyanates that stimulate anti-inflammatory properties and avert the accumulation of fat deposits in the blood vessels. This helps in the free flow of blood that lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and optimises normal cardiac wellness. Furthermore, the strong antithrombotic and antiplatelet activity of indole-3-carbinol in cauliflower, contributes remarkably towards uplifting heart health.
A powerhouse of antioxidants, cauliflower is known to guard the cells against detrimental radicals and lowers the risk of inflammation. The richness of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, the antioxidant compounds have been shown to slow the formation of tumour cells and protect against colon, lung, breast and prostate cancers. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition has shown that adding cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower aids in suppressing cell proliferation, specifically in terms of breast cancer.
This winter vegetable endowed with immense volumes of vitamin C plays a key role in the production of collagen that maintains the joints and bones from inflammatory damage and aids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, being intrinsically rich in bone building vitamins C and K, cauliflower supports better absorption of calcium, increase bone density and prevent bone loss in adults.
Being a low-calorie vegetable with just 25 calories per serving, cauliflower is a perfect addition in a weight loss diet plan. It also serves as a low-calorie alternative for rice and flour, while you can also eat them in plenty without fear of gaining weight. Apart from this abundant in dietary fibre, cauliflower slows gastric emptying time and keep you satiated, which eventually reduce the number of calories you eat, which is a key factor in weight management.
The goodness of the natural substance sulforaphane in cauliflower is known to influence the genes and slow the biochemical process of ageing. Aside from this, laden with powerful nutrients and bioactive compounds adding this vegetable has shown to shield the brain and nervous system and slow down age-related cognitive decline.
The wealth of phytonutrients in cauliflower are involved in detoxification, which helps the body to deactivate potentially damaging chemicals and lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases
Augments Brain Health
Cauliflower is one of the best plant sources that contain immense amounts of choline which performs several vital bodily functions including maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, synthesizing DNA, and triggering the metabolism. While choline also holds a significant role in brain development and the secretion of neurotransmitters that is vital for a healthy nervous system. Furthermore, it also averts cholesterol from building in the liver and lowers the risk of liver and heart diseases.
Cauliflower A Low Carb Substitute To Grains And Legumes
Cauliflower is a versatile veggie that can be used to replace carbohydrates rich grains and legumes in the diet owing to its lower carbohydrate content. A serving of cauliflower offers 5 grams of carbs, whereas a cup of rice contains 45 grams of carbs. Some of the ways to add cauliflower in the diet include:
Cauliflower Rice: Substitute rice with cauliflower that has been grated and cooked.
Cauliflower Hummus: Chickpeas can be swapped with cauliflower in hummus recipes
Cauliflower Mash: Instead of making with potatoes, try with this low-carb cauliflower mash which is easy to make
Cauliflower Tortillas: Blend pulsed cauliflower with eggs to make low-carb tortillas that can be used for wraps.
Being high on dietary fibre excess intake of cauliflower may cause bloating and flatulence that most people cannot tolerate when taken in large portions. While high levels of vitamin K can cause issues for a person taking blood thinners, as vitamin K helps the blood clot.
Cauliflower delivers some incredible health benefits owing to its notable nutrient profile. The unique blend of antioxidants and phytochemicals supports to reduce inflammation and protect against a host of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. What’s more, it is amazingly easy to add veggie in the diet and can also substitute high carbs food in several dishes.