Although it may not be everyone’s favourite vegetable, the listed-below uses of cauliflower for enhancing a person’s health will make you rethink your relation to this vegetable.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is loaded with many vitamins and minerals. This vegetable belongs to the family of cabbage and broccoli and is extremely beneficial for many ailments like heart disease, immune system, digestion, and cancer. Cauliflower generally has two varieties (a purple and a white head). Cauliflower supports your weight loss journey, and you can conveniently enjoy cauliflower benefits by adding it to your diet.
Curious about the advantages of cauliflower? In this article, we are going to unearth some of the health benefits of cauliflower.
Nutritional value of cauliflower
One cup (about 128 grams) of raw cauliflower contains about 25 calories and 3 grams of fibre. Vitamins in cauliflower are listed below:
Vitamins & Minerals
Percentage of RDI
77% of the RDI
20% of the RDI
14% of the RDI
11% of the RDI
7% of the RDI
9% of the RDI
8% of the RDI
4% of the RDI
12 Benefits of Eating Cauliflower
The photochemicals, such as glucosinolates, vitamins, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds, present in cauliflower make it an excellent vegetable to be incorporated in your diet.(1) Some amazing cauliflower benefits are listed below:
1. An Ideal Source of Antioxidants
Cauliflower contains antioxidants (glucosinolates and isothiocyanates) and safeguards your body against baleful free radicals and inflammation. The antioxidants in cauliflower have the capacity to control the growth of cancer cells.
Cauliflower is also rich in carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants that are blessed with anti-cancerous properties and minimise the risk of several other ailments, including heart disease.
People who are worried about their health must try to include cauliflower in their diet to enjoy all the health benefits of this vegetable; individuals who are at high-risk for developing certain chronic conditions may also benefit from consuming this vegetable.
2. Supports in Weight Loss
Cauliflower is an ideal substitute for high-calorie foods like rice and flour. Due to its fibre content, cauliflower slows down digestion and gives a feeling of fullness. By eating cauliflower, you can control your daily calorie intake which is beneficial for your weight loss journey.
Weight loss may require a person to control their diet and limit the intake of certain foods, but that shouldn’t compromise with their health. Eating nutrient-rich food while losing weight is essential to avoid getting weak as the excess weight drops. Cauliflowers are a great addition to a weight-watcher’s diet; some interesting dishes made with cauliflower are mentioned below on this page.
3. High in Choline
Choline plays a pivotal role in several functions including the integrity of cell membranes, synthesising DNA and supporting metabolism. Choline supports the development and the production of neurotransmitters that make your nervous system healthy.
People who don’t have adequate choline may develop liver and heart disease, along with dementia and Alzheimer’s. One cup of cauliflower offers 45 mg of choline, which is about 11% of the adequate intake (AI) for women and 8% for men.
4. Contains a Higher Amount of Sulphate
Cauliflower is rich in sulforaphane (an antioxidant) that overpowers cancer development by inhibiting enzymes related to cancer and tumour growth. Some medical studies have claimed that sulforaphane is beneficial in preventing cancer growth by killing cells that are already damaged.
Sulforaphane is effective against colon and prostate cancer. But more studies are required to establish the claims.
5. Easy to Incorporate into the Diet
You can prepare dishes by using cauliflower either steaming, roasting or sautéing. You can even make side dishes like soups, salads, stir-fries and casseroles. The vegetable’s subtle flavour is considered palatable by most people; those who don’t enjoy cauliflower can try experimenting with it and prepare it in different ways to enjoy its health benefits. It is affordable, can be consumed raw, and mostly available in grocery stores.
6. Prevent Stomach Problems
Cauliflower is richer in fibre; thus, it improves your digestion. Cauliflower is also effective in removing toxins from the body because of glucosinolate, glucoraphanin and sulforaphane content. It inhibits the growth of H.pylori bacteria. Moreover, cauliflower minimises stomach problems like stomach ulcers and other gastric diseases. This makes cauliflower an excellent vegetable for someone who is frequently troubled by an upset stomach.
7. Improves Bone Health
Vitamin C in cauliflower stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen safeguards your joints and bones from inflammatory damage. Cauliflower is also beneficial for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Cauliflower contains a good amount of vitamin K which prevents bone loss in both men and women; it is an excellent addition especially to the diet of a developing child, the elderly, and a post-menopausal woman.
Cauliflower is one of the few white vegetables that are rich in vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting and coagulation to help the body heal wounds quickly and ensures optimum bone health.
8. Detoxifies Your Body
Cauliflower possesses indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane. These two components control the function of detoxifying enzymes that extirpate baleful elements from the body.
9. Beneficial For Your Skin
Do you want healthy, youthful skin? Add cauliflower to your diet.
Sulforaphane in cauliflower is beneficial in protecting your skin against damage by UV rays. Sulforaphane protects your body from UV radiation-induced inflammations, skin cancer, UV-induced erythema, and cellular damage.
10. Improves The Growth of Your Hair
Due to the presence of sulfur-containing amino acids (precursor for making hair keratin proteins) and silicon, cauliflower improves the growth of your hair.
Many people struggle with healthy hair growth and purchase numerous ‘hair-growth’ products while completely ignoring the nutrition aspect of this. Having long, healthy hair is possible when you provide the right nutrition to your body. Consuming cauliflower regularly may help you grow luscious hair.
11. Minimises Hypertension
Due to glucoraphanin and sulforaphane content, cauliflower minimises oxidative stress and also, reduces the levels of LDL. This can also improve the levels of HDL and minimises blood pressure. Certain compounds in cauliflower are blessed with angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitory activity, and thus, it is effective in treating blood pressure. Moreover, the fibre and omega-3 fatty acids in cauliflower are also beneficial in preventing the hardening of the arteries. This is one of the reasons why cauliflower is a part of the DASH diet—a diet designed specifically for people with hypertension.
12. Helps in Foetal Growth
Due to the presence of folate, cauliflower is effective in your pregnancy. Folate is beneficial for the neural development of the foetus and also, prevents neural tube defects.
Looking for some healthy and tasty foods to incorporate in your diet during pregnancy? Consider roasting a chopped cauliflower with garlic and other spices and enjoy with a dip. Eating healthy foods during pregnancy is essential in providing the foetus with enough nutrients; consuming cauliflower is a great way of doing that.
13. Improves immune function
Oranges and strawberries are some of the well-known foods that contain high levels of vitamin C, but cauliflower also has significant amount of vitamin C. Consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C to get the daily recommended value can be beneficial for the immune system and prevent the person from falling sick often. A strong immune system also helps in quick recovery in case an individual falls ill.
People who have a compromised immune system or developing children can benefit from eating this cruciferous vegetable.
14. Prevents type 2 diabetes (or diabetes mellitus)
A study indicated that consuming cauliflower can prevent type 2 diabetes in people who have early signs of the disease. However, one must not excessively consume cauliflower in the hopes of avoiding a chronic condition like diabetes as it can end up upsetting their stomach and negate any benefits of consuming the vegetable.
Additionally, cauliflower has a low glycemic index; thus, people who have diabetes can enjoy it without worrying about their blood sugar levels.
How to enjoy cauliflower health benefits?
Nutrients such as minerals and vitamins in cauliflower make it an ideal vegetable to include in your diet. Here are some ways to use cauliflower:
- Cream of cauliflower soup
This easy-to-prepare soup is extremely nutritious and delicious at the same time.
- Cauliflower fritters or pakora
Fritters are a popular type of snacks in India, especially during the rainy reason. Fritters are usually made with potatoes or green chillies. Cauliflower fritters are a healthy alternative to these that taste good and provide nutrients to the body.
- Cauliflower rice
Prepared by grating and cooking cauliflower, this recipe can replace white or brown rice in your regular dishes and reduce the amount of carbs in your diet.
- Cauliflower hummus
Traditionally made with chickpeas, hummus can be prepared with cauliflower as well.
- Cauliflower mac and cheese
Replacing pasta with chopped and cooked cauliflower is a great way to increase one’s vegetable intake and cut down on carbs. Rest of the recipe for mac and cheese can remain the same to keep the dish tasty.
- Cauliflower pizza crust
Some people have tried and succeeded in making pizza dough with finely grinder cauliflower; it is an interesting recipe worth trying.
- Cauliflower mash
This is another recipe to enjoy the advantages of cauliflower. One can prepare a cauliflower mash by following the recipe of mashed potatoes and replacing the potatoes with cauliflower.
- Cauliflower tortillas
By mixing ground cauliflower with eggs, one can easily make low carb tortillas. Cauliflower tortillas can be used for making tacos and/or burritos, just like regular tortillas.
There are numerous uses of cauliflower, and the dishes mentioned above are just few examples. Another great way of incorporating cauliflower in your diet is by making a vegetable preparation or stir frying chopped and boiled cauliflower with soya sauce and other spices.
Did you know that cauliflower comes in different colours? Although white cauliflower is usually the one you see in markets, orange, purple, and green varieties of this vegetable are available as well. The colour does not affect the taste as much, so preparing different coloured cauliflowers can be a fun way to get children to enjoy this vegetable. One may be able to get cauliflowers in different colour in exotic food markets.
How to store cauliflower?
This vegetable must be stored in a cool dry place—the refrigerator. If the cauliflower you bought is in an air-tight packaging, it is best to leave it in the packaging until you plan on using it. If you bought fresh cauliflower from the local stores or vegetable sellers, consider washing and drying it properly for storing in the refrigerator. After cooking, cauliflower can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator and for a few months in the freezer.
Are there any side effects of cauliflower?
Although cauliflower has numerous health benefits, one needs to be a little cautious while consuming it. Listed below are some precautions for cauliflower consumption:
- Excess consumption of cauliflower is advised against, especially for pregnant women. Eating moderate amounts of cauliflower can actually be beneficial for a pregnant woman due to the rich folate content.
- Small green insects tend to infest cauliflower; thus, one must clean and prepare cauliflower carefully.
- Pesticides and/or insecticides may make their way into one’s stomach if they were used excessively during the growth of the vegetable; it is important to properly clean the vegetable before consumption.
- Cauliflower may speed up the metabolism and removal of certain medicines quickly as it might induce the enzymes in the body responsible for metabolising foreign objects. However, in regions where cauliflower is common, the doctors will likely take into account that most people consume the vegetable and adjust the dosage accordingly if necessary.
- If a person with thyroid consumes excessively large amounts of cauliflower, their condition may worsen. This is because consuming too much cauliflower can interfere with how the thyroid glands use iodine.
- Since cauliflower has high amounts of FODMAPs (fermentable OUIGO-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols), people with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease should consider avoiding this vegetable. People with the aforementioned conditions may notice their symptoms getting worse after consuming foods high in FODMAPs, such as cauliflower.
Although people don’t usually get an allergic reaction from consuming cauliflower, a few cases have been reported over the years. People who are allergic/sensitive to vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage may not be able to eat cauliflower without any adverse effects.
A person who experiences hives or shortness of breath, which are some common symptoms of anaphylaxis, are advised to seek medical attention. Even if a person is allergic to cauliflower, they may not have severe reactions to eating the vegetable. They may get an upset stomach or other symptoms every time they consume cauliflower. Such individuals should see a doctor, preferably a specialist, to get a diagnosis and treatment if possible.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable, and it is quickly available. You may prepare many mouth-watering dishes by using this cruciferous vegetable. But consume it moderately to avoid the side effects.
Cauliflower benefits a person by providing them nutrition and aiding the digestion process. The rich antioxidant content of this vegetable may reduce inflammation in the body and help prevent diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular problems.
Nowadays, low-carb and other forms of tailored diets that target a specific group of people are gaining popularity. This has led to an increasing demand for cauliflower, as people are starting to understand the health benefit of cauliflower, a vegetable rich in fibre and other nutrients. Due to its low glycemic index, cauliflower is also a great alternative to rice/potatoes for people who have diabetes.
Incorporating cauliflower in diet is extremely easy; one can roast it, sauté it, or eat it raw. Consider trying some of the dishes mentioned above and enjoy cauliflower benefits without compromising the taste.