Cauliflower, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, provides your body with fantastic health benefits. The most average consumed varieties of cauliflower are white and therefore most people don’t always associate cauliflower with having the same great nutrient benefits as green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or kale. However, the white varieties of cauliflower are just as rich in phytonutrients as green cruciferous vegetables, and this nutrient richness is exemplified by its glucosinolates and indole-3- carbinol. Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that provide a variety of support for our cardiovascular, digestive, immune, inflammatory, and detoxification systems.
Recent studies indicate that cooking raw cauliflower greatly improves its ability to bind effectively with bile acids. Bile acid binding is a well-documented method for helping regulate blood cholesterol levels. From these studies there is potential cardiovascular benefits from consumption of cooked cauliflower. The cauliflower in the most detailed study had been steamed for 10 minutes.
As far as nutrient benefits, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Cauliflower is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Lastly, cauliflower a good source of vitamin B1, B2, and B3, the minerals potassium and magnesium, and protein.
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
- excellent source of Vitamin C
- supports natural body detoxification
- good source of manganese
- lowers risk of oxidative stress in cells
- excellent source of Vitamin K
- may help reverse blood vessel damage
- supports eye health
- reduces constipation
- supports healthy digestive system
- high in fiber
- good source of choline for brain health
- high sulfur-containing compounds
- good source of potassium
- low in calories
- supports healthy cholesterol levels
- rich in minerals
- promotes weight loss
- rich source of potassium
- may decrease the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
Italian scientists compared cruciferous vegetable intake, including cauliflower, among individuals with and without several common cancers. Results showed that those who consumed cruciferous vegetables at least once a week cut their risk of oral, colorectal, and breast cancers by 17% and esophagus and kidney cancers by 28% and 32%, respectively.
How to Select and Store Cauliflower
- Cauliflower is freshest during the growing season from December through March.
- Pick cauliflower that has a full, creamy white head and tight bud clusters.
- Avoid cauliflower with the appearance of small brown spots.
- Place uncooked cauliflower with stem side down in plastic bag and store in refrigerator for up to a week.
Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
1 head of cauliflower
Juice of 1 organic lemon
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped parsley
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, olive oil & mustard in a big bowl. Cut up cauliflower & rinse. Let it dry thoroughly or pat dry with clean towel. Add cauliflower to the bowl & toss to coat. Place all the cauliflower evenly spread, on a baking pan and roast for 20-25 minutes in oven at 400 degrees. If the tops don’t turn light golden brown, finish them off with a brief 2 minutes under the broil setting.
Related: Garlic-Herb-Lime Cauli-Rice
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