Many people these days seem to have given up great foods like potatoes, pasta and rice in order to be healthier. When they do eat those foods, they tend to use very little of each food item- limiting their intake.
By eating less starch, vegetables can become the new star ingredient in your diet. One such vegetable that has gained popularity is cauliflower.
Many people praise it for its flavour and versatility; you can make it into almost anything from pizza crust or roasted broccoli to mashed potatoes or even rice!
But did you know that this lovely veggie can help improve your overall health? Here are some surprising ways that cauliflower helps promote good health.
So what are we talking about here? Let’s dive in and learn more about the many ways that cauliflower benefits our bodies.
Disclaimer: The content in this article should not be used as medical advice without first discussing it with your doctor. While we strive to provide information that is reliable, complete and accurate, we cannot ensure that it is error-free. Therefore, we are providing it for informational purposes only, not representing it as being authoritative or factually correct.
Clinical studies will be referenced using an asterisk (*). Please note that not all studies contain findings pertinent to every individual and that there may also be other factors at play. You must consider your personal medical history in determining whether or not the recommendations made here are right for you.
A high source of vitamin K
One of the most important vitamins is Vitamin K. This antioxidant helps your blood to clot properly. When you eat foods that are rich in vitamin K, your body does not need as much as it would without them, therefore they can be wasted.
Fortunately, cauliflower is a very high source! The 1 cup (250 grams) serving contains nearly three times more vitamin K than the recommended daily amount.
This could be due to the way the food is prepared or the type of oil used when cooking it. Either one can reduce the needed dose.
A good source of vitamin C
Many people are aware of cauliflower as an easy-to-prepare food that can be boiled, roasted or mashed into pureed vegetables. More and more studies show how many health benefits it has though!
It is known to help improve your overall heart health due to its high content of potassium and magnesium. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure while also helping relax muscles.
Cauliflower may even have anticancer effects because it contains sulforaphane, which some research suggests fights cancer cells.
However, if you choose to eat it, try to include at least one serving every day.
A good source of manganese
Many people know about the health benefits of cauliflower, but few realize how much like cheese it is! Almost every cuisine in this country has some kind of recipe made with or cooked pureed cauliflower as an ingredient.
Many of these recipes include cream to make it taste better and boost the flavour, so you get half of the vegetable doused in fat. It is very easy to find low-fat versions of most things made with milk or cream, but not too many foods are simply milk without pictures.
Cauliflower can be used in place of that missing element and still taste great! When eating plainly roasted or steamed cauliflower, there are significant amounts of minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help keep your skin healthy and regulate blood glucose levels.
Zinc aids in immune system function and helps prevent oxidative damage, both important factors for overall health. Magnesium promotes muscle relaxation and keeps bones strong, while also helping relax muscles. Potassium helps maintain fluid balance in the body and aids in heart function.
Furthermore, although not typically considered a nutrient, vitamin K works with calcium to promote bone growth.
A good source of dietary fibre
Most people are aware that broccoli is one of the most nutritious foods due to its high content of vitamin K, folate, calcium, and other minerals such as iron. What many don’t know though is that cauliflower can be just as rich in these nutrients, if not more so!
Many of us add rice or potatoes onto our plates at dinner time and then wonder what is left over for dessert. Luckily, we have a lot you can do with leftover cauliflower!
Cauliflower puree makes an excellent addition to desserts and snacks. It has a nice texture similar to that of oatmeal and it tastes delicious! If nothing else, try roasting it and using it in recipes like toast or pasta dishes.
A good source of phosphorous
Phosphorus is an essential mineral for healthy bone growth, muscle function, cardiovascular system function, and other body processes.
Phosphorus can be consumed by eating fruits and vegetables that contain phosphorus, such as broccoli, spinach, avocado, and almonds.
It may also be found in fermented foods like yoghurt or pickled veggies, milk, and cheese.
Some studies suggest that too much intake of phosphorus can contribute to calcium loss, which could cause osteoporosis. But others report no evidence supporting this theory.
Research indicates that higher levels of phosphorus are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
However, you should not rely solely on supplements for important minerals like phosphorus because they may not be absorbed properly.
A good source of iron
Many people are aware of cauliflower as a low-calorie, low-fat food that can be cooked in many recipes. What few know about it is that one cup (100 grams) of raw florets contains more than half your daily value of iron!
That’s right, one serving of plain old white vegetable cauliflower has enough nutritional value to meet up with one day of your iron recommendations.
Another way to prepare this nutritious veggie is to roast it. The process removes most of the water content and adds rich flavour and texture.
Roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts are two other vegetables that contain high levels of iron. While not necessarily eaten alone, these foods are often part of an eating plan or diet.
Given its versatility and richness, cauliflower can also be a smart choice for culinary fans. It pairs well with just about any cuisine!
Iron is necessary for healthy blood circulation and growth. Adolescent boys need higher amounts to help build strong bones.
Women develop bone tissue at a slower rate after menopause, so they require adequate supplies of iron to keep their hearts and bodies functioning properly.
As age progresses, some individuals lose muscle mass and grow weaker due to lower blood flow. This can lead to falls, injuries, and poor quality of life.
Fortunately, there are ways to get enough iron through nutrition.
A good source of folate
Many people credit cauliflower for helping to keep them healthy by promoting cardiovascular health, oral health, and even lowering cholesterol. Folate is an important nutrient that helps your body use DNA for growth and repair.
Most of us are aware of broccoli as a nutritious food, but most not of the white vegetable we often see packaged or sold frozen where they pack it into boxes and take up space.
Cauliflower can be eaten alone or paired with other foods such as rice or pasta. It does not contain much taste so you may want to season it yourself or have others suggest recipes while eating this vegetable.
There are several ways to prepare cauliflower; boiling it in water, baking it under the broiler, roasting it in olive oil or butter, and making it into “rice” or “potato” style vegetables.
A good source of magnesium
Recent studies have shown that eating more vegetables can help keep your heart healthy. One such vegetable is cauliflower! Broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots are all considered rich sources of calcium but not many people know about the delicious, crunchy white veggie called cauliflower.
Many diets recommend limiting the intake of dairy due to its high content of saturated fat. However, research has shown that higher intakes of bone-building foods like dried fruits and veggies may be just as effective in improving bone health.
Cauliflower contains some phosphorous and vitamin K which aid in forming strong bones but what makes it different from other broccoli florets is an additional component – sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant found only in certain plants. When consumed, sulforaphane helps reduce oxidative stress, which can damage cells or even cause cell death. Sulforaphane also acts as a natural antibiotic and antiviral agent. Because it contains antioxidants, sulforaphane may also protect your body from additional free radical injury.
It’s important to note that aside from its health benefits, cooked cauliflower does not contain any significant nutrients. It is therefore recommended to eat it raw or very briefly stir-fried so that it can soak up some of the flavour and nutritional value.
Dietary supplements are never a bad thing, but make sure to stick to the recommendations given by your doctor first before taking extra pills.