Cauliflower is a non starchy, cruciferous vegetable packed with many healthy nutrients and antioxidant compounds. It has no fat and it is a flower-vegetable that you should absolutely include in your regular diet. Just make sure that you do not cook it for more than 5 minutes, as overcooking will diminish its nutritional value.
Now let’s discover some of the most significant health benefits of cauliflower.
This tasty flower-vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C and manganese, which are both potent antioxidants, essential for our overall health. One cup of raw cauliflower has 54.93 mg of vitamin C, while the recommended daily intake is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men! It also has 0.34 mg of manganese per cup.
But, besides vitamin C and manganese, cauliflower contains also other important antioxidant phytonutrients, such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol.
All these compounds work together to protect our body against free radicals and reduce the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and various infections. They are also important in slowing down the aging process.
Another great health benefit of the cauliflower lies in its high amount of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K, which are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. One cup of boiled cauliflower contains as much as 0.21 g of omega-3 fatty acids and 11.17 mcg of vitamin K.
Regular consumption of cauliflower can therefore help prevent inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, ulcerative colitis and some bowel conditions.
Cauliflower contains phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds. They give cauliflower its pungent smell and flavor and they help our body get rid of toxins and carcinogens. After broccoli, cauliflower boasts the second highest content of glucosinates.
When chewed, glucosinolates break down into their active form, known as sulforaphane, which is what then triggers and activates liver detoxification enzymes.
Eating cauliflower can help prevent various types of cancer and cleanse our body of toxins.
Being antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, cauliflower can help prevent heart diseases in many ways. It also has allicin, which reduces the risk of stroke and many cardiovascular disorders.
High amounts of dietary fiber – about 3.35 per cup – make cauliflower an excellent digestive support.
Dietary fiber is very important, as it helps clean the digestive system, making the stool move through the intestines more easily.
Besides dietary fiber, cauliflower contains also a sulfur-containing compound known as glucoraphanin (a type of glucosinate). This phytonutrient prevents the overgrowth of a bacterium called helicobacter pylori in the stomach, responsible for certain health conditions such as cancer and ulcers.
Potassium is an important mineral because it maintains normal body functions and proper hydration, and helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.
Besides being very healthy, cauliflower is also extremely low in calories, and it has no cholesterol and no saturated fats. 1 cup of cauliflower contains only 28.52 calories.
This is another great health benefit of the cauliflower. It has a good amount of folate, a B vitamin that prevents neural tube defects in the baby.
Cauliflower contains compounds such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which have anti cancer properties. They have been found to reduce the risk of prostate, breast, cervical, colon, breast and ovarian cancers.
One Canadian study has shown that the consumption of ½ cup of cauliflower a day may cut the risk of prostate cancer by 52%.
Ready to stuff yourself with cauliflower? Let us know in the comments if we have missed any of its benefits!
Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.
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