Cauliflower is a vegetable from the family of Cruciferae, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, turnip, radish, kale, garden cress, mustard and even wasabi. For many years, it was over-shadowed by the super healthy broccoli, however, now it is the cauliflower’s time to shine!
Cauliflower is rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and anti-oxidants. It can be eaten raw, cooked, in salads, as a fermented vegetable, substituted for mashed potato or rice, as a topping for your scrambled eggs, and in lots of other ways.
Due to its tremendous positive effects on our health and thanks to the variety of ways we can consume it, I think that cauliflower is a real super vegetable.
Here are some of the health benefits of cauliflower:
Rich with vitamins and minerals - The intense modern life we are living is causing our diet to lack sufficient vitamins and minerals, which are critical for the optimal functioning of our body. Eating cauliflower on a daily basis can prevent this and can nurture our body with Magnesium, Potassium, Fibres, Niacin (B3), Folic acid (B9) Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin K and others.
Rich in Anti-oxidants and Phyto-nutrients - Eating cauliflower is like wining the lottery! It is so rich with anti-oxidants that protect our cells from the damage caused by free radicals, and can delay aging processes as a result of air pollutants, food pollutants, ionised radiation, chronic stress and others. Oxidative stress causes damage to our tissues and internal organs. Among the anti-oxidants in the cauliflower we can find vitamin C, Carotenoids, Quercetin, Rutin, Camperol and others.
Fights Inflammation - The inflammatory response in our body is a defence mechanism that combats injury or disease. The affected cells release chemicals that aid in removing the cause of harm. It is a part of the healing process. However, too often the inflammation processes in our body are increased in an unhealthy way, and are the cause of nearly all chronic diseases that we are faced with today, including heart diseases and cancer. Cauliflower is rich in or with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds such as Indole 3 carbinol, Vitamin C, Carotenoids and others, which lower oxidative stress and the presence of free-radicals in our body.
Fights cancer - The Sulforaphane in the cauliflower is a sulphur compound, which helps eliminate cancerous cells. Other compounds in the cauliflower such as Indole 3 carbinol and Isothiocyanate were also found effective in stalling early phases of cancer development to help slow down tumour growth. Studies demonstrate that cauliflower is especially useful in preventing breast cancer in addition to colon, liver, lung, and stomach cancers. The combination of Cauliflower with Turmeric (Curcumin) is very effective in eliminating cancer cells.
Keeps our heart healthy - the Sulforaphane in the cauliflower improves blood pressure, kidney function, and artery health.
Keeps our brain healthy - Cauliflower is a great source for Choline, which is a very important neurotransmitter in the brain. High consumption of Choline throughout pregnancy improves cognitive abilities, prevents memory deterioration due to age, and protects from over sensitivity to toxins at childhood and mature age.
Improves digestion process - The Glucosinolates in the cauliflower help protect the internal wall of the stomach. Sulforaphane prevents the growth of Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, as well as preventing its ability to cling to the stomach walls. H.Pylori is the main cause of ulcer and stomach cancer. On top of that cauliflower is rich in fibre, which improves bowel movement and maintains healthy intestines.
Enhancing detoxification processes - The antioxidants, the Sulphur, the Glucosinolates and other components in the cauliflower all work in synergy to activate the detoxification enzymes in our body.
If cauliflower is not one of your favourite vegetables, you can still enjoy most of the virtues mentioned above by eating other vegetables from the Cruciferae family. The more we eat the better. For example, Kale has 10,000IU of vitamin A per 1 cup and is very rich with vitamin K, which is important to prevent cancer and inflammation.Take note that people suffering from hypothyroidism should limit the intake of vegetables from the Cruciferae family. The goitrogens components in them prevent the absorption of Iodine. Lack of iodine slows down the functionality of the thyroid gland. Cooking vegetables from the Cruciferae family decreases the goitrogens effect on the gland, therefore these vegetables can be eaten this way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Noa has been practicing as a Clinical Nutritionist for the last ten years. Her specialties include weight loss, Celiac disease, digestive system problems and metabolic diseases.
Noa focuses on providing the right moral support for all her clients, combined with a customised nutritional program. Through this, Noa assists her clients to change their lives for the best – improving their health, energy levels, sleep, and overall wellbeing.