Diet and Nutrition

Cauliflower Health Benefits

Cauliflower Health Benefits

Key Takeaways

  • Using cauliflower is recommended for the treatment and prevention of many types of cancer.
  • Cauliflower plays an important role when it comes to heart diseases because 100 g of cauliflower contain 80 percent of our daily magnesium requirement. 
  • It is believed that cauliflower can help cure insomnia.

When talking about healthy foods, especially vegetables, you can always hear that it is best to have more colors on the plate--the more the better. However, when we think of vegetables, we imagine green or red colors or any other bright color that reminds us of nature and health. But there are some white vegetables that are as healthy as any other bright-colored one. Everybody should also try including white vegetables in their diet to improve their health. White vegetables include mushrooms, garlic, potatoes, onions, and cauliflower.

Cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable. It is an annual plant, which belongs to the genus Brassica. Its color is white with green leaves and looks similar to broccoli. Cauliflower is a cultivar of wild cabbage. In other words, it is a domestically grown wild cabbage.

Cauliflower facts

Its name comes from the Italian word, cauli-fiori or "cabbage flower". Cauliflower originated from Asia Minor and the Mediterranean. There are some notes about cauliflower use that date from the 12th century. However, it is generally believed that it was used in cuisines at the start of the 16th century.

Today, the biggest cauliflower producers are China and India. The largest cauliflower producers in Europe are Spain, France, and Italy. Aside from these countries, big producers of cauliflower are also located in the USA and Mexico.

Cauliflower belongs to a group of best quality vegetables. Only its flower or the white part of the vegetable is usually used for consumption. The flower can be eaten fresh, boiled, roasted, steamed, or pickled. The flower grows on a tree, which is usually 8-31 inches tall (20-80 cm). The white, green, red, or yellow bud appears when there are about ten leaves on top of it.

When making cauliflower, you can use its leaves in combination with other vegetables to make a nice soup. When boiling cauliflower, it should not be left for too long because it could lose its nutritive value. It is recommended to boil cauliflower for only 10-15 minutes.

When it comes to its preservation and storage, it should be kept in the fridge, and enclosed in a plastic or paper bag. However, you should eat it in within five days. After the five-day period, it could lose its nutritive value. That is the rule for storing fresh cauliflower. On the other hand, boiled cauliflower should not stay longer than two days. The way to eat cauliflower is to eat it raw or mildly cooked and during the winter if it is not available in markets, you can eat pickled cauliflower.

The way to eat cauliflower is to eat it raw or mildly cooked. During the winter season, if cauliflower is not available in the market, you can eat pickled cauliflower instead.

Cauliflower color varieties

The most common color of cauliflower is white. However, cauliflower also appears in different colors according to its varieties. They can appear as purple, orange, and green.

Lately, cauliflower has become very popular in the diet of many people because studies have shown that it is great for fighting different types of cancer including:

Additionally, it is a great ally in weight loss because it speeds up the metabolism and releases toxins from the body.

Cauliflower nutrition facts

Cauliflower contains large amounts of sulfur, phosphorus, and potassium. It also contains manganese, magnesium, copper, as well as vitamins A, B, and K. Overall, this vegetable is so nutritive and healthy that you should include it in your diet immediately unless you have a stomach or a bowel disease or digestion problems because it can cause unpleasantness due to the high content of cellulose and can make digestion more difficult. 

Overall, this vegetable is so nutritive and healthy that you should include it in your diet immediately unless you have a stomach or a bowel disease or digestion problems because it can cause unpleasantness due to the high content of cellulose and can make digestion more difficult. 

Detailed cauliflower nutrition facts

1 cup or 100 g of raw cauliflower contains:

  • Calories – 25 calories or 105 kJ
  • Carbs – 5.3 g (dietary fiber 2.5 g and sugars 2.4 g)
  • Fat – 0.1 g (37 mg of total omega-3 fatty acids and 11 mg of total omega-6 fatty acids)
  • Proteins – 1.9 g
  • Water – 92 g
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.05 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.06 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) – 0.51 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – 0.667 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)– 0.184 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (folate) - 57 μg
  • Choline - 45.2 mg
  • Vitamin C – 46.4 mg
  • Vitamin E – 0.08 mg
  • Vitamin K -15.5 mcg
  • Calcium – 22 mg
  • Iron - 0.42 mg
  • Magnesium – 15 mg
  • Manganese – 0.155 mg
  • Phosphorus – 44 mg
  • Potassium – 303 mg
  • Sodium – 30 mg
  • Zinc – 0.27 mg
  • Copper – 0.0 mg
  • Selenium – 0.6 mcg
  • Fluoride – 1.0 mcg
  • Phytosterols – 18.0 mg
  • Ash - 0.7 g

Cauliflower health benefits

1) Anti-cancer

Using cauliflower is recommended for the treatment and prevention of many types of cancer. It has zero fat content with small amounts of carbohyd and phytonutrients, which are important in preventing harmful enzymes that are responsible for activating cancer cells.

Cauliflower activates the positive effects of these enzymes. If you want to use cauliflower for preventing or fighting cancer, you should include it in your everyday meals and eat it five times a day. Because it contains sulforaphane, glucosinolate, and thiocyanate, it is a very powerful ally in the fight against breast cancer.

2) Good for the heart

Cauliflower plays an important role when it comes to heart diseases because 100 g of cauliflower contain 80 percent of our daily magnesium requirement. For this reason, it is a very important vegetable for preserving a healthy heart.

Magnesium also saves the body from stress, which can help fight against cancer. Aside from preventing cancer, it also prevents cardiovascular diseases because it contains folic acid. It lowers the risk of stroke, detoxifies the body, and strengthens immunity. Moreover, it can help normalize elevated blood pressure levels

3) Anti-inflammatory

Cauliflower can prevent osteoporosis and can ease the effects of skin diseases, diabetes, stroke, allergies, and asthma. It can help ease common colds or flu and can help relieve symptoms of dental diseases or gingivitis.  

It has a positive effect on rheumatic diseases and pain caused by them. Cauliflower can prevent multiple sclerosis and has an impact in managing the disease. Cauliflower is also recommended for women who are in menopause to help them overcome the symptoms easier. It is also highly recommended for men with prostate problems to include cauliflower in their daily diet. 

4) Weight loss

Because cauliflower does not contain lots of calories and contains mostly water, doctors usually recommend it to people who want to lose weight.

5) Better skin, hair & nails

If you consume it regularly, it will not only strengthen your hair and nails, but it will also promote skin regeneration, making it smooth, elastic, and younger-looking.  

6) Other health benefits

It is believed that cauliflower can help cure insomnia. It can also help the body recover from an unhealthy diet, polluted environment, and radiation. Cauliflower can also be used as an aphrodisiac or even help prevent and treat infertility.

Cauliflower can also help prevent the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anemia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Arthritis
  • Oral cavity and pharyngeal diseases
  • Skin injuries and diseases such as eczema
  • Muscle sprains
  • Problems with metabolism

9 reasons why you should eat cauliflower

  1. Helps fight or prevent diseases, especially cancer
  2. Good source of vitamin B
  3. Helps with weight loss
  4. You can eat it instead of orange because it is enriched with vitamin C
  5. Lifts up your mood
  6. Simple preparation
  7. Anti-inflammatory
  8. Helps detoxify the body
  9. Improves brain health

Cauliflower recipes

Watch this video below to learn how to make buffalo cauliflower.

1) Cauliflower creamy soup

To make a creamy soup using cauliflower, prepare the following ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower (broken florets and stalks chopped)
  • 2 large potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 cups cooking cream 
  • 2 cups broth or stock of your choice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley or thyme for garnishing

Instructions: 

  1. Prepare a large sauce pot and place all of the ingredients except for salt, pepper, and garnish.
  2. Bring it to boil and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Use a food processor or blender and puree the mixture.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Gradually add more liquid (cream or broth) if you want to thin down the soup. If you want the soup thicker, let it simmer for a while to thicken.
  6. Garnish with parsley or thyme when ready to serve.

2) Cauliflower broth 

To make a cauliflower broth, you will need:

  • 1 head cauliflower (broken florets and stalks chopped)
  • 1 quart of water
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Chopped chives for garnishing

Instructions:

  1. Place the cauliflower florets and chopped stalks in a large sauce pot and boil them using 1 quart of water with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  2. Boil for about 4 minutes until the florets are cooked through.
  3. Drain the florets and reserve the boiled water.
  4. In a food processor or blender, puree the cooked cauliflower with enough boiled water until smooth.
  5. Add salt and butter to taste.
  6. Garnish with chopped chives and drizzle it with olive oil on top.

3) Cauliflower “steaks” (roasted)

Ingredients for roasted cauliflower “steaks”:

  • 1 large head cauliflower (cut lengthwise into 4 “steaks”)
  • 1 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes (pinch)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line your baking sheet using parchment paper.
  3. Put the cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet and set aside.
  4. Make an olive oil mixture by whisking all of the other ingredients in a bowl.
  5. Brush the top of the cauliflower steaks using ½ of the olive oil mixture.
  6. Roast the steaks in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, turn over the steaks and brush the remaining mixture.
  8. Roast again for another 15-20 minutes until the steaks turn golden and tender.

4) Oven-baked garlic cauliflower

Prepare the following ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower (broken florets)
  • 2 Tbsps. garlic (minced)
  • 3 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped parsley for garnishing

You will also need:

  • A large casserole dish
  • A large resealable bag

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a large casserole dish using olive oil or baking spray.
  3. Combine the olive oil, minced garlic, and broken cauliflower florets in a resealable bag.
  4. Shake the resealable bag to mix.
  5. Pour it into the greased casserole.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Place the casserole into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  8. Add Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
  9. Broil for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown.