9 Powerful Health Benefits of Cauliflower

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Luiza Kamalova on Shutterstock



The health benefits of Cauliflower are limitless. This fantastic white flower may not impress your crush, but it can offer you some powerful health benefits.

It alleviates the risk of breast and reproductive cancers. It is rich in potent antioxidant content, which helps in the healthy functioning of your immune system—this superfood aids in maintaining cardiovascular health preventing heart disease by keeping blood pressure in check.

Cauliflowers have unique plant compounds that reduce the risk of developing diseases such as kidney disease, or ulcerative colitis.

It helps in the digestive system’s proper functioning and acts as fuel for healthy bacteria in the gut.

It prevents inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract lining and helps maintain gut health. Inflammatory bowel disease is also called Crohn’s disease.

So, a vegetable with such health benefits is worth exploring more right?

Cauliflower and its origin

cauliflower health benefits
By Liz west/Flickr copyright 2012

Originally, cauliflower was grown in the northeast Mediterranean region. This age-old vegetable was produced by the Egyptians initially. Later in the eighteenth century, the cultivation of cauliflower started spreading to other continents around the world.

Presently, this is grown widely in Asia. The major producing countries are India, China, Italy, and France.

This versatile vegetable is domesticated from the wild cabbage.

According to the University of Arizona, the name cauliflower is derived from a Latin phrase- caulis (stalk) & Floris (flower), meaning “cabbage flower.”

Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family. It is an annual plant that seeds can reproduce.

Cruciferous vegetables

The other cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, belstar broccoli, kale, turnips, Chinese cabbage, Broccoli raberabe, land cress, turnips, collard greens.

These are some of the cruciferous veggies.

Now let’s look into nutritional facts of Cauliflower

Nutritional value of Cauliflower

100 grams of raw cauliflower includes the following

  • Calories- 25 gm
  • Fiber – 3 gm
  • Vitamin E – 7 % of RDI ( recommend dietary intake)
  • Vitamin B6 – 11 % of RDI
  • Vitamin K – 20 % of RDI
  • Vitamin C – 77 % of RDI
  • Potassium – 9 % of RDI
  • Magnesium – 8 % of RDI
  • Phosphorus – 4 % of RDI
  • Folate – 14 % of RDI
  • Pantothenic acid – 7 % of RDI

This cruciferous vegetable is rich in sulfur-containing compounds with dense dietary fiber.

Let us now check some of the potential health benefits of cauliflower.

Top Health Benefits of Cauliflower:

1. Prevents oxidative stress

This cruciferous veggie is loaded with a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and other potent antioxidants.

It contains dense amounts of phytochemicals like indols, glucosinates, glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin.

These components help in the synthesis of essential enzymes that protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.

2. Anticancer properties

Cauliflower helps in the prevention of cancer. It has a potent component called indole-3-carbinol. This component exhibits anti-cancer properties.

These indols help in hampering the growth of uterine cancer cells.

Research published in The Journal of Nutrition has provided supporting evidence that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower helps suppress cell proliferation, especially in the case of cancer cells.

3. Maintains cardiovascular health

Eating high-fiber foods is proven to reduce heart disease or disorders.

Cauliflower is high in fiber. This veggie intake can prevent heart disease, keeping it healthy.

This cruciferous veggie is also rich in the K vitamin, which helps in blood clotting by making the proteins that prevent clotting of blood caused due to damage of blood vessels.

4. Helps in hair growth

One of the health benefits of Cauliflower includes the promotion of healthy growth of hair.

Cauliflower has compounds that contain sulfur. They act like bases for the formation of a protein called keratin.

Keratin protein promotes the healthy growth of hair, making it softer and shinier.

Vitamin K, present in this veggie, aids in regenerating hair strands. It helps in the faster growth of hair.

This hair vitamin also helps increase the density of hair, contributing to the overall health of hair.

5. Skincare

Cauliflower has many essential nutrients that help in maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

It contains a good amount of Vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, which aids in skincare.

Apart from these skin goodies, it also contains sulforaphane’s essential nutrient.

According to recent scientific studies, it is proven that this wonder compound, sulforaphane, effectively protects the skin from damage due to the action of ultraviolet radiation on the skin.

It protects the body from (UV-induced) inflammations, skin cancer, erythema, and cellular damage.

6. Improves iron absorption

Cauliflower contains 77% of recommended dietary intake of vitamin C. This helps better absorb non-heam iron, which is sourced from plant foods.

7. Aids in weight loss

Cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties and shows effects against obesity.

These anti-obesity effects are due to the presence of certain compounds called indoles.

Eating cauliflower prevents various metabolic disorders that occur in our bodies. Which in turn increases metabolic rate.

It aids in the stimulation of thermogenesis which may help in weight loss.

8. Promotes Brain health

Cauliflower contains many essential nutrients that aid in brain and nervous system function.

Choline is a vitamin-like component that helps coordinate body muscles, proper sleep, the transmission of nerve impulses, and memory.

Choline, along with phosphorus, helps in repairing damaged cell membranes. It works effectively against Cognitive decline that emerges with age.

Before incorporating this veggie into your diet, let us look into different varieties of cauliflowers.

Types of cauliflowers

Cauliflower comes in various varieties and some fun colors. Growing cauliflower isn’t easy. It comes with many challenges. These can be quickly grown in your garden by paying little attention to the temperature, moisture, and air circulation.

This diverse cruciferous vegetable comes in the following types:

1. Cheddar hybrid cauliflower

cauliflower health benefits
by Heather Kennedy/Flickr copyright 2006

Cheddar hybrid is an orange variety of cauliflower. It has a smooth, uniform textured orange head.

The heads measure 4-7 inches in length. This variety contains Beta Carotenes in their heads, imparting orange color.

Cooked cauliflower shows an even deeper and vibrant orange shade with a mild and sweet flavor.

2. Purple cauliflowers

cauliflower health benefits
by Masha /flick copyright 2008

Purple cauliflowers are known for their vibrant colors and health benefits. The heads of this cauliflower are purple, surrounded by bluish-green leaves.

The purple variety cauliflower is tender and has a mild taste compared to the white ones.

The purple color of the cauliflower is due to the presence of a pigment called anthocyanin. This anthocyanin is a potent antioxidant that is beneficial for our health.

It prevents different types of cancers like prostate cancer, breast cancer. This essential nutrient is proven to have anti-inflammatory effects too.

Cooked cauliflower of this variety may change its color from purple to light green. However, the other variants of purple cauliflower don’t show any color alterations when cooked.

3. Green cauliflower

ccauliflower health benefits
by Amanda Slater /Flickr copyright 2021

The curd of this cauliflower is green in color. This variety of cauliflower is also called broccoflower as the heads of this cauliflower are green in color like that of broccoli.

Green cauliflower has a tender texture and is sweeter. Those who don’t prefer the strong flavor of white cauliflower can try adding on green varieties in their diets in the form of roasted cauliflower or stir fry as they have mild flavors.

4. White Cauliflower

cauliflower health benefits
by Amy/Flickr copyright 2008

White cauliflowers are the standard type of cauliflowers. They have white curds and are surrounded by green leaves.

White cauliflowers are actually of many types. They rip at different times during the year.

Here are some of the varieties of white Cauliflower:

i. White corona cauliflower

White corona variety of cauliflower has smaller heads. This particular variety of cauliflower has whiteheads and grows up to only 10–15 cm. These pure white curds taste delicious and make a healthy, nutritious salad.

ii. Early white Cauliflower

The early white variety is marked by its pure white curds that add delicious flavors to the dishes.

These heads are tightly packed and grow to a height of almost 22 cm. This one is considered the large variety of Cauliflower.

This cauliflower variety is grown in excellent climatic conditions, and this type of Cauliflower can be stored easily in the freezer.

iii. Snowball cauliflower

The snowball cauliflower is the most popular cauliflower variety in Northern America. This variety makes a trendy choice to grow in the home gardens.

The white curds of this cauliflower are solid and tightly packed. They grow up to 15 cm and have a medium-sized head.

iv. Snow spring cauliflower

This particular cauliflower hybrid is the size of medium to large. The maturation period of this Cauliflower is low. This hardy snow spring cauliflower has crispy whiteheads.

v. Attribute hybrid cauliflower

Attribute cauliflower hybrid matures early when compared to other varieties. This hybrid variety of cauliflower has an excellent nutty taste and has a nice buttery flavor.

Attribute hybrid variety is a suitable type of cauliflower to make various dishes like a roast, grill, or make cauliflower rice.

vi. Cornish Cauliflower

Cornish cauliflowers are the ancient cauliflowers cultivated in the Cornwall area of England.

The moderate air temperature in this coastal region makes it a perfect climatic condition for cultivating cauliflowers throughout the year.

Delicious Ways of Eating Cauliflower

Cauliflowers make delicious side dishes with any main course. Stir-fries, roasted, baked, cauliflower, Buffalo cauliflower, mashed potatoes & cauliflowers curry are some deliciously popular choices.

Let’s look into some tasty cauliflower recipes

1. Cauliflower pizza crust

Here is the recipe to cook cauliflower pizza

Ingredients for Cauliflower Crust

  • Cauliflower: one large head of cauliflower
  • Two whole Egg: Here, eggs act as “the glue” that holds our cauliflower and dough together.
  • Mozzarella Cheese, parmesan cheese: when the cheese starts to meltdown while baking, it helps by binding the small pieces of cauliflower into the crust. Here cheese is very vital for binding, and so are eggs.
  • Spices: As cauliflower, itself is very bland, we can add dried herbs like oregano, basil or we can go with Italian mix, salt, and pepper dried red chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder (or we can go with Italian mix, salt, and pepper) to add flavor to the crust.

Instructions:

  1. Add the cauliflower florets into the food processor to make them into fine crumbs. Make sure to do it in small batches to easily make the crumbs and prevent any damage to the food processor.
  2. Once we have the crumble of cauliflower, let’s place it in a muslin cloth and now squeeze it well to drain all the excess moisture from the cauliflower. It is necessary to squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible.
  3. Take a medium-sized bowl and add cauliflower pulp, beaten eggs, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, red chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, plus the required amount of salt, and mix it properly.
  4. Now, preheat the oven to a temperature of 220 C.
  5. Take a parchment paper and line it over the baking sheet. Take the prepared pulp and spread it evenly like that of pizza dough.
  6. Bake it in the oven until it turns brown on the top. Now remove the prepared gluten-free crust pizza from the oven.
  7. Now it’s time to spread the crust with the marinara sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and goat cheese.
  8. Place the pizza crust into the oven again and let it bake for about 7 minutes or until the spread cheese melts properly.
  9. Now take the pizza out and add the desired toppings.
  10. Now the healthy pizza is ready to serve!

Cauliflower rice

cauliflower healthbenfits
by Megan Wells /Flickr copyright 2015

Ingredients:

One large head of cauliflower.

Instructions

  • Wash the cauliflower thoroughly. Now dry the cauliflower and slowly then remove all greens.
  • Take a box grater now and cut the cauliflower into large gobbets.
  • Use the medium-sized holes to grate into “rice” like grains.
  • Or you can also use a food processor to make the rice grains.
  • Now transfer the rice into a clean paper towel and press.
  • This will remove any redundant humidity, which can make the dish soppy.
  • Once we have the rice, it’s very easy to cook.
  • Take a large skillet and add 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
  • Add the rice into the skillet.
  • Cover with a lid, so the cauliflower smogs and becomes further tender.
  • Cook for an aggregate of 5-8 minutes.
  • Now add the required quantum of salt and pepper and other seasonings.
  • The riced cauliflower is ready to eat!!

These are some healthy ways to eat cauliflower.

This wonder veggie can be added to any dish and deliciously get overall health benefits!

Final Words

This superfood has its limitations too. When a person consumes more cauliflower or excess amounts, it shows some side effects like bloating. It also causes flatulence.

It contains a very dense amount of K vitamin, so anyone who is undergoing blood-thinning medication should be careful while consuming it.

It’s advisable not to take high amounts of vitamin K while taking blood thinners, leading to blood clotting.

Some are allergic to cauliflowers. Hence consuming it may lead to allergic reactions. It includes facial and hand swelling, severe itching.

For a healthy life, a proper diet is essential. One should eat a variety of foods to get overall health benefits.

I hope you are amazed by the health benefits of cauliflower, and soon you will incorporate it into your diets.

 

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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