Cauliflower is one of the most versatile and nutrient-dense vegetables out there. The health benefits of cauliflower are plentiful, and they have a large range in the body. It is a cruciferous vegetable that is a part of the Brassicaceae family. Brassica oleracea is in the genus Brassica, which is in the Brassicaceae family.
Typically only the white part, which is known as the curd, is enjoyed in foods. Cauliflower is also produced by seed. The reason this vegetable is so versatile is that it can transform into many foods that may surprise you. One popular example is cauliflower pizza. When made just right, cauliflower takes on the form of dough and tastes very similar to pizza crust. Replacing your typical refined white pizza with cauliflower is a great way to eat more vegetables and reap the many health benefits it provides.
A few other examples include cauliflower chips and even rice. Using cauliflower rice instead of white rice is an excellent way to sneak in vegetables, especially if you have picky eaters in the family. All vegetables play an important role in promoting good health throughout the entire body. Cauliflower is just one example, but a powerful one, of how crucial and effective adding one more vegetable type to your diet can be.
Table of Contents
- Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Check out all the health benefits of cauliflower and see how this multi-faceted vegetable can help you.
1. Cauliflower May Aid in Weight Loss
Most non-starchy vegetables are amazing sources to promote weight loss, but cauliflower is one of the front-runners. That is because cauliflower is full of tons of essential nutrients required to lose weight. It is high in fiber, extremely low in calories, and provides a healthy dose of nutrients. Those nutrients include vitamin C, K, B6, B9 or folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and more.
To lose weight, it is essential to add more vegetables to your diet, and cauliflower may certainly be able to assist you in those efforts. It is also a great weight-loss food because it can be crafted into tons of comfort-like foods such as rice, pizza, tortilla, a potato-like mash, chips, and even mac n cheese. You can enjoy those types of food without any of the bloat or weight gain because they are only a quarter of the calories. It can’t hurt to grab yourself some cauliflower to have around the house if you are looking to drop some weight.
It is easier than ever to grab a quick recipe offline and see how you can easily and healthfully turn cauliflower into your favorite comfort foods. For pizza, all you will need is a blend of spices like oregano, your favorite cheese or non-dairy alternative, and a mesh strainer to turn your cauliflower into a dough. You can season it however you like and add your favorite toppings and tomato sauce. For a cauliflower mash, you only need garlic, one head of cauliflower, some ghee, salt, and pepper to make this a healthy, creamy, and delicious alternative to mashed potatoes every once in a while.
2. Cauliflower May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Cauliflower is not only packed with tons of important vitamins and minerals but also provides vital antioxidants. Antioxidants help to reduce free radical buildup in the body, which is necessary to keep you disease-free. For that reason, cauliflower may even help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (1). This is true for cauliflower as well as many other leafy green vegetables.
The main antioxidants in cauliflower are carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin C. The combination of these three antioxidants may have a powerful effect on reducing the risk of chronic disease, and especially reducing the risk of heart disease. Cauliflower is also high in sulforaphane, another powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer and lower blood pressure.
Although vitamin C is technically not an antioxidant, it acts as an antioxidant in the body. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, adding some more cauliflower to your diet may be a helpful addition to your routine. Always check in with your body and see how you feel when introducing new foods to your diet.
3. Cauliflower May Boost Brain Power
On top of all the nutrients and antioxidants, cauliflower also may have the ability to boost brainpower. That is because this vegetable is extremely high in choline, an essential nutrient that many people are low in. Choline is necessary for many functions throughout the body, and keeping a healthy brain is one of those.
The choline in cauliflower may be especially effective at reducing problems in the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is responsible for reasoning, decision-making, and working memory. Many studies examine the positive effects on the brain when eating more choline-rich foods like cauliflower. (2). Plus, other studies show that too little of this vital nutrient show negative effects on the brain (3).
Who wouldn’t benefit from improving their memory, decision-making, retention, and even the possibility of minimizing the chance of common brain diseases later on in life? Don’t miss out on this powerful brain food.
4. Cauliflower May Prevent Digestive Distress
Because cauliflower is so high in fiber, it may even help to prevent many common digestive disorders facing millions around the globe. Plus, cauliflower is not only high in fiber but is also packed with water. Both of these are critical to prevent constipation, as well as maintaining a healthy digestive tract. They are also necessary for reducing the risk of colon cancer, which has become widespread in the last several years among younger populations (4).
Cauliflower may not only be beneficial at improving digestive distress this way but there is some research showing it can be extremely helpful for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), too. A diet high in fiber-rich foods like cauliflower, avocado, mushrooms, and many other fruits, could help to reduce the symptoms of IBS (5). Cauliflower is part of the low-FODMAP diet, which has become more evidential for assisting with digestive disorders. IBS affects around 10-15 percent of the adult population in America and is ever-growing.
Eating more cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower may significantly help those who suffer from digestive disorders or distress due to their high water and fiber content.
5. Cauliflower May Support Hormonal Balance
Hormonal imbalances are more common than you may think. Many hormonal imbalance issues go undetected for years, such as thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, and more. Many dietary changes could have significant positive effects at not only balancing hormones but in turn, ridding bothersome symptoms that come with imbalances. These symptoms can include migraines, painful PMS, fatigue, insomnia, cramps, and many others.
One important dietary change that could help to balance hormones is adding more cruciferous vegetables to your diet. Although cruciferous vegetables are a healthy addition to most diets, too many of them may be bothersome for some thyroid disorders in raw form. Cauliflower is in the family of vegetables that includes goitrogens, which are deactivated with heat. Foods from these families (e.g. Brassicaceae) contain goitrogenic compounds: broccoli, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, bok choy, arugula, daikon, and rutabaga. Small servings of these veggies raw are typically OK, so don’t be afraid of them. If you have low thyroid function and tend to indulge heavily in these vegetables, good for you; just choose most of them in a cooked form (6).
To maintain hormonal balance, many other dietary factors come into play. Along with adding more cruciferous vegetables, be sure to also include enough foods rich in zinc, healthy fats, magnesium, vitamin A, and many more. If you suffer from a thyroid or hormonal imbalance condition, working with a dietician can be extremely helpful at relieving many common symptoms that may come up for you.
6. Cauliflower May Improve Skin Health
The sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant in cauliflower, may even have some extra benefits promoting better skin. Adding more cauliflower to your diet may help to promote skin elasticity and better aging because this crucial antioxidant is necessary for both concepts.
Sulforaphane is so powerful that it may even help to protect the skin against ultraviolet radiation damage as well as skin cancer (7). This is also true for other members of the cruciferous vegetable family, like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and much more.
Everyone wants better skin and a way to age more gracefully, and this may be a great and simple way to help attain both. Keeping an overall healthy diet and lifestyle is necessary for healthy skin overall. Some research suggests the nutrients and antioxidants in cauliflower may be super powerful at promoting healthier and brighter skin.
7. Cauliflower May Strengthen Bones
Cauliflower is packed with all kinds of vitamins, but one crucial nutrient that is essential for bone growth and maintenance is vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential to build strong bones, and cauliflower is full of this bone-healthy vitamin.
Eating more foods high in vitamin K as well as calcium could help to keep your bones healthy, and even ward off harmful bone diseases like osteoporosis. Be sure to reap all the healthful benefits of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, especially if you are prone to bone diseases in your family.
The vegetables in the cruciferous family like cauliflower could promote better bone health, and even prevent bone diseases later in life.
Cauliflower is a versatile and diet-friendly food that anyone can enjoy. It is rich in many essential vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that are extremely helpful to lose weight, prevent chronic disease, and much more. Be sure to check out this unique cruciferous vegetable that can help you out.
Like any other vegetable, cauliflower packs a certain punch in being an overall healthy choice, but it may stand out from the rest in some aspects. This veggie is easy to add to most dishes because it is so easy to transform into foods everyone knows and loves.
The next time you are struggling to bring more veggies into your family’s meals, look into how to craft cauliflower into one of their favorite comfort foods, and see how they won’t even be able to tell the difference. Adding more cauliflower to your diet can help with the health benefits above, and potentially even more. Don’t underestimate the power of adding some more cruciferous veggies to your diet.