Health Benefits of Cauliflower

(Source: authoritynutrition)

Cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable that’s a significant source of nutrients.It also contains unique plant compounds that may reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Additionally, it’s weight loss friendly and incredibly easy to add to your diet. Here are some science-based health benefits of cauliflower.
 


Contains Many Nutrients

The nutrition profile of cauliflower is quite impressive.

Cauliflower is very low in calories yet high in vitamins. In fact, cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need.

High in Fiber

Cauliflower is quite high in fiber, which is beneficial for overall health.

There are 3 grams of fiber in one cup of cauliflower, which is 10% of your daily needs .

Fiber is important because it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut that help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health.

Consuming enough fiber may help prevent digestive conditions like constipation, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) .

Moreover, studies show that a diet high in fiber-rich vegetables like cauliflower is linked with a lower risk of several illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes (4, 5, 6).

Fiber may also play a role in obesity prevention, due to its ability to promote fullness and reduce overall calorie intake .
 


 

Good Source of Antioxidants

Cauliflower is a great source of antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful free radicals and inflammation.

Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is particularly high in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, two antioxidants that have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells.

In test-tube studies, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates have been shown to be especially protective against colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer.

Cauliflower contains carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants as well, which have anti-cancer effects and may reduce the risk of several other illnesses, including heart disease .

What’s more, cauliflower contains high amounts of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory effects that may boost immune health and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer .

May Aid in Weight Loss

Cauliflower has several properties that may help with weight loss.

First, it is low in calories with only 25 calories per cup, so you can eat a lot of it without gaining weight.

It can also serve as a low-calorie substitute for high-calorie foods, such as rice and flour.

As a good source of fiber, cauliflower slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness. This may automatically reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day, an important factor in weight control .

High water content is another weight loss friendly aspect of cauliflower. In fact, 92% of its weight is made up of water. Consuming lots of water-dense, low-calorie foods is associated with weight loss.
 


 


Rich in Sulforaphane

Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, an extensively studied antioxidant.

Many test-tube and animal studies have found sulforaphane to be particularly helpful for suppressing cancer development by inhibiting enzymes that are involved in cancer and tumor growth .

According to some studies, sulforaphane may also have the potential to stop cancer growth by destroying cells that are already damaged .

Sulforaphane appears to be most protective against colon and prostate cancer but has also been studied for its effects on many other cancers, such as breast, leukemia, pancreatic and melanoma.

Research shows that sulforaphane may also help reduce high blood pressure and keep arteries healthy — both major factors in preventing heart disease .

Finally, animal studies suggest that sulforaphane may also play a role in diabetes prevention and reducing the risk of diabetes-induced complications, such as kidney disease .

While more research is necessary to determine the extent of sulforaphane’s effects in humans, its potential health benefits are promising.
 


Low-Carb Alternative to Grains and Legumes

Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be used to replace grains and legumes in your diet.

Not only is this a fantastic way to increase your veggie intake, but it is also especially helpful for those who follow low-carb diets.

This is because cauliflower is significantly lower in carbs than grains and legumes.

For example, a cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbs. At the same time, a cup of rice contains 45 grams of carbs — nine times the amount of cauliflower (31, 1).

Here are some examples of recipes that can be made with cauliflower instead of grains and legumes:

Cauliflower rice: Replace white or brown rice with cauliflower that has been grated and then cooked, as in this recipe.
Cauliflower pizza crust: By pulsing cauliflower in a food processor and then making it into a dough, such as in this recipe, you can make a delicious pizza.
Cauliflower hummus: Chickpeas can be replaced with cauliflower in hummus recipes like this one.
Cauliflower mash: Instead of making mashed potatoes, try this recipe for a low-carb cauliflower mash that is easy to make.
Cauliflower tortillas: Combine pulsed cauliflower with eggs to make low-carb tortillas that can be used for wraps, taco shells or burritos, as in this recipe.
Cauliflower mac and cheese: Cooked cauliflower can be combined with milk, cheese and spices to make mac and cheese, like in this recipe.

Disclaimer: All information is provided here only for general health education. Please consult your health physician regarding any treatment of health issues.
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