Cauliflower is an all-time favourite, both among the young and the old. This cruciferous vegetable is cultivated from seeds and grown once a year. The head consumed is called the curd. It is a versatile vegetable used in several dishes. This healthy vegetable is high in dietary fiber and hence beneficial for our overall health. Here we explain in detail about the cauliflower benefits and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
What Is Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is abundant in vitamins and is a nutrient-rich vegetable. It is high in dietary fiber. Apart from omega 3 fatty acids, it is rich in potassium, vitamin C, and manganese. All these help in providing us with adequate nutrition. This healthy vegetable helps us avoid the risk of other diseases.
Types Of Cauliflower:
Cauliflower comes in many different colours, such as orange, purple, and green. These varieties are readily available. They include:
1. White Cauliflower:
- This is the most common colour among cauliflowers. This type is most predominantly available.
2. Orange Cauliflower:
- This type has beta-carotene (orange pigment) a provitamin A compound.
3. Green Cauliflower:
- Green cauliflower has more beta carotene in comparison to the white cauliflower, but lesser than broccoli. It tastes more like cauliflower rather than broccoli. The broccoflower has a sweeter taste when compared to the conventional cauliflower.
4. Purple Cauliflower:
- The presence of anthocyanins causes a purple colour. These are water-soluble pigments. Purple cauliflower is rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates that play a vital role in anti-inflammatory effects.
Is Cauliflower Good For You?
This is a common query among many. Though cauliflower contains an impressive array of nutrients, it should not be consumed more than 3-4 times in a week. Excessive consumption of cauliflower can cause bloating and gas. Those who are on blood thinners must exercise caution because excessive use would increase vitamin K content, and this could react with the medicine.
Nutritional Benefits of Cauliflower:
The nutrient value of cauliflower in a cup of chopped raw cauliflower (cut into half-inch pieces) weighing around 107 grams would contain:
- Calories: 27
- Protein: 2 grams (g)
- Fat: 0.3 grams of
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Calcium: 24 milligrams
- Magnesium: 16 mg
- Phosphorus: 47 mg
- Potassium: 320 mg
- Vitamin C: 51.6 mg
- Vitamin K: 16.6 micrograms
- Vitamin B6: 0.197 mcg
- Folate: 61 mcg
Cauliflower also contains smaller amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, calcium, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Cauliflower:
Here we enlisted 20 proven cauliflower benefits for skin, hair and health. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Lowers Your Cholesterol:
Cauliflower is full of fiber and nutrients. Like other cruciferous veggies, it contains Indole-3-carbinol, which is a phytonutrient that aids in liver detoxification. It helps to reduce high blood pressure. Consumption of cauliflower helps to boost good cholesterol (HDL) and lower blood pressure. Cauliflower is rich in plant sterols (phytosterols), which help to keep cholesterol numbers down by preventing the absorption of cholesterol(1).
2. Improves Bone Health:
Cauliflower strengthens bones, and vitamin K is needed by the body to maintain healthy and strong bones. One of the suitable ways to do this is to consume and enjoy a cup of raw cauliflower. This is a wonderful way to nourish bone health.
A deficiency in vitamin K is associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis and fracture. Vitamin K acts as the modifier of bone matrix proteins. This improves calcium absorption and prevents the excretion of calcium in the urine(2).
3. Cauliflower Enhances Vision:
The sulforaphane found in cauliflower is exceptionally beneficial for eye health, specifically the retinal tissues of the eyes. It may help in reducing the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and other vision problems. One can add to their diet, recipes like cauliflower rice benefits to provide the required benefits to improve eye health.
4. Heals Colitis:
Studies show that cauliflower exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on ulcerative colitis symptoms. This protective feature can be attributed to phenethyl isothiocyanate, and known for other beneficial effects such as anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. This exerts a healing effect on the damage that is caused by colon epithelium and tissues(3). Boiled cauliflower benefits recipes like soups or can consume raw in salads.
5. Enhances Heart Health:
As there is an excess of vitamin K in cauliflowers, those who regularly take blood thinners for heart disease must be cautious. The sulforaphane present in cauliflower is known to improve blood pressure levels. The veggie contains omega-3 fatty acids, and these regulate cholesterol levels and prevent cardiac disease.
Research also proves that the antiplatelet and antithrombotic function of Indole-3-carbinol, abundantly found in cauliflower, contributes to a healthy heart(4). There are innumerable recipes that make use of cauliflower in soups, pizzas, etc. that help the body stay healthy.
See More: Uses Of Cardamom
6. Boosts Brain Function:
By being rich in choline, cauliflower works best in the proper functioning of the brain and is potent brain food. It has a positive effect on the front lobe of the brain that is responsible for memory and decision-making capacity. It helps our reasoning capacity too.
7. Increases Blood Flow:
Cauliflower helps to stimulate circulation and is a smart choice because of its high fiber content. This aids in encouraging better circulation. An increased intake of fiber helps to enhance blood flow and improves circulation. Fiber boosts overall health as well as blood flow. People who regularly take calcium supplements may find themselves at risk because of calcium buildup in the blood vessels.
8. Helps Balance Hormones:
Isothiocyanate is a phytonutrient found in large numbers in this vegetable. It breaks down estrogen metabolite, which can lead to tumours. The indole-3-carbinol found in cauliflower also prevents the growth of cancer cells in the breasts. It helps to regulate testosterone level as this can help in regaining muscle mass and feel energetic(5).
9. Aids Weight Loss:
Cauliflowers are so low in calories (6) that you can expect weight loss with the help of this vegetable. It makes it one of the prime benefits of cauliflower, as it is an extremely healthy vegetable with a significant source of vitamins. It is weight loss friendly. It is high in fiber and beneficial for overall health. Cauliflower benefits weight loss and plays an essential role in obesity prevention. It makes it a better and healthier option to incorporate into your diet to get the best results.
10. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer:
Cauliflower reduces the risk of cancer from lung cancer (7) to breast cancer to gallbladder cancer; everything is taken care of by the cauliflower because it belongs to the cruciferous family. Cauliflower contains antioxidants that help and prevent cellular mutation, and this makes it one of the valuable benefits of cauliflower vegetable. It reduces oxidative stress from free radicals. One such antioxidant is the indole-3-carbinol or I3C. Commonly found in vegetables such as cauliflower, it may reduce the risk of breast and reproductive cancers in men and women.
11. Improve Digestion:
Cauliflower is again, something that will improve your digestive system in several ways. It fights infection found in the digestive tract and cleanses your system entirely. Cauliflower is high in fiber, and water and these are both vital to avoid constipation, to maintain a healthy digestive tract, and also for lowering the risk of colon cancer. It is rich in fiber and helps in the natural way of cleansing your body.
12. Development Of Fetus:
Cauliflower is good for developing the fetus. This is the first and most important vegetable women should consume during their pregnancy. It helps in the growth of cells and ultimately leads to the proper development of the fetus. This is due to Vitamin A and Vitamin B, and Vitamin C, which again is very good during pregnancy. Therefore, all pregnant women should ensure to add cauliflower to their diet.
See More: Uses Of Dry Grapes
13. Benefits Of Cauliflower During Pregnancy:
It is incredibly beneficial for mothers-to-be to consume cauliflower during pregnancy as it helps to lower cholesterol, which helps to protect the heart. Cauliflower is rich in fiber that helps to prevent constipation. Cauliflower contains antioxidants that help to improve immunity. Benefits of cauliflower during pregnancy aid women in fending off various diseases.
Cauliflower contains a significant source of minerals during pregnancy containing zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and sodium that are useful to both the mother and the unborn baby. Avoid excess consumption of cauliflower as it creates gas in the stomach along with a burning sensation in the heart.
14. Cauliflower Bodybuilding Benefits:
Cauliflower bodybuilding benefits are enabled by a chemical called glucoraphanin that helps digestion. When converted to a substance named sulforaphane, it has anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. Consumption of cauliflower helps to increase testosterone levels that aids in muscle building.
15. Regulates Electrolyte Balance:
Another advantage of this vegetable is that it keeps blood pressure under control by helping to regulate and maintain the electrolyte balance. The main reason for this is the amount of potassium it has. If the electrolyte balance in our body gets affected, then we end up with abnormal heartbeat and problems with kidney, weakness, etc.
16. Rich In Antioxidants:
The second-best among cauliflower benefits is antioxidation (8). It contains kaempferol, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid, and caffeic acid, which is very good for overall health. You will protect yourself from free radical damage with the help of this and reduce the chances of any kind of diseases such as cancer and heart attacks. Therefore, to keep yourself immune and healthy throughout the year, we suggest you include some cauliflowers a few times a week. You will be amazed at what this vegetable can do.
One of the chief reasons for detoxing is to get rid of toxins from your body. Cauliflower is a wonderful component that can prevent damage from carcinogens. It contains a component called glucosinolates. The distinct raw smell is due to this. It protects the lungs and the stomach from common carcinogens. Detoxing has been made easy by cauliflower and is one of the chief health benefits of cauliflower(9).
18. Boosts Vitamin K:
The most important one among the health benefits of eating cauliflower is to increase vitamin K in your diet; you need to add cauliflower to your diet. They help in the development of bones and bone cells. If there is not enough vitamin K in your body, there will be high chances of injury or fracture.
Cauliflower contains vitamin K, which prevents bone loss. It plays an important role in the coagulation of blood. It increases the time it takes to form a clot. People who take blood thinners must be cautious and avoid taking excess cauliflower(10). Vitamin K improves the absorption of calcium and prevents the excretion of calcium via urine.
See More: Cantaloupe Health Benefits
19. Rich Mineral Source:
Cauliflower is full of several health benefits, and the benefits of eating cauliflower make your bones and teeth strong and improve your overall health. Cauliflower contains zinc, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and sodium. Zinc helps in healing wounds and repairing cells and tissues. Magnesium produces hormones, which allow the bones to function correctly.
Phosphorus helps in strengthening the bones. Selenium allows the immune system to work better, and sodium helps in balancing the fluids in the body. Manganese activates the enzymes. With so many benefits, you cannot miss out on the goodness of cauliflowers(11).
20. Cauliflower Benefits For Skin:
Cauliflower benefits for skin help to protect the skin and safeguard it from the sun. There are several foods available that can boost skin health. Sulforaphane may influence genes by which the process of ageing is slowed down(12).
The vitamin C in cauliflower improves the production of collagen. This delays signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. Cauliflower skin has benefits in the form of other antioxidants that help to clear dark spots and improve skin texture.
21. Cauliflower Benefits For Hair:
The presence of sulfur and silicon in cauliflower promotes hair growth, and vitamin C can boost hair health. Consumption of cauliflower encourages regrowth in the areas of the scalp where the hair growth is very thin. The hair’s elasticity is taken care of by silica. Damaged hair follicles are taken care of too.
Side Effects Of Eating Cauliflower:
The side effects of eating cauliflower are numerous:
- Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower have cyanogenic glucosides that inhibit iodine absorption. Thus, excessive intake of cauliflower can lead to hypothyroidism, wherein the thyroid hormone does not produce adequate hormone, leading to trouble with metabolism.
- Excessive consumption of cauliflower can cause gas due to complex carbs that do not break down. The intestinal bacteria digest these carbs, release carbon along with hydrogen dioxide gas.
- Vitamin K makes one’s blood clot, and this could create problems when you take blood-thinning medications, so it is safer to consume this veggie in moderation.
- Due to a lack of information, it is safer to consult a doctor during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Cauliflower contains purines that can create various health concerns when consumed in excess.Purines break down and form uric acid, and this can cause problems like kidney stones.
We have discussed in detail the nutritional benefits of cauliflower, and we hope that you find this versatile vegetable useful. Along with the benefits, we have also explained the side effects and why you should consume it in moderation. We hope you enjoyed this extensive article, and please do share your opinions and comments below that we would love to hear from you.