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EatSmarter! Exclusive

Cauliflower Health Benefits

Cauliflower might be the pale cousin of broccoli, but it is actually bursting with health benefits. In addition, cauliflower is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be transformed into a variety of different dishes.

Cauliflower comes in a variety of vibrant colors. Cauliflower comes in a variety of vibrant colors.

Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables are touted for their health boosting properties, such as heart health promotion, prevention of certain cancers, and diabetes management. In addition, cruciferous vegetables are full of soluble fiber, which helps to keep your digestive tract healthy, and their high vitamin C content helps keep your immune system strong and healthy. Although it is not bright orange, cauliflower also boasts high levels of beta-carotene and other body strengthening antioxidants.  

In addition to vitamin C and fiber, cauliflower also boasts healthy levels of thiamin, magnesium, vitamin K, phosphorus, potassium, and protein, among others. All of these vitamins and minerals make cauliflower a real health superstar. The blonde vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great choice to keep your body functioning in tip-top form and helps to stave off many chronic diseases.

One study found that, when combined with turmeric, cauliflower is effective in preventing prostate cancer. Cauliflower contains a substance called phenethyl isothiocyanate, the researchers found that when cauliflower and curcumin (turmeric) were used together it was effective in not only preventing the growth of new cancer cells but also helped to stop the growth of tumors that were already present in mice.1

Aside from the myriad list of health benefits that come with eating cauliflower, it is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be transformed to mimic some of our favorite foods, just in a healthier way.

Finely chopping cauliflower in a food processor until it is about the size of rice will give you a great grain substitute in stir-fries and for fried ‘rice.’

When boiled and mashed, cauliflower is a great low-starch alternative to mashed potatoes (and trust us, you won’t even know that there are no potatoes in it).

One trending way to eat cauliflower is to use it as a substitute, of sorts, for chicken wings. We love this version from Hot for Food.

Check out some of our favorite cauliflower recipes and take advantage of all the benefits this, often underrated, vegetable has to offer.

Roasted Cauliflower 

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Indian-Style Potato and Cauliflower Curry 

Pickled Cauliflower 

Fried Cauliflower

Spiced Cauliflower 

Pasta with Cauliflower

 

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1. “Turmeric and Cauliflower Prevents Prostate Cancer.” News-Medical.net. AZO Network, 17 Jan. 2006. Web.

 

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