Broccoli’s pale cousin, cauliflower provides a just as impressive variety of health benefits. A single serving of cauliflower provides over 70% of our recommended daily intake of vitamin C and also boosts impressive amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin K, and fiber. Cauliflower contains a variety of antioxidants that are important to keeping our bodies functioning properly.
1. Health Benefits of Cauliflower
1. Cauliflower contains glucosinolates.
Glucosinolates break down into a number of important compounds.
Glucosinolates are believed to help defend cauliflower plants from pests. When the plant is cut, damaged, or chewed, the glucosinalates release mustard oils.
Glucosinolates have indoles.
These indoles can help protect you against atherosclerosis, cancer, and free radicals, three conditions that can cause permanent damage to your body, or even kill you.
You also get nitriles from them.
Nitriles are a molecule that is composed of a nitrogen atom that is connected to a hydrogen atom by three chemical bonds. Both nitrogen and hydrogen are important elements in the body.
Thiocyanates is another active compound in glucosinolates.
This active compound may help to treat cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a genetic disease that progressively gets worse over time. It causes mucus to build up in lungs, pancreas, and other organs in thick layers.
They contain isothiocaynates.
Isothiocaynates help you to stay healthy by neutralizing carcinogens (cancer causing agents). They also help keep cells from becoming cancerous by slowing proliferation (out of control growth) and by encouraging cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Eating cauliflower can help boost your supply of active compounds that help keep your body healthy.
2. Disadvantages of Cauliflower
1. Eating a lot of cauliflower can interfere with iodine absorption.
Iodine is important for thyroid function.
The thyroid is the only gland that safely absorb iodine. If you don't get enough iodine, your thyroid gland will swell up in a condition called goiter. When it grows too large, this gland my produce more hormones that your body needs, throwing your whole body out of balance.
The thyroid has been called the 'Master Gland'.
The hormones that the thyroid produces help regulate many of your other glands, enabling them to produce their hormones.
It regulates many important body functions.
Thyroid hormone sets your metabolic rate (the rate at which you digest and burn food), your blood pressure, and your body temperature, just to name a few of its functions.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Eating too much cauliflower can interfere with the proper functioning of your body.
3. Top 100 Cauliflower Recipes
4. Cauliflower Recipes in Video
Cauliflower might be pale compared to its cousin broccoli, but that doesn’t mean it is any less impressive. This vegetable provides an impressive variety of health benefits and is great roasted, pureed into soup, or enjoyed raw.
5. About Cauliflower
Kingdom | Plantae – plants
Subkingdom | Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision | Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division | Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class | Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order | Brassicales
Family | Bassicaceae
Genus | Brassica
Species | Multiple
How many species of cauliflower are there?
There are at least 400 different species of cauliflower, with new hybrids being created all the time.
6. Cauliflower vs. Broccoli
Although it’s often overshadowed by broccoli, its cruciferous cousin, cauliflower is a nutritional--and culinary--powerhouse in its own right. This is one “white” food that is the exception to the rule: Similar to broccoli, it is a low-calorie, high-fiber source of many vitamins and minerals and other essential nutrients, including a wealth of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Also like broccoli, cauliflower is very versatile in the kitchen. Both vegetables are excellent raw or steamed for a healthy snack or as part of a crudite; roasted and tossed with all manner of seasonings; stir-fried; and so much more. Cauliflower happens to be more popular than broccoli in Europe and other parts of the world, including in Southeast Asian curries and soups, whereas broccoli is the crucifer of choice in the U.S., though milder-tasting cauliflower has been gaining momentum recently, especially in vegetarian cooking.
7. History of Cauliflower
Cauliflower was once the crown jewel of vegetables.
Once the most favored of vegetables in France, this plant is one of the least consumed in the United States.
The ancestor of the plant probably came from Cyprus.
There is some speculation that the plant started in Turkey, but the prevailing theory is that it comes from Cyprus, and that it was the Etruscans who bred it into the plant it is today.
Cauliflower is mentioned in the 6th century BCE.
Evidence shows that both the Etruscans and the Turks were growing cauliflower by 600 BCE.
Pliny the Elder, the Roman author, wrote about cauliflower.
Pliny is a famous author who lived in the 1st Century CE. He mentions cauliflower in his writings.
8. Q&A About Cauliflower
Is yellow cauliflower spoiled?
Thousands of heads are left in the field to rot, because consumers won't buy them, believing them to be bad, but nothing is further from the truth. They turn yellow when exposed to the sun and actually have more phytonutrients than the white ones.
What makes cauliflower different colors?
Their color is determined by how much pigment they have. Green ones have more chlorophyll, purple ones have the same pigment that makes red wine red.
Where can I find cauliflower with different colors?
You may need to buy them online, or plant seed and harvest them yourself. You may also find different colors at local farmer's markets.
Why is white the most common color of cauliflower?
White is the color that most people expect, so it is what is sold.
9. Nutritional Information
|Calories 27||1 cup, 1/2" pieces (3.8 oz)|
|Calories from fat 1|
Jolly, Nicole Controneo. "6 Secrets You Should Know About Cauliflower." FWx. FWx, 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016. http://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/food/6-secrets-you-should-know-about-cauliflower
"Scientific Classification of Cauliflower." Scientific Classification of Cauliflower. SoftUsvista, n.d. Web. 27 June 2016. http://www.gardenplantsvs.com/en/scientific-classification-of-cauliflower/model-627-10