Cauliflower is a plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, kale, and cabbage. A green version of cauliflower is called broccoflower. The vegetable can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible but are most often discarded. Boiling can reduce the levels of antioxidants, by 20–30 percent after five minutes, 40–50 percent after ten minutes, and 75 percent after thirty minutes. Other preparation methods like steaming, microwaving, and stir fry have no significant effect on the compounds.
Here are the 7 health benefits of cauliflower.
1. Cauliflower is great for digestive problems.
Cauliflower is a great source of fiber. Fiber is essential for gastrointestinal health, as well as for the regular movement of the bowels. This eliminates toxins from the body. Lastly, fiber stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate absorption of nutrients and the processing of foods.
2. Cauliflower can help fight colitis.
Studies have suggested that cauliflower extracts produce anti-inflammatory effects on the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. The presence of some antioxidants has a healing impact on the damage that has occurred in colon tissues and the colon epithelium.
3. Cauliflower is perfect for detoxifying.
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are vital for the body’s detox system. Cauliflower contains a phytonutrient called indole-3-carbinol that, along with sulforaphane, helps in activating and regulating the function of detoxifying enzymes.
4. Cauliflower can help you manage your diabetes.
Cauliflower contains potassium and vitamin C, which are essential for regulating glucose metabolism and insulin hormone secretion. Also, research has shown that vitamin B6 found in cauliflower can boost the tolerance of glucose in patients with gestational diabetes.
5. Cauliflower can help you battle against high cholesterol.
Antioxidants like glucoraphanin and sulforaphane, found in cauliflower contribute to reducing oxidative stress, along with the levels of LDL (“bad”) and total cholesterol. The antioxidants also promote the stimulation of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lower the blood pressure. The fiber and omega-3 fatty acid present in cauliflower aids in the reduction of bad cholesterol and prevent hardening of the arteries.
6. Cauliflower can help you balance blood pressure.
Cauliflower contains potassium and has negligible sodium, which can contribute to reducing the risk for hypertension. Potassium helps in maintaining the electrical balance in the body, which is essential keeping relaxed blood vessels.
7. Cauliflower can contribute to fighting neurodegenerative disorders.
Compounds like sulforaphane and indoles present in cauliflower are involved in reducing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. They activate the detoxification enzymes, which helps in treating the neuronal injuries caused by inflammation and oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.