When we think of delicious vegetables, we certainly do not think of Cauliflowers. But then we never think of any healthy alternatives when we think of food.
Cauliflowers belong to the cruciferous family. It is a white flowering vegetable that is known to have many health benefits. Cauliflower is also known as ‘Phool Gobi’ in Hindi/Marathi, ‘Gobi Puvvu’ in Telugu, ‘Kovippu’ in Tamil, ‘HooKosu’ in Kannada, ‘Foolkobi’ in Gujarati, and ‘Phool Kopi’ in Bengali.
This vegetable has a good proportion of sulphur compound and is also known to support the liver’s ability to neutralize toxins. The members of this family also have the ability to prevent cancers. So read below to know more about cauliflower benefits.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Cauliflowers:
1. Promotes Heart Health:
Cauliflower is a heart healthy vegetable. This means it helps in maintaining the heart and the cardiovascular system (1).
2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
Cauliflower nutritional benefits include it being a rich source of fiber. This fiber helps in lowering our cholesterol levels (2).
3. Builds Healthy Immune System:
Cauliflower also contains antioxidants. Antioxidants by themselves have many benefits – they act as an anti inflammatory agent and they help build a health immune system (3).
4. Development of Fetus:
Cauliflower also helps women during pregnancy. As it is rich in folate and also vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin B, it helps in growth of cells (4). This ultimately helps in the proper development of the fetus in the womb.
Cauliflower is also a good source of vitamin C which again is beneficial during pregnancy. Thus every pregnant woman should at least eat one cup of cauliflower every day!
5. Rich Calcium Source:
Cauliflower also contains calcium which has numerous benefits. Calcium helps to make our bones and teeth strong along with many other important functions like transmission of nerve impulses (5).
6. Rich Mineral Source:
Cauliflower contains zinc, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and also selenium and sodium (6).
a. Zinc – helps in making new cells and also in healing wounds.
b. Magnesium – helps the parathyroid gland which produces hormones needed for the bone to function normally.
c. Phosphorus – helps in strengthening the bones.
d. Selenium – helps in better functioning of immune system.
e. Sodium – helps balance the fluids in the body.
f. Manganese –helps in making and activating the enzymes
7. Reduces Cancer Risks:
Cauliflower also helps in reducing the risk of cancer ex: – lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer. Many of the vegetables that belong to the cruciferous family have been linked to reduce the risk of cancer ex:-broccoli, kale etc (7).
8. Promotes Weight Loss:
Cauliflower also helps us to lose weight. Cauliflower contains vitamin C which is a key element to burn fat. And it also contains folates which again help in weight loss (8) . One cup of cauliflower contains about 30 calories. It is one of the non-starchy food items that can be eaten in unlimited quantity.
9. Detoxifies the Body System:
Cauliflower helps the body to activate enzymes in the liver that aids in detoxifying many organs thus protecting the system from any harm (9).
10. Boosts Vitamin K Content:
To boost vitamin K content in your system, increase the cauliflower content in your daily diet. Vitamin k plays a key role in development of bones as it helps in development of bone cells (10). Not only that, if there is not enough vitamin K in the body, there will be an increased amount of bleeding in case of a wound or injury. This is because vitamin k plays an important role in the coagulation of blood.
Skin Benefits of Cauliflower:
As a vegetable, cauliflower already contains properties that can help you to stay fit and healthy. One of the benefits of consuming cauliflower is that it helps to rejuvenate your skin.
11. Cauliflower contains antioxidants, which work as anti-aging agents for the skin (11).
12. Vitamin C and manganese, found in abundance in cauliflower, are powerful antioxidants. The antioxidants increase the amount of oxygen in the blood and accelerate the metabolism. Healthy and fast metabolism will help you to digest easily and derive all the nutrition from your food. The more oxygen is in your blood, the more toxic materials your body will excrete. Skin becomes healthy (12), if the amount of toxic materials in your blood is low. Some of the signs of unhealthy skin are, acne, flaky skin, dark spots, wrinkles, warts, moles and rashes.
If you experience these symptoms, it is time to take some drastic measures. Cauliflower can help you to get rid of these skin problems. Simply consuming and making it a part of your diet will help your skin look younger and ageless.
Hair Benefits of Cauliflower:
Hair is an important and attractive feature of one’s personality. Now-a-days hair loss is a major concern for men, women, and children. Almost every vegetable should be consumed as part of a healthy diet, as veggies provide you with many vitamins and minerals.
13. Cauliflower, in a similar manner, provides various nutrients to the body to help the hair grow in a proper manner. Some of the vitamins, minerals and other useful nutrients that are naturally found in cauliflower are Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc, fats, niacin, copper and iron (13).
14. All these essential nutrients help the body to grow and maintain itself. Consuming cauliflower at regular intervals can help you to fight hair loss. These vitamins and minerals help the body to naturally heal and speed up the repairing process of the body, including recovery from hair loss (14).
15. A dry and itchy scalp may also be the result of the body lacking in one of these essential nutrients. All these factors can help you to get a solution that you might be looking for your hair problems.
How to Select Fresh Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is as essential as any other vegetable, which should be part of your diet. Selecting a fresh vegetable is always not so easy. Fresh cauliflowers contain more nutrients as compared to the old ones. If it is not fresh, it does not mean that it has completely lost its nutritional value, but certainly has decreased the nutritional value along with the taste. So, follow the mentioned tips to select fresh cauliflower:
- Look for Firm and Tightly Closed Heads:
As you know, the heads of cauliflowers are the parts in these vegetables, which are consumed. So, when purchasing cauliflowers, always look for tightly closed and firm heads as they are the indicators of freshness. The looser the heads, the staler they are and also do not taste good.
- Look for Spots:
The white varieties of cauliflower are often more common and easy to select. If they get old and stale, their heads start to look pale and spots appear on them. Before buying, always look carefully for the spots as they indicate the freshness and health of the vegetables.
- Check the Size, Weight and Color:
While purchasing a cauliflower, look for cream colored heads and also the weight, more than their size. As the heads of the vegetables are tightly compact with each other, so they are heavier than they appear. Look for the heads, which look fresh and also the color of the leaves of the vegetables, whether they are still green or not.
How to Store Cauliflower?
Storing cauliflowers is not as easy as it gets spoiled within a week or so. While storing cauliflower, keep it in tightly wrapped plastic bags in the refrigerator. You can even chop the heads of the cauliflower and store in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Keeping it at a steady temperature in the refrigerator will increase the storing capacity of this vegetable. Also, do not wash while storing the cauliflower as it will speed up the decaying process even if it is refrigerated. When you want to cook the vegetable, only wash it with water and prepare some delicious recipes.
Tips to Use Cauliflower (Cooking/Eating):
There are many delicious recipes that you can toss up using cauliflower. It is an exquisite cuisine in many different cultures, and everyone has his/her own way of cooking and serving it.
The most common ways of cooking a cauliflower is by boiling or steaming it in a hot pan and then serving it with some other vegetables, or it can be served separately as a complete dish. For boiling the cauliflower, follow the necessary steps:
- Wash the vegetable with fresh water before cooking it and not while storing. Washing while storing the vegetable will hasten the decaying process.
- Remove the outer leaves of the vegetable with a knife. By removing the outer leaves, you can separate the heads of the cauliflower from the stem, where the leaves are attached. And cut the florets from each cluster of the head of the cauliflower.
- Boil a pan of water and place all the cauliflower pieces in a steamer basket and place the basket over the pan of boiling water. Cover the basket and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove it from the pan and check for softness by piercing with a knife or fork, and if cooked properly, transfer the contents in a bowl or a plate. Add a pinch of pepper or salt and serve it as you like.
- Boiling the vegetable is also as simple as steaming. Follow the similar process as when you were steaming it. Cut the vegetables and place it in a pan of boiling water and add a little salt to it. Cook for at least 15-20 minutes and serve it fresh.
Some Other Tips to Cook Cauliflower:
There are several other ways to cook cauliflower and make it into a delicious meal. The health benefits of consuming cauliflower as a vegetable are just unlimited. And, whenever cooking cauliflower, do not overcook it as this will cause it to break apart, reduce its taste and color and decrease its nutritional value. Cauliflower contains chemicals and whenever it is cooked, it releases an unpleasant odor. In order to minimize the odor, add a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. It will also give a tangy taste to your dish. Also, never cook cauliflower in aluminium or iron pots because the chemicals present in the vegetable can react with metals. This could damage the color and taste of the vegetable.
The health benefits of consuming vegetables are just unlimited. They provide us with various nutrients and minerals, which can help us fight against many diseases. Many physicians always advise us to include different green vegetables in our diet.
The cauliflower may not look so delicious, but can give a lot more energy, essential vitamins and minerals as compared to artificial tablets and medicines. A healthy diet does not mean that you always have to be very cautious while selecting your food. A healthy diet includes the right amount of nutrients and minerals to be consumed on a regular basis. This can keep your body active and fit. This vegetable is used in many different cuisines and has its place in the kitchen along with others. Taking care of one’s health through natural ingredients is always beneficial and vegetables are one of the best choices to go for.
I hope this article on cauliflower health benefits helps you eat for better health.
Cauliflower Nutritional Facts:
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.28 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.0 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.667 mg||13%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||48.2 mg||80%|
|Vitamin E||0.08 mg||0.5%|
|Vitamin K||15.5 µg||13%|