Cauliflower Benefits, Plant description, Nutrition data, Regional names, Scientific Classification, Uses in various Diseases and Health Conditions, possible Side Effects and FAQ
Green vegetables play an important role in keeping us healthy. Regular consumption of these green vegetables rich in different nutrients protects our body from various diseases and helps in curing diseases. One such nutrition rich veggie is ‘Cauliflower’.
Cauliflower is a nutritious cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the ‘Brassicaceae’ family which includes broccoli, kale and cabbage. To protect the taste and softness of cauliflower, chlorophyll pigments and prevent excessive maturity they are kept away from sunlight.
Benefits and Uses of Cauliflower
It is considered native to ancient Asia but re-emerged in the Mediterranean region, Turkey and Italy in 600 BC. In the mid-16th century, this vegetable was recognized in France and Northern Europe. Today, India, China, Italy, France and the United States are the top cauliflower producing countries.
Cauliflower is available in four major groups: Asian, Italian, Northwestern European Biennial, and Northern European Annual, represented by more than a hundred types. In addition to white, it also comes in several other colors, they are mentioned below –
- Green: Green cauliflower is called ‘Broccoflower’. It is found in the form of a normal yogurt shape as well as in a form called Romanesco broccoli.
- Purple: The antioxidant group (anthocyanin) present in purple cauliflower gives them its distinctive color.
- Orange: Orange cauliflower is known to be extremely nutritious and is likely to contain a lot of vitamin A compared to the white variety.
Cauliflowers are shallow rooted small plants with thick stems. Ribbed leaves are branched from the top of the stem and are light green in color. The plant can reach an altitude of 1-1.5 meters (3.3-4.9 feet) and is usually grown annually, harvested within 60 to 100 days of planting. Cauliflower has a medium to large head, averaged 15 to 30 centimeters in diameter, and is surrounded by many long, dark green leaves that carry thick, fibrous midrib.
The following portions of the article will discuss the health benefits of Cauliflower and related things.
Nutritional value of per 100g Cauliflower
- Energy: 104 KJ (25 kcal)
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Sugars: 1.9 g
- Dietary fiber:2 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Protein: 1.9 g
- Thiamine (B1): 0.05 mg
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.06 mg
- Niacin (B3): 0.507 mg
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.667 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.184 mg
- Folate (B9): 57 μg
- Vitamin C: 48.2 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.08 mg
- Vitamin K: 15.5 μg
- Calcium: 22 mg
- Iron: 0.42 mg
- Magnesium: 15 mg
- Manganese: 0.155 mg
- Phosphorus: 44 mg
- Potassium: 299 mg
- Sodium: 30 mg
- Zinc: 0.27 mg
- Other constituents
- Water: 92 g
Different Regional Names of Cauliflower
- Assamese : Phoolkobi
- Tamil : Cauliflower / Kuvippu / Poo Kosu
- Malayalam: Cauliflower
- Telugu : Cauliflower / Gobi Puvvu
- Kannada : Hoo Kosu
- Hindi : Phulkopi / Patta Gobi
- Bengali : Phool Kopi / Fulkopi
- Gujarati : Cauliflower / Fool Kobi
- Marathi : Phool Gobi
- Odia : Phula Kobi
- Punjabi : Phool
Scientific Classification of Cauliflower
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division : Magnoliophyta
- Class : Magnoliopsida
- Subclass: Dilleniidae
- Order : Capparales
- Family : Brassicaceae
- Genus : Brassica
- Species : B. Oleracea L. Var. Botrytis
- Scientific name: Brassica oleracea L. Var. Botrytis
Benefits of Cauliflower
- Fights Cancer
Sulforaphane compounds destroy the stem cells of cancer and it reduces tumor growth. This compound of cauliflower helps in preventing prostate cancer. Cauliflower contains ‘indole’ and ‘isothiocyanate’ which can prevent breast, bladder, colon, liver and lung cancer.
Like cauliflower, other cruciferous vegetables are rich in carotenoids and other important nutrients such as vitamin C, E, and K. All this can help fight various types of cancer.
- Enhances Heart Health
Cauliflower contains fiber, and studies show how a diet rich in fiber can improve heart health. ‘Sulforafan’ of cauliflower is also known to greatly improve blood pressure levels. This veggie contains omega-3 fatty acids that control cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
- Helps Detoxify
Cauliflower contains antioxidants that support stage 1 detoxification (which involves a decrease or hydrolysis of a compound, reducing the toxin to small pieces), and its sulfur-containing compounds help in stage 2 detoxification. And the glucosinolates of vegetables also activate other detoxification enzymes.
- Strengthens Bones
Taking low vitamin K is often associated with high risk of osteoporosis and fractures. But since cauliflower is rich in vitamin K, it can modify the matrix protein of the bone and improve calcium absorption and it increases overall bone health. Vitamin K prevents calcium extraction through urine.
- Improves Digestive Health
Cauliflower diet can take good care of your digestive health. Taking enough fiber can reduce the risk of digestive problems such as constipation, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diverticulitis. Fiber even prevents colon cancer and sulforaphane helps protect the inner lining of the stomach. This prevents excessive growth of your stomach bacteria.
- Enhances Vision
Antioxidants present in cauliflower, including vitamin C, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. And sulforaphane protects the retina from damage and oxidative stress. It can prevent cataracts.
- Balances Hormones
Taking antioxidant rich vegetables like cauliflower shows a decrease in unhealthy levels of estrogen and a hormonal balance.
- Increases Blood Flow
This can be attributed to cauliflower fiber. High levels of fiber intake improve blood flow and increase circulation. Fiber boosts the health of the gut microbiome. It improves overall health as well as blood circulation.
- Improves Skin Texture And Hair Health
Cauliflower benefits are also seen in case of skin. While vitamin C present in cauliflower improves collagen production and delays signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines, other antioxidants clean dark spots and increase skin structure. Vitamin C can boost hair health – and antioxidants, in general, strengthen hair follicle and make your hair healthy.
- Boost Immunity
Cauliflower contains antioxidants and immune-strong nutrients. Among other healthy ingredients, the presence of vitamin C in cauliflower can prevent various infections and strengthen the body’s defense system by inhibiting the development of disease-causing inflammation.
- Can Help Prevent Obesity
Cauliflower contains Indole, which has anti-obesity effects. Studies have supported the fact that the use of cauliflower is beneficial in preventing various inflammatory and metabolic disorders in the body. It can help stimulate fat burning thermogenesis, and even help in weight loss and prevent obesity.
- May Help In Fetal Growth
Including cauliflower in your diet during pregnancy is beneficial for the presence of essential folate, which can help in healthy nerve development of the baby that prevents nerve defects.
- Can Help Improve Brain Health
Cauliflower contains colin and phosphorus, which is effective in repairing the membranes of both cells. This can be essential for efficient functioning of the brain and nervous system to send nerve signals. In addition, the possible presence of potassium and vitamin B6 in cauliflower can play an important role in maintaining brain health and increasing proper communication to the nerves.
- May Help Manage Diabetes
Regular consumption of cauliflower can help reduce the risk of diabetes due to the presence of vitamin C and potassium. The amount of potassium present in cauliflower can help in controlling glucose metabolism. This can affect the pancreas’s extraction of insulin hormones that fight high blood sugar in the body. In addition, studies have supported that vitamin B6 present in cauliflower may be effective in increasing glucose tolerance in patients with pregnancy diabetes.
Uses of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is mainly used as a vegetable for consumption purposes. It can be added to a variety of dishes by baking, roasting, frying or just by boiling it. In many places its green variety (broccoli) is used in salads also.
Side Effects of Cauliflower
Apart from the benefits cauliflower does have some side effects if eaten in huge quantity; they are –
- Cauliflower contains complex carbohydrates that do not break completely in the digestive tract. These carbohydrates are consumed by intestinal bacteria and can lead to stomach bloating and release of smelly gas.
- Cauliflower contains purines and excessive consumption of this vegetable can cause uric acid to accumulate in your body. This can lead to diseases like kidney stones and Gout.
- Eating cauliflower can lead to severe anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction to a substance) in some people. People with anticoagulants should only take it on the advice of the doctor as it contains vitamin K.
Through this article, you must have come to know about the health benefits of Cauliflower and the related things to it. This information may benefit you in various ways.
1) Which is healthier, cauliflower or broccoli?
A- Broccoli and cauliflower contain many similar nutrients, but broccoli contains more of them. Thus it becomes a healthier option. However, cauliflower is a healthy vegetable which is low in calories, high in fiber and full of nutrients.
2) Is cauliflower good for skin?
A- There are many foods that can enhance skin health Cauliflower sulforaphane can actually protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation damage and skin cancer.
3) Which nutrients are the highest in cauliflower?
A- In terms of nutrition, cauliflower is high in vitamin C and has a good source of folate. It is fat free and cholesterol free as well as low in sodium content. In addition, cauliflower contains only 25 calories in 1/6 of the medium head.
4) How long does it take to digest cauliflower?
A- If cooked properly; cauliflower will take about 40-50 minutes to digest.
5) How long will cauliflower be good when placed in the fridge?
A- All ends of cauliflower can be placed in a plastic bag that is loosely closed for 4 to 7 days in a refrigerator, however pre-cut florets should not be kept for more than 4 days.