Have you noticed a lot of cauliflower recipes in your Pinterest feed lately? There's good reason; cauliflower is a tremendously versatile vegetiable that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B-6, vitamin K, magnesium, iron, calcium, and other nutrients that your body needs. Here are the seven main health benefits of cauliflower.
1. Helps Prevent Cancer
Studies on how cauliflower affects our health have found that cauliflower-rich diets help prevent cancer. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer in particular are preventable when cauliflower is part of a person's diet. Cauliflower is effective at preventing cancer because its nutrients support the body's detox system, inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system, and antioxidant system. These three systems play a role in cancer prevention. When all three systems become imbalanced, the risk of developing cancer skyrockets.
2. Boosts the Body's Detox System
Cauliflower supports the body's detox system through antioxidants, sulfur-containing nutrients, and glucosinolates. When the detox system doesn't receive enough nutrients, your body has a higher risk of toxin-related damage.
3. Balances the Body's Inflammatory System
Cauliflower supports the body's anti-inflammatory system through its abundance of vitamin K, a vitamin that directly regulates the inflammatory response. Glucobrassicin, a glucosinolate found in cauliflower, can be converted into an anti-inflammatory compound called ITC (isothiocyanate). ITC works to prevent inflammatory reactions at an early stage because it can operate at the genetic level.
4. Supports the Antioxidant System
The antioxidant system, just as the previous systems, need certain nutrients in order to function well. Cauliflower provides your body with vitamin C, manganese, and phytonutrients that fuel your antioxidant system. Some of the phytonutrients contained within cauliflower include:
- Caffeic acid
- Cinnamic acid
- Ferulic acid
5. Improves the Health of Your Heart
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower improve your blood pressure and kidney function, which in turn improves the health of your heart. Sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables plays a role in encouraging healthy functioning of the kidneys and blood pressure. Scientists think that sulforaphane is also linked to DNA methylation, which is important for correct gene expression and normal cellular function.
6. Improves Your Brain Health
In addition to improving heart health, cauliflower is good for your brain. Choline, a B vitamin found in cauliflower, was found to increase brain activity in the babies of animals. This means it could improve your learning, memory, and cognitive function. Eating cauliflower regularly could protect your brain from toxins and reduce how fast your memory declines from aging.
7. Aids in Digestion and Protects the Stomach Lining
As you know, fiber is important for healthy digestion and preventing constipation. Cauliflower is full of fiber, making it a good addition to your diet if you suffer from digestive problems. It can also protect your stomach lining due to sulforaphane made from glucoraphanin in cauliflower.
In short, cauliflower is a vegetable you'll want to make a staple in your diet because it improves your heart health, brain health, digestion, anti-inflammatory system, antioxidant system, and detox system. Because cauliflower has increased in popularity, you'll be able to find many delicious recipes, such as cauliflower pizza, curry roasted cauliflower and red onions, and spicy coconut milk cauliflower steaks.