Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable of Brassica Oleracea species which reproduces on yearly basis. The head which is the edible part of it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that fight inflammation and cancer. Cauliflower is also a good source of beta-carotene and a number of vitamins including vitamins C and vitamin K. It detoxifies the body and also enhances digestion. A distinguishing aspect of this plant is that it can be eaten in different ways or added to a number of dishes such as salads. It may be seasons, mashed and served as alternative to mashed potatoes. If you like, you can also consume it raw. Including this nutrient-rich vegetable in your dietary plan will make your meal much healthier.
Many people today are now consuming this wholesome vegetable. If you are yet to include cauliflower in your diet plan, here are various reasons why it should form part of your meal plan.
• Cancer fighting elements
Nutritionists have shown that Cauliflower is rich in sulforaphane which is a compound of sulfur that can fight cancer. The element is a destroyer of cancer stem cells that cause tumor growth. Researchers are convinced that cancer can be controlled if these cancer stem cells are eliminated. Several studies have been carried out to show how effective cauliflower is in fighting cancer. According to the result of a study published in Carcinogenesis, the cases of chemically induced mammary tumors and the rate at which they occur in animals may be reduced with sulforaphane. This element as found by researchers also kills cultured human breast cancer cells by hindering their growth. Adding spice turmeric to cauliflower can be helpful to people diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is because, as researchers have found, the combination of sulforaphane and curcumin which is the spice turmeric’s major compound may be effective in preventing and curing prostate cancer.
Cauliflower contains other cancer-fighting compounds such as indoles and isothiocyanates. Experiments have been conducted on rats to show the anti-cancer effects of these two compounds and positive results were obtained. National Cancer Institute reported that with indoles and isothiocyanates, cancer can be prevented from developing in a number of organs in rats and mice including the stomach, lung, liver, colon, breast and bladder.
• Enhancement of the health of the heart
Besides giving anti-cancer effects, sulforaphane also enhances the function of the kidney and reduces the blood pressure. Medical experts and nutritionists associate this health benefit of sulforaphane to enhanced DNA methylation required for the proper functioning of the cells and gene expression in endothelium, a thin layer of flat epithelial cells lining the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels and serous cavities.
• Anti-inflammatory effect
Cauliflower can stop inflammatory responses at the earliest stage. Normally, in order to remain healthy and function very well, the human body requires certain level of inflammation. But it is important to control the inflammatory response as it is likely to get out of hand causing some damages to the body. It may be possible for our immune system to initiate in error an inflammatory response when there is no threat. When this happens, your body may suffer some damages related to inflammation. Depending on the organs affected, these damages can result in a number of health conditions including cancer.
Cauliflower can help control the inflammatory response of the body from the base level thanks to its anti-inflammatory contents such as indole-3-carbinol also known as I3C. Working at the genetic level, this compound can keep the inflammatory responses in check when it is still at its earliest stage.
• High vitamin and mineral contents
Cauliflower contains a lot of vitamins and minerals which the body requires to function very well and to stay healthy. Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough vitamins and minerals from their meals because they do not make healthy choices. Including cauliflower in your daily meal plan is a veritable and easy means of getting a lot of these nutrients. For example, this vegetable is rich in vitamin C which is a very important vitamin in body. With just one serving of cauliflower, you will get up to 77% of the daily amount of Vitamin C your body needs for optimal functioning. Other vitamins and minerals contained in varying degrees in this vegetable are manganese, potassium, panothenic acid, folate, vitamin B6, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin K. It is also a good source of protein.
• Detoxification effect
Cauliflower removes toxins from the body in a number of ways. First, you can put your body’s detoxification enzymes into action by consuming cauliflower. It contains glucosinolates which are known for triggering these detoxification enzymes. Secondly, the vegetable is rich in antioxidants and sulfur-giving nutrients which respectively enhance both phase 1 and phase two detoxification processes.
• Improvement of brain health
Consuming cauliflower is a simple and affordable way of improving the brain health. It contains choline which helps improve the development of the brain. Choline as a type of Vitamin B can be given to pregnant women to boost the function of the brain of the babies growing in their womb. This shows that eating this vegetable may enhance learning and memory. It can also increase cognitive function. This vitamin has the potency of reducing memory lost during old age. It may also make the brain less vulnerable to toxins during childhood as well as protect it in other stages of life.
• Abundance of antioxidants and phytonutrients
If cauliflower does not appeal to your taste bud, consume it because it has plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Our body is regularly under the attack of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can destroy various bodily cells. However, antioxidants give our body a strong protection against these ROS. Thus, when you consume cauliflower, you are naturally strengthening your body’s defense against ROS. The cells of your remain protected if you are getting enough antioxidants from your diet as your body will continually combat successfully aging that results from too much stress and exposure to pollutants on daily basis. Insufficient supply of antioxidants can increase the risk of oxidative stress which can damage the organ and tissue of your body.
• Digestive Benefits
Cauliflower is a good vegetable for any person suffering from indigestion or constipation. It is a rich source of dietary fiber which boosts digestion. Apart from enhancing digestion, cauliflower gives other digestive benefits. As reported by the World’s Healthiest Foods, the sulforaphane contained in this nutritious vegetable guides the lining of the stomach by preventing Helicobacter pylori from growing excessively or clinging too much to the wall of your stomach.
• Enhancement of the health of the bone
If you want to have strong bones and reduce the risk of bone fracture, cauliflower should form part of your meal plan. Highly valued by King Louis XIV, this cruciferous broccoli’s cousin is loaded with vitamin K which enhances the health of the bone in a number of ways. First, this vitamin does not only reduce the removal of calcium through urine, but also increases its absorption. Secondly, it also modifies the bone matrix proteins. The net effect of these benefits is the strengthening of bones.
• Reduction of cholesterol levels and blood pressure
Cauliflower contains a lot of dietary fibers which help in reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. Apart from these benefits, high fiber intake has positive impact on health in several ways. Taking foods rich in fiber as noted by the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program of the University of Kentucky prevents the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, diabetes, some gastrointestinal diseases and coronary heart disease. Obese and overweight individuals can facilitate weight loss by taking food rich in fibers which also enhance insulin sensitivity. Besides being rich in fiber, this vegetable also contains other vitamins such as folates and vitamin C that play an important role in the burning of fat. You will get all these benefits if you consume cauliflower because it is a rich source of fiber.
• Fetal development
If you are pregnant, you need to consume this cruciferous vegetable as it is rich in vitamins A and B and folate which aid cells’ growth. In this way, cauliflower helps the fetus to develop and remain healthy.
• Enhancement of the skin
Including cauliflower in your dietary plan is a healthy choice for anyone that cares about the health of their skin. The vegetable is very rich in antioxidants that enhance food digestion, quickens metabolism and increases the quantity of oxygen in the blood. The benefits together help the body to eliminate more toxins from the blood. The skin will be much healthier if the blood contains insignificant or low quantity of toxic materials. In other words, you can get rid of some health problems associated with the skin such as acne, wrinkles, warts, rashes, moles, dark spots, flaky skin and others by consuming cauliflower.
• Development of healthier hair
The hair may be the last part of the body to think of when health-related issues are being discussed. But it is an important part of the body. Besides its health benefits, it also has some fashion relevance. Most people don’t like being bald. Unfortunately, any person including men, women and children can suffer from hair loss. A good means of growing your hair is by eating foods and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals such as copper, iron, niacin, fats, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, calcium and others. These vitamins and minerals are all available in a significant amount in cauliflower. Thus, eating this vegetable regularly will help you improve the growth of your hair.
Now that you have know the various health benefits of cauliflower which are the major reasons why it should form part of your dietary plan, it is now time to tell you the various meals that can be made with cauliflower.
Meals made from cauliflower
Cauliflower is regarded by many chefs and dieticians as versatile cruciferous vegetables because it can be eaten in different ways and can also be used to make different dishes including appetizers and desserts. To enjoy this highly nutritious vegetable in this ways, here are some of the dishes that can be prepared with it:
• Vegan cauliflower pizza bites
• Potato soup
• Roasted Buddha Bowl
• Red lentil cauliflower burger
• No cream of mushroom soup
• Hummus-crusted cauliflower steaks
• Chocolate cake
• Cauliflower pizza crust
• Cauliflower creamy salad
• Cauli “Mac” and Cheez
• Buffalo Wing Pizza
• Roasted cauliflower tart with lemon herb filling and oat walnut crust
• Quinoa, cauliflower and ramsons cakes
Let’s describe quinoa, cauliflower and ramsons cakes.
Quinoa, cauliflower and ramsons cakes
This type of cakes is better flavored with wild garlic called ramsons. However, during the off season, you can use fresh spinach mixed with crushed garlic as an alternative.
• Black pepper
• 2 tablespoon of olive oil (but you can also use ghee or coconut oil)
• 80 grams of rolled oats
• 200 gram of crumbled feta cheese
• A big handful of coarsely chopped ramsons
• 200 grams of cauliflower florets
• 200 grams of quinoa
Pour 500ml of water in a med sized saucepan; put it on fire and pour your quinoa and some salt to it. Leave the saucepan on fire until the water boils. Reduce the heat allowing it to simmer for up to fifteen minutes or when the quinoa seeds’ tails become visible. Remove the water and allow the quinoa to cool down.
Get a food processor and put the cauliflower inside it. Pulse it until a rice like texture is formed. Get a bowl and place the eggs, quinoa, oats, feta and seasoning inside it. Turn them until they blend very well together. Refrigerate it for about half an hour so that it will set.
Make twelve patties from the mixture with your hands. Put a frying pan on fire and pour the oil inside it allowing it to heat over a medium-high heat a couple of minutes. Put four patties in the frying pan leaving it for 3-4 minutes to fry until they have golden brown color. Turn the other sides of the patties for them to fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. Fry all the patties in this manner. You are done with the frying; your cakes are ready to be served as warm cakes. They can also be left to cool down.
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