This pale cousin of broccoli steps into the healthy spotlight
Cauliflower, a white cruciferous vegetable, is in the same family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards. And like its crunchy relatives, cauliflower yields top-notch health benefits at little cost to you. A half-cup of cooked cauliflower contains only 15 calories and is both fat and sodium free. Here, our top five reasons you need to add this vegetable to your menu:
Cauliflower is packed with antioxidants (specifically manganese and vitamin C), which are essential for the body’s overall health and crucial to lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Antioxidants are also essential in destroying free radicals, which accelerate the signs of aging.
Cauliflower has omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K, which help prevent chronic inflammation that can lead to arthritis, chronic pain and some bowel conditions.
A great source of dietary fiber, cauliflower is an essential aid for optimal digestion.
Several studies link cauliflower to a significant reduction in the risk of cancer, particularly bladder, breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancers. In fact, one Canadian study found a daily half-cup of cauliflower reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 52 percent. The connection between cauliflower and cancer prevention shouldn’t be surprising, since cauliflower provides support for three body systems (detox, antioxidant and inflammatory systems) closely tied to cancer development. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can raise the risk of developing cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases dramatically.
Allicin, which reduces the occurrence of heart disease and stroke, is found in cauliflower, making a diet rich in the vegetable a heart-healthy choice. In addition, cauliflower can help lower bad cholesterol levels.
Try this cauliflower recipe one night this week. It takes 25 minutes to prepare:
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Decrease heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onion and curry powder; cook 1 minute, stirring mixture constantly. Add broth, salt, chickpeas and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with yogurt. Serves 4