Part of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, making it a healthy snack or side dish. It also contains some unique plant compounds that are linked to the prevention of some chronic diseases, but more on that later.
Here, we explore the benefits of cauliflower, take a deeper look at its nutritional value, and share some of our favourite ways to eat this healthy vegetable.
Cauliflower nutritional profileCauliflower is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Here are just a few:1
- Vitamin C: helps prevent iron deficiency and supports the immune system. It’s also been linked to managing blood pressure2
- Vitamin K: plays a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. It also helps the body produce a protein that’s important for blood clotting3
- Fibre: helps maintain good digestive health and normalises bowel movements. It can also help lower cholesterol levels and aids in achieving a healthy weight4
- Potassium: helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. It’s also linked to lowering blood pressure5
- Magnesium: is linked to good overall brain health, fighting depression, and boosting exercise performance6
The health benefits of eating cauliflower
It helps maintain a healthy digestive systemIn one cup of cauliflower, there are three grams of fibre, which equates to around 10% of your daily needs.7 Your gut is swarming with good bacteria, which are fed by fibre to reduce inflammation and promotes good digestive health.8,9 What’s more, fibre is also linked to the prevention of obesity, as it makes you feel fuller after consumption and helps reduce your overall calorie intake.10.11
It’s packed full of antioxidantsAntioxidants help protect your body from harmful free radicals, and cauliflower is jam-packed full of them. It contains high levels of glucosinolates and isothiocynates, which have been linked to slowing the growth of cancerous cells. 12,12,14,15,16 Cauliflower is also known for its high concentration of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant, and is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and role in disease prevention.17
It’s a good alternative to high-carb foodsWant to reduce your carb intake? Try swapping your grains and legumes with cauliflower.18 One cup of cauliflower contains five grams of carbs, whereas a up of rice contains 45 grams of carbs – that’s nine times more!19
Ways to cook cauliflowerThere are lots of delicious, easy ways to incorporate more cauliflower into your diet. Here are some of our faves:20
- Cauliflower soup: want to warm up a winter evening? Throw some cauliflower, mixed veg, spices, and some veggie stock into a blender and enjoy a steaming spiced soup – perfect for lunch or dinner. If you’re feeling especially indulgent, you could add a sprinkle of grated cheese.
- Cauli curry: if you want to make a delicious curry but don’t want to include meat, cauliflower is a good alternative. Throw it in your favourite curry sauce with some potatoes and spinach, and you’ve got yourself a mouth-watering Eastern dish.
- Cauliflower rice: the easiest recipe. Simply throw your cauliflower into a food processor, and you’ll have a couscous-style cauliflower rice in ten minutes.
Last updated: 10 June 2020