Cauliflower is part of the Brassica genus, which also includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale and turnips. Vegetables from the Brassica genus can enhance the palatability of foods due to their distinctive flavours and textures.1 Foods from this genus are also called cruciferous vegetables.
Brassica vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C, fibre, calcium and certain phytochemicals.1
|Total dietary Fibre||1.8 g|
|Total Sugars||1.91 g|
|Vitamin C||48.2 mg|
|Vitamin K||15.5 mcg|
Potential Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Some studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables are a good source of antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals. Brassica vegetables have been related to the reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates (sulfur-containing chemicals) which are responsible for their aroma and sometimes bitter flavour. During food preparation, chewing, and digestion, glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables are broken down and form biologically active compounds (i.e. indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates), which have been examined for their cancer-prevention effects. These compounds have been found to inhibit the development of cancer in some organs of animals during lab tests by:
- protecting cells from DNA damage
- helping to inactivate carcinogens
- having antiviral and antibacterial effects
- having anti-inflammatory effects
- inducing cell death
- inhibiting tumour blood vessel formation and tumour cell migration
However, studies in humans have shown mixed results.4
Cauliflower contains multiple nutrients that are beneficial to our health, along with other compounds that could help prevent disease and cancer. If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, I encourage you to try other vegetables in the Brassica genus – although they are in the same family, each have their own unique flavours and can be utilized in cooking in many different ways.
Cauliflower can be prepared and consumed in multiple ways including (but not limited to):
- made into pizza crust
- made into gnocchi
- eaten raw
- stir fried