You know that broccoli is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It's a great source of dietary fibre, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper.
But what about other vegetables in the cruciferous family? There's one in particular that we often overlook - cauliflower.
Like broccoli, cauliflower deserves a regular rotation in your diet. Brimming with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals, you can eat it raw, add it to salads or use it in cooking. You can even use cauliflower to create a carb-free pizza base of mash it for a healthier version of mashed potatoes - that's how versatile this vegetable is!
Furthermore, cauliflower helps fight off a number of serious medical problems. To learn more about this as well as for a tasty salad bowl recipe featuring spicy roasted cauliflower, read on.
Four remarkable health benefits that cauliflower offers, according to science
#1: Cauliflower slows down growth of cancerous tumours
Cauliflower is abundant in sulforaphane, a sulphur compound that’s proven to kill cancer
stem cells and thereby slow down tumour
growth. Some experts believe that eradiating cancer
stem cells is key to controlling cancer. Studies have found that combining cauliflower with curcumin – the active compound in turmeric – may specifically help fight prostate cancer
. What’s more, one study published in the journal Carcinogenesis discovered that sulforaphane may cut the rate and incidence of chemically induced mammary tumours in animals. It also found that sulforaphane stops the growth of cultured human breast cancer
cells, ultimately leading to cell death.
#2: Cauliflower reduces heart disease risk factors
According to well-known American physician Dr Mercola, the sulforaphane found in cauliflower and other members of the cruciferous vegetable family has been found to significantly improve blood pressure
and kidney function. Scientists attribute the benefits of sulforaphane to improve DNA methylation, which is critical to proper gene expression and normal cellular function. This holds especially true for the inner lining of the arteries known as the endothelium, which are easily damaged.
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#3: Cauliflower improves memory and learning ability
Cauliflower is an excellent source of the B vitamin choline, which is well-known for its essential role in brain development and health. According to Dr Mercola, one study found that pregnant animals in utero who took choline “super-charged” their brain activity. This indicates that choline may boost cognitive function and improve memory and learning ability. It may even diminish the brain’s vulnerability to toxins during childhood and later in life as well as stave off age-related memory decline, Dr Marcela believes.
#4: Cauliflower supports the body’s natural detoxification process
A growing body of research shows that cauliflower assists the body’s ability to detoxify in a number of ways. It contains antioxidants that support phase 1 detoxification with sulphur-containing nutrients that are important for phase 2 detox activities. Furthermore, the glucosinolates in cauliflower activate the body’s detoxification enzymes.
Stop letting broccoli overshadow other cruciferous vegetables that are just as beneficial to your health! Are you ready to start eating cauliflower? I thought so – here’s a delicious recipe to get you started…
Check out this colourful salad bowl with spicy roasted cauliflower
This salad bowl is full of colourful, nutrient-dense vegetables – both raw and roasted – which makes it more than just an average salad!
In this recipe, the spicy roasted cauliflower is the star of the show. Roasting the hearty vegetables with spices takes it to another level by giving it a moreish taste and lending it anti-inflammatory compounds.
Here’s how to prepare it…
For the roasted spicy cauliflower
· ½ small cauliflower, roughly chopped
· ½ tsp garlic powder
· ¼ tsp chili powder
· ½ tsp cumin powder
· 1 tsp paprika powder
· 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
For the salad bowl
· ½ red bell pepper, sliced
· ¼ small red cabbage, thinly sliced,
· Handful of spinach
· ½ avocado, diced
For the herb and tahini dressing
· ¼ cup tahini
· 1 garlic clove, minced
· Juice of ½ lemon
· 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
· 1 tbsp honey
· Handful of dill, roughly chopped
· Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
· Water, to thin if necessary
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. In a medium bowl, add cauliflower, garlic, chili, cumin, paprika & coconut oil, stir well to coat the cauliflower.
3. Spread evenly on a lined baking tray and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. In a food processor or blender, combine all dressing ingredients and process until combined well.
5. If the dip seems too thick, add more water to thin until you reach your desired consistency.
6. Assemble all ingredients in your favourite bowls and drizzle with tahini dressing.
What’s your favourite cauliflower recipe? Share it with us!