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Here’s a riddle for you:
What’s white, and used in baking, but is not flour? (Hint: it’s a lot healthier).
What vegetable is purple and crunchy (it’s not cabbage)?
And finally, what’s orange and makes a delicious curried soup, but is not squash?
The answer: it’s one of the unsung heroes of the vegetable world.
It’s part of a family of vegetables able to suppress a gene that causes cancerous tumors.
Maybe it doesn’t get as much recognition because it’s not green like most cruciferous vegetables. It kind of looks like an albino version of broccoli!
Good thing this vegetable is gaining in popularity because it has so much to offer!
Here’s the skinny on this special veggie, along with some delicious recipes you can try.
Cauliflower: More than just “white broccoli”
“White broccoli” is what I used to call cauliflower as a kid. I wasn’t particularly enchanted with it, either. It seemed kind of bland and boring.
Well, before we show you how untrue that is, let’s talk about why you want to get more of this vegetable onto your dinner plate.
Of course, it’s part of the family of cruciferous veggies that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. We know that these vegetables contain a unique combination of nutrients that protect your health in some essential ways.
Cauliflower is unique in this family. While it does contain the powerful cancer-fighting phytonutrient known as sulforaphane, it’s unlike broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Its mild flavor lends itself to all sorts of delicious recipes.
And the nutritional value of this versatile veggie is hard to beat. A cup of raw, chopped cauliflower has 77 percent of your daily requirement for Vitamin C and 20 percent of Vitamin K.
It also gives you at least ten percent of your daily dose of Vitamin B6 and folate, both essential for maintaining heart health and avoiding depression.
Speaking of what its nutrients can do for you …
Strong bones, a great memory, and more
Here are four of the biggest ways that cauliflower can help you live a longer, stronger, healthier life.
- Strong bones. Sufficient intake of Vitamin K is needed to help absorb calcium. Vitamin K-rich cauliflower can help lower your risk for bone fracture and osteoporosis.
- Strong memory. Studies have shown that the nutrient choline, in sufficient amounts, could not only prevent Alzheimer’s disease but if consumed before conception, could prevent it in a person’s children and grandchildren as well! That’s because choline reduces levels of homocysteine in the brain. Homocysteine is an amino acid formed when protein is digested. People with elevated homocysteine levels have double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- Healthy Circulation. The high fiber content (5g per cup) can lead to changes in the bacterial content of the gut that have been shown to protect against heart disease.
- Cancer prevention. Like broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s plentiful in a phytonutrient known as indole-3 carbinol, or I3c, which deactivates the cancer-causing WWP1 gene.
A few tasty cauliflower recipes to try
Ready to give it a try? Good! Here are a few easy recipes to get you started. (Of course, it’s just as tasty steamed or sautéed).
Or, if roasting veggies appeals to you more, try roasted garlic cauliflower.
And yes, what you’ve heard is true: crumbled cauliflower makes a fantastic pizza crust! Just look online for tons of recipes!
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- Catch the Cauliflower Craze — Berkeley Wellness
- 8 Recipe Ideas for Cauliflower — Berkeley Wellness
- What’s the Deal with Orange and Purple Cauliflower? — Kitchn
- Everything you need to know about cauliflower — Medical News Today
- High-Fiber Diet and Acetate Supplementation Change the Gut Microbiota and Prevent the Development of Hypertension and Heart Failure in Hypertensive Mice — Circulation