I mean, no shit, if you’re eating out or trying new recipes or even just trying the new products at Trader Joe’s, you are frigging eating cauliflower…and loving it! It’s so crazy.
When I was growing up, cauliflower was a very lowly vegetable. You ate it only because none of your other favorite vegetables was available or it was a better price than anything else your mom could find…really…it was pathetic.
Suddenly, cauliflower is like Cinderella! Everyone wants to know who she is, and everyone is making hay while the sun shines with cauliflower’s popularity.
How did this happen?
Well, the 1st thing is that the whole nutrition and foodie world is ALWAYS looking for what’s next. We all thought that kale would be our savior forever…right? I mean there were t-shirts and hats and bumper stickers…it was out of control.
And then a few years ago, cauliflower moves in…sure, it’s not as flashy…kinda pale…bad reputation…
But people start to realize how versatile cauliflower is while being low-carb (i.e. low on the glycemic index) AND low calorie AND high in nutrients. A craze was born.
Now, you know how I am…I really want to focus on the “high in nutrients” part cuz that’s what I’m crazy about. So, let’s talk about the nutritional properties of cauliflower…are you excited? I am.
Because of its beneficial effects on numerous aspects of health, cauliflower can easily be described as a superfood.
- Cauliflower fights cancer! Because it contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells. Other compounds in cauliflower also show anti-cancer effects.
- Cauliflower boosts heart health! The sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. Scientists believe sulforaphane’s benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression, especially in the easily damaged inner lining of the arteries known as the endothelium. That’s a mouthful…wow!
- Cauliflower is anti-inflammatory! Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
- Cauliflower is rich in vitamins and minerals! One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. And all that shit is good for you!
- Cauliflower boosts your Brain! It’s a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development. I need that
- Cauliflower helps you detox! Cauliflower helps your body’s ability to detoxify in multiple ways. It contains antioxidants that support Phase 1 detoxification along with sulfur-containing nutrients important for Phase 2 detox activities. The glucosinolates in cauliflower also activate detoxification enzymes. (you might want to watch one of our more advanced videos about this…let us know!)
- Cauliflower helps you digest stuff! Cauliflower is an important source of dietary fiber for digestive health. But that’s not all. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“Researchers have determined that the sulforaphane made from a glucosinolate in cauliflower (glucoraphanin) can help protect the lining of your stomach. Sulforaphane provides you with this health benefit by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in your stomach or too much clinging by this bacterium to your stomach wall.”
- Cauliflower is full of anti-oxidants and phytochemicals! Eating cauliflower is like winning the antioxidant and phytonutrient lottery. It’s packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more. Antioxidants are nature’s way of providing your cells with adequate defense against attack by environmental toxins.
As long as you have these important micronutrients, your body will be able to resist aging caused by your everyday exposure to pollutants, chronic stress, and more. If you don’t have an adequate supply of antioxidants to help squelch free radicals, then you can be at risk of oxidative stress, which leads to accelerated tissue and organ damage.
Don’t underestimate the nutritive value of cauliflower. If it’s been a while since you’ve given it a try, make it a point to give it another chance soon. When picking out a head of cauliflower, look for a firm feel with no brown or soft yellow spots. If it’s surrounded by green leaves, it’s likely to be especially fresh. Enjoy this new craze!
If you want some ideas for incorporating cauliflower into your diet this year, check out Season 6 of Cook with Jake & Joy for some great recipe ideas!