Beneficial Foods 1.2 Cauliflower
Cauliflower is an amazing food that is often outshined by its usual companion broccoli. Cauliflower is also cruciferous superfood. It can be traced back to wild cabbage, which is thought to have originated in ancient Asia Minor(5) Cauliflower went through many changes in the wild and appeared in the Mediterranean region around 600 B.C. and gained popularity throughout France in the mid-16th century.(5)
Cauliflower’s best season is December through March when it is at it’s peak. This is great for us since it contains tons of nutrients that make it an ideal food to combat nutrition deficiency, which many of us suffer from over the long winter months.(4) Nutrients like:
Cauliflower helps to balance your body’s detox system, antioxidant system & inflammatory/anti-inflammatory systems because it contains Glucoraphanin which converts to sulphoraphane. You can google Glucoraphanin! 😉 The sulphoraphane is my focus here because it triggers anti-inflammatory activity in the body. This trigger helps to lower blood pressure and can possibly help repair blood vessel damage.(5) Sulphoraphane has also been linked to killing cancer stem cells. You can rely on sulphoraphane to protect the stomach lining by preventing bacterial growth, like Helicobacter Pylori, on the stomach walls.(4) Cruciferous veggies, in general, reduce estrogen bi-products in the body, which help reduce cancer risk.(2)
Another anti-inflammatory agent in cauliflower is indole-3-carbinol (I3C). I3C has been found to work at the genetic level helping to prevent inflammatory responses in young children and even the unborn.(4,5) I3C is also a powerful anti-tumor agent, which can reduce the levels of hormones that could possibly stimulate tumor growth in the cells of the prostate and breast. I3C reduces the liver’s production of apolipoproteinB-100, which is the main transporter of LDL (bad cholesterol), to the body’s tissues(6)
More research is being done on the effects of cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower, on inflammation related diseases such as; Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, insulin resistance, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, and ulcerative colitis.(5)
So, so far we have a super food that helps fight cancer, lowers blood pressure, repairs blood vessels, protects the stomach lining and reduces inflammation! And there’s still more!
Cauliflower is a great source of choline which can boost the health and function of your brain! Who doesn’t need better brain function?!?
Cauliflower contains amazing doses of Vitamin C and folate, which are both helpful in the growth of an unborn fetus. Because these nutrients work at a cellular level the recommendations I have found say that you should be getting extra servings of cauliflower BEFORE you conceive so your body is well prepared to care for your unborn child.(2) Just 3 large florets of cauliflower contain 67% of the daily value of Vitamin C – more than some citrus fruits.(6)
Cauliflower is a great detoxifier for the body.(4) It helps to increase the body’s production of enzymes that clean toxins & carcinogens out of the body.(6) The dietary fiber it contains also helps flush out the toxins from the body. So make sure this food is on your list when you are planning a body detox!
Just to be on the safe side, here are some precautions to think of when you are adding cauliflower back into your diet. Like all cruciferous veggies it contains a good amount of Vitamin K, so if you are taking blood thinners watch your intake as this could affect your medication negatively.(5) If you have severe thyroid issues also be aware that too much cauliflower could possibly cause swelling of the thyroid gland.(3) Cauliflower also contains naturally occurring purines, which can be broken down into uric acid. If you are susceptible to kidney stones or gout, limit your intake to 1-2 servings per week.(5) As always consult your physician before making any major dietary changes.
For those of you who are following an autoimmune protocol – Cauliflower is legal!! Woo Hoo!
1. Food Cures – Joy Bauer, MS RD CDN – Rodale Inc 2007
2. The New Healing Foods – Colleen Pierce, MS RD – American Master Products Inc 2005
4. 8 Amazing Benefits of Cauliflower – http://www.drmercola.com
5. Cauliflower – www.whfoods.com
6. What is the Nutritional Value of Cauliflower – www.livestrong.com