*Cauliflower is a creamy white vegetable of the plant Brassica oleracea of the family Brassicaceae.
*It has a compact head, called ‘curd’, with numerous undeveloped flower buds attached to a central stalk and surrounded by green leaves.
*It has a sweet and nutty flavor with a crunchy texture.
*Other varieties of cauliflower (besides creamy white) found are –
(a) Orange cauliflower – This variety has 25 times more Vitamin A than the normal variety.
(b) Green cauliflower – Sometimes commonly called broccoflower and has more beta-carotenes than the other varieties.
(c) Purple cauliflower – The purple color is due to the presence of the antioxidant pigment anthocyanin.
*Cauliflower contains naturally-occurring substances called goitrogens that can interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. People with known untreated thyroid problems may want to avoid cauliflower for this reason. Cooking inactivates these goitrogens to some extent.
*Cauliflower also contains naturally-occurring substances called purines that break down to uric acid during metabolism. Excess consumption may result in the accumulation of uric acid causing gout disease. People with known gout disease may want to avoid cauliflower for this reason.
*Buying and storage: Select compact creamy white cauliflower heads surrounded by many green leaves in which the bud clusters are not separated. To store, place fresh unwashed cauliflower in paper or plastic bags in the refrigerator where it keeps well for up to a week.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, cauliflower can be eaten raw.
*No, when it is steamed, stir-fried, or boiled. Overcooking destroys the nutrients.
1. Cauliflower is very low in calories, has minimal amounts of fats and no cholesterol.
2. Cauliflower has many useful phytonutrients like di-indolylmethane and glucoraphanin.
3. Di-indolylmethane is a potent modulator of our body's immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer activity. Glucoraphanin is processed into a compound called sulforophane when chopped or chewed, which has anti-cancer properties. These compounds act by deactivating and suppressing various metabolites that are produced in the proliferation of tumor cells.
4. Sulforophane boosts the ability of liver and skin cells’ detoxifying abilities by releasing the enzymes needed for detoxification, thus reducing the risk of skin cancers like melanoma, leukemia and liver cancers.
5. Moderate source of other B-group vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and B6 that are essential to enhance the energy production from the foods.
6. Moderate source of Vitamin A. It enhances the eye sight, fights against acne, and results in smooth radiant skin.
7. Very good source of Vitamin C, a natural water soluble antioxidant. It enhances the body's immune system, increases the elasticity of skin and blood vessels, and prevents bruising of the skin.
8. Moderate source of Vitamin K, which prevents internal and external bleeding.
9. Moderate source of other minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese which play a very important role in maintaining proper metabolic activities of the body.
10. Good source of soluble dietary fiber. It adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, promotes the health of the colon, and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, etc.
11. Traces of selenium and phytosterols present act as antioxidants.