Cauliflower is a vegetable in the family Brassicaceae. This vegetable has been a very popular for making different kinds of cuisines. People started cultivating cauliflower in the late 1600s.
This is one of the favorite vegetables in most families because of its exotic flavor. Cauliflower nutrition is a deeply studied subject. This vegetable is capable of giving you optimum nutrition for the various needs of our body. In this article we will be looking into various nutritional benefits of cauliflower.
Cauliflower is a very flexible vegetable when it comes to cooking. It can be steamed, baked, eaten raw, boiled, or can be fried. Before doing all these, one should clean it thoroughly in fresh water.
Leaves around the flower should be removed and some people choose to clean it using salt water. This will kill the germs, if any are present in the cauliflower. If you are planning to eat it raw, we should first clean it and then immerse it in salt water for at least 10 minutes. Then you can cut the florets at the tip of the stalks and can serve raw.
|Dietary fiber||2 g|
|Vitamin C||48.2 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin K||15.5 µg|
Cooking With Cauliflower
Most commonly used method for cooking cauliflower is boiling. The flower can be boiled as a whole, but commonly people choose to boil them after cutting the florets from its stalk. The second method will give an even heating for all parts of the vegetable. If we are using alkaline water, the boiling cauliflower will turn yellow in color.
The vessel used for boiling can also change the color of boiling cauliflower. Use of aluminum and Iron pots turn the florets into yellow and brown color respectively. This can be avoided by adding a little milk or lemon juice to the boiling water. This will help in retaining the white color of cauliflower while cooking.
Loss of Cauliflower Nutrition While Cooking
Cauliflower is a nutrition packed vegetable, unfortunately some of these nutrients are lost when it cooked. If we boil cauliflower for more than 5 minutes, nearly 20% to 30% of the cancer fighting chemicals in cauliflower will be denatured. When it is cooked for 10 minutes, this loss in nutrients will be around 40% to 50%.
After 30 minutes of cooking, the loss in cauliflower nutrition will escalate to about 75%. But, one benefit of this boiling is that, it removes a substance called goitrogens.
This is a substance found in certain vegetables like cauliflower, which interferes with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Therefore, it is better for people with thyroid disorders to use boiled cauliflower.
Microwaving or steaming will help in retaining most of the essential cauliflower nutrition components. The whole head of cauliflower can be wrapped in plastic cover and microwaved. Or the florets can be separated and kept in two inches deep water and heated in high for about three minutes.
It is economical to heat with the florets separated, but as a whole it takes more time to boil evenly. Separated florets can be cooked in five to six minutes. The head as a whole will take about 15 to 20 minutes.
The exotic taste and flavor of this vegetable can only be brought out when it is stir fried. Many a great dishes can be prepared by frying cauliflower without doing away with the integrity of this vegetable. A wonderful appetizer can be prepared by frying the florets with virgin oil until it turns a little brown. This can also be used as a side dish.
Nutritional Benefits of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a great choice for those who want to stay healthy by eating nutritious food. Other vegetables in its family like Brussels, broccoli, and cabbage are also well known for their nutritional benefits.
The advice that we commonly hear is to eat green colored vegetables, but here in the case of cauliflower, the white florets in it contains a wide variety of nutrients in it.
Cauliflower is rich in vitamin k, vitamin c, potassium, and folate. It is a great source of dietary fiber intake. Cauliflowers are available in various colors at different places like purple and orange. This difference in color does not alter the nutritional characteristic of cauliflower.
Cauliflower in Keeping Away Cancer
In 2006, Science Daily reported that cauliflower can help in reducing the risk of getting certain hereditary cancer conditions. A study has demonstrated that chemicals found in cauliflower have inhibited the increase of harmful carcinogens in laboratory rats.
In case of providing Vitamin C for us, it is said that, eating just three florets of cauliflower will fulfill 70% of our daily vitamin c need. 10% of daily folate need can be satisfied with that same amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower is rich with nutrition which is capable of keeping away a lot of diseases ranging from cold to heart attacks.
Cauliflower Nutrition and Heart
Cauliflower is a vegetable which assists in reducing the bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol from our body. This feat is achieved in two ways. The first method is that, cauliflower contains a lot of fiber content in it. One cup serving of cooked cauliflower contains about 15% of fiber needed in a day. Intake of right amount of fiber will reduce the bad cholesterol in our body.
The second method by which cauliflower nutrition helps in reducing cholesterol is through a chemical called IC3. This chemical reduces the production of apolipoprotein by the liver cells. The folate present in this vegetable will reduce the homocysteine circulating in the blood stream. Thus it is vegetable with very high nutritional value.