A member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, cauliflower is often overlooked in favor of its green relative, broccoli. The truth is that these remarkable plants contain just as much – if not more – nourishing goodness that we can use to our advantage.
Let’s take a look at some of the most remarkable benefits that the consumption of cauliflower can offer for you. These benefits while may not necessarily restricted to this particular food, they make an excellent argument for this vegetable.
Cauliflower May Help You Prevent or Even Fight Cancer
Cauliflower contains a very interesting compound called sulforaphane. That remarkable agent is known for its ability to kill cancer stem cells which may be crucial in the fight against it. There was a study published in Carcinogenesis that has found a link between the two processes.
The sulforaphane was able to reduce the rate of growth in animals with chemically induced tumors. Another founding established a link between the compound and the inhibition of human breast cancer cells. Once those cells met with the compound their reign ended with cell death.
There are additional chemical agents in cauliflower that could have anti-cancer effects, like indoles and isothiocyanates that have been found to inhibit the growth of various tumor cells in mouse, involving organs like the bladders, color, liver, lung or the stomach.
Cauliflower Can Improve Heart Health
Sulforaphane has also been found to improve heart health mainly through its ability to regulate blood pressure. Blood pressure problems are one of the leading causes of heart problems, especially in men. According to scientists, it all has to do with the improvement of DNA methylation.
That value is crucial for the gene expression process. When that process is not ideal, the inner lining of the arteries gets damaged more easily. This is called endothelium and it is a very dangerous process. With the help of its main compounds, the cauliflower helps this process.
Cauliflower Has Anti-Inflammatory Qualities
Inflammation is not necessarily something that’s bad for you. At its best, inflammation is a defense mechanism of your body that allows it to fight bacteria and viruses effectively. The reason why even the smallest of cuts get inflamed, is exactly that positive, inflammatory reaction your body creates.
Problems arise when your body gets confused and it sends the message at a time it shouldn’t or to the wrong address. That can lead to the damage of the body and scientist link those inflammation-related conditions to several diseases like cancer for example. Luckily for us, cauliflower can help.
Being full of anti-inflammatory nutrients like indole-3-carbinol (or as they otherwise call it, I3C), this remarkable vegetable will help you prevent these inflammatory episodes that could end up being very taxing for your body. Some scientists believe that this compound may work at the genetic level.
Cauliflower is Full of Vitamins and Minerals
When a vegetable gets the “superfood” moniker, it usually happens for a reason. Superfoods are basically food types known for their pro-health qualities. There are some debates about them in scientific circles and while their effects are sometimes overstated, everybody agrees on one thing.
They are good for us. They may not work as a miracle medicine like many would make you believe, but they can be extremely valuable in a diet, provided that you are not allergic to them of course. Cauliflower is a food like that, offering vitamins and minerals that are associated with good health.
Cauliflower is usually not the food they praise for their Vitamin C contents, but a single serving can actually provide almost 80% of the daily recommended intake. This can be extremely beneficial for you because of various reasons. In addition to this, it also contains Vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese!
Sounds like the label of a multivitamin supplement and you can find all those goodness in a vegetable. Vitamin K plays a role in the bleeding process, thiamine (B1) promotes healthy brain and heart activity and riboflavin (Vitamin B2) plays a crucial role in the energy production of the body.
Niacin is responsible for helping the digestive system, magnesium helps our brain and cardiovascular system, phosphorus is important for our bones, the potassium once again helps our heart, and the manganese is crucial for our bone metabolism, as well as reducing fatigue levels in certain cases.
Helps the Digestive System
Our digestion is one of the most important, and often underrated process within our body. When it works, we tend to be healthy.
When it doesn’t, it can open up the way to all kinds of health problems. In order to cover our daily energy expenditure, we need our digestive system to work.
When our digestive system works our organs work better as well, which makes the whole detoxification process that our body needs to do every single day a lot easier. It all comes down to our digestive system which sends the toxins towards those organs.
While that system is influenced by several other processes, we can help it in a major way by deciding what and how much of that we eat.
Generally speaking, a diet high in fiber  is the way to go. There is a reason why most physicians recommend a high-fiber diet for diarrhea and constipation alike.
When you increase the fiber in your diet, you give your body one of the best munitions. In addition to having the so beneficial dietary fibers, cauliflower also contains the above mentioned sulforaphane which is made from a glucosinolate (precisely glucoraphanin). That compound is very interesting.
According to some studies, it can protect the lining of your stomach by regulating the bacterial flora in your gut. That condition is probably the single most important when it comes to your digestion. You don’t want the bacteria level to be low, nor high. You want it to be regulated at all times.