The glycemic index (GI) for cauliflower is between 15 and 30. It has a low glycemic index rating, meaning that it won’t cause a blood sugar spike.
1. What is the glycemic index (GI)?
The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.
Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100.
The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels. Here are the three GI ratings:
Low: 55 or less
High: 70 or above
Foods high in refined carbs and sugar are digested more quickly and often have a high GI, while foods high in protein, fat, or fiber typically have a low GI. Foods that contain no carbs are not assigned a GI and include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.
Several factors influence the glycemic index of a food, including its nutrient composition, cooking method, ripeness, and the amount of processing it has undergone.
The glycemic index can not only help increase your awareness of what you’re putting on your plate but also enhance weight loss, decrease your blood sugar levels, and reduce your cholesterol.
Keep in mind that the glycemic index is different from the glycemic load (GL).
Unlike the GI, which doesn’t take into account the amount of food eaten, the GL factors in the number of carbs in a serving of a food to determine how it may affect blood sugar levels.
For this reason, it’s important to take both the glycemic index and glycemic load into consideration when selecting foods to help support healthy blood sugar levels.
2. Glycemic index of cauliflower
Where a carbohydrate food falls on the glycemic index indicates how much it will raise your blood sugar. This is particularly important if you have diabetes, as your body’s ability to manage the amount of sugar in your blood is impaired. Although carbohydrate counting is a more effective way to plan meals and manage your glucose levels, the glycemic index can help you fine-tune your carb intake, reports the American Diabetes Association.
If a food has a low GI – less than 55 — it will affect your blood sugar less than a medium or high food will.
Like all vegetables, cauliflower is a carbohydrate. But it’s the non-starchy, complex kind with lots of fiber and low amounts of natural sugar. It has a low glycemic index rating, somewhere between 15 and 30, meaning that it won’t cause a blood sugar spike.
One cup of cauliflower contains about a sixth of the carbs as the same amount of cooked pasta or rice. So it’s a great option for people with diabetes. It’s also good if you’re watching your carb intake for some other reason.
3. Health benefits of cauliflower
May Help Manage Diabetes
Regular intake of cauliflower may help in reducing the risk of diabetes due to the presence of vitamin C and potassium. Research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed an association between low serum potassium and the development of diabetes. The potassium content in cauliflower may help in regulating glucose metabolism. It can affect the pancreas’ secretion of the hormone insulin which combats high blood sugar in the body. In addition to this, studies have supported that the vitamin B6 present in cauliflower can also be effective in enhancing the tolerance of glucose in patients with gestational diabetes.
Might Improve Cardiovascular Health
Regular consumption of cauliflower can help with blood circulation and might help maintain the proper functioning of the blood vessels, which can be attributed to the presence of glucoraphanin.
Glucoraphanin is converted into isothiocyanates that activate anti-inflammatory activities and can thus prevent the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels. This can aid in the unobstructed flow of blood, which may reduce the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis and promotes cardiovascular health.
Research has also proved that the antithrombotic and antiplatelet function of Indole-3-carbinol, found in abundance in cauliflower, contributes significantly towards a healthy heart.
Can Improve Bone Health
Cauliflower contains vitamin C, which can play an important role in the production of collagen that protects the joints and bones from inflammatory damage and can even help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Furthermore, an association has been identified between increased levels of vitamin C and greater bone density. Also, it may contain a fairly good amount of vitamin K, which “attract[s] calcium to the bone.” This may help in preventing bone loss in both men and women.
Read more: Cauliflower nutrition facts and health benefits that you should know