Here are cauliflower nutrition facts and health benefits. The health benefits of cauliflower mentioned in this article are based on studies.
With the rise of low-carb, ketogenic, and Paleo diets, cauliflower has become increasingly popular, as it can sub for starchier foods like rice and even pizza dough. This veggie is versatile, non-starchy, and contains a lot of fiber and other beneficial nutrients. Whether you eat it raw, roasted, or riced, cauliflower offers a lot of bang for your nutritional buck.
1. Cauliflower Nutrition Facts
One cup of chopped cauliflower (107g) provides 27 calories, 2.1g of protein, 5.3g of carbohydrates, and 0.3g of fat. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 51.6mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2mg
Carbs: 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.
Fats: Cauliflower has only a trace amount of fat and is cholesterol-free. Therefore, it can easily be included in a low-fat diet or a diet that aims to lower cholesterol.
Protein: Cauliflower has a minimal amount of protein. You will need to include other healthy protein sources in your diet to meet your daily protein requirements.
Vitamins and Minerals: Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C. One cup provides more than half of the 75 mg daily recommended intake for adult women and 90 mg recommendation for adult men. It also provides a good dose of vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Those aren’t the only nutrients in cauliflower, either. This vegetable contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, fluoride, and a wide array of B vitamins.
Calories: At 27 calories per cup, you’d have to eat a lot of cauliflower before it had a big impact on your total calorie intake. Pair raw cauliflower with low-calorie dips and cook it with herbs and spices versus butter or oil to keep the calorie count low.
Cauliflower is a fiber-rich vegetable that is low in fat and calories. It is a great source of vitamin C while supplying a good dose of vitamin B6 and magnesium, along with a variety of other trace nutrients.
2. Health Benefits of Cauliflower
May Prevent Oxidative Stress
Cauliflower contains vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E, and other potent antioxidants that help in imparting nourishment to the body. It also contains phytochemicals, called indoles and glucosinates, namely glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin. These components may stimulate helpful enzymes that protect the body cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
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.
May Have Anticancer Potential
Studies have shown that indole-3-carbinol present in cauliflower has chemopreventive and anti-estrogen effects that help in hampering the growth of uterine cancer cells.
Research published in The Journal of Nutrition has provided supporting evidence for the fact that consumption of brassica vegetables such as cauliflower helps in suppressing cell proliferation, especially in terms of breast cancer.
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.
May Aid in Skin Care
Studies have shown that sulforaphane present in cauliflower is effective in protecting the skin against the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. The protective action of sulforaphane defends the body against UV radiation-induced inflammations and skin cancer, against UV-induced erythema, and cellular damage. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America indicates that this protection against cancer in humans is long-lasting.
May Reduces the Risk of Nervous Disorders
The sulforaphane present in cauliflower can play a key role in reducing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. According to a 2018 study by Lee S et al., consuming it can have the potential to decrease the accumulation of amyloid-beta and tau proteins in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Can Help Improve Brain Health
Cauliflower contains choline and phosphorous, which are both effective in repairing cell membranes. This can be essential for the efficient functioning of the brain and nervous system for transmitting nerve signals. In addition to this, the possible presence of potassium and vitamin B6 in cauliflower can play an important role in maintaining brain health and promoting proper communication in the nerves.
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.