Featured Food: Cauliflower

Thursday’s cooking class featured cauliflower as the ingredient of the night, so as an added bonus you get to learn more about it! Considered a cruciferous vegetable, it’s related to broccoli, kale, cabbage, and collards. Cauliflower consumption can help prevent cancers by balancing three systems that can cause cancer. These systems are:

  • detox
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory

   Cauliflower contains phytonutrients (glucosinolates) that activate detoxification enzymes and regulate their activity. There are 3 gluconasturtian. Cauliflower is great for the antioxidant system because it is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese; but it also includes a variety of phytonutrients (beta-carotene, beta-crytoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol). These all help to reduce oxidative stress, which chronically is a risk factor for cancer. How about inflammation? Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha linolenic acid), which regulates inflammatory response. Glucobrassicin is converted to isothiocyanate (ITC), a compound that can prevent the initiation of inflammatory responses at an early stage. Persistant inflammation can increase the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like cardiovascular diseases. More on the heart? Glucorphanin is converted to isothiocyanate (ITC) sulforaphane, which triggers anti-inflammatory activity in cardiovascular system, while also helping to reverse blood vessel damage. It’s good for you stomach too! It’s high fiber content is great for your digestive system. Just 200 calories of it provides half your daily recommended fiber. Sulforaphane helps to protect the lining of the stomach by preventing overgrowth of bacteria. Research is ongoing to show cauliflower’s potential benefits to:

  • lowering the risk of Chrohn’s disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • insulin resistance
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • type 2 diabetes
  • ulcerative colitis

   With all this greatness is it any wonder why I love using it. I made at least 5 dishes with it. My favorite thing nowadays is cauliflower rice! Check out the recipes for more inspiration.

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