Cauliflower Nutrition & Benefits
Move over broccoli, there's a new kid in town. We'd like to give you a few reasons why you should make room for cauliflower on your next dinner plate. With health benefits like hormone balance and reduced risk of colon cancer, this is a veggie that's hard to beat when it comes to noteworthy nutrition.
Health Benefits of Cauliflower - Plus a Bonus Recipe
Like many members of the brassica plant family, cauliflower is well-known in the cancer research world. That's because scientists have been using compounds isolated from cauliflower to turn off cancer genes for over a decade. Not only are the plant chemicals in cauliflower good for preventing cancer, they also might reduce inflammation - one of the primary causes of heart disease.
Cauliflower is rich in a potent compound called glucosinolates. These fighter compounds stop the creation of carcinogens inside cells before they run amok. When glucosinolates are present, they turn on cellular defenses, as well as detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes. At the same time, they turn off cancer-related genes, and make your DNA less likely to reproduce harmful DNA sequences. When these compounds are administered to human liver cells that are cancerous, the liver cells auto-trigger programmed cellular death when exposed to glucosinolates and die.
Another compound found in abundance in cauliflower, indole-3-carbinol, can work quite a bit of magic in these areas as well. Indole-3-carbinol is unique in that it can target estrogen positive breast cancer cells, and serves as an anti-tumor agent. That's great news for many women, and yet another reason to eat cauliflower at our next meal.
Indole-3-carbinol has been studied extensively, and has also been shown to cause programmed cell death in acute myeloid leukemia cells. But the benefits don't stop there. This plant chemical packs a potential punch in inflammatory diseases. In animal models, this compound may be therapeutic in inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated colon cancer. Non-specific colon cancer can also be slowed and possibly stopped by indole-3-carbinol. That's great news for people who suffer from a variety of digestive issues.
Cauliflower isn't alone in these acts of health heroism. All the members of the cruciferous family-like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbages-are cancer-protective and anti-inflammatory. They are all rich in fiber and health-promoting compounds that support liver health and cellular detoxification.
Go ahead - grab a head of cauliflower at your next grocery store trip and savor the flavor with our recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes.
How to Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes - Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
Making a substitute for mashed potatoes is a breeze. All you need is a little salt, garlic, and of course, cauliflower.
1 head cauliflower
2 garlic cloves
Pinch of salt & pepper
1. Put a large pot with about 2 inches of water on the stove top to boil. Make sure your food processor is clean and ready to use.
2. Grab your cutting board and a sharp knife. Take 1 head of cauliflower and remove the outer green leaves. Peel the stem, removing any fibrous material. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Place cauliflower into the boiling water and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
3. While the cauliflower is cooking, chop the garlic finely and place it into the food processor.
4. Once the cauliflower is soft, take a slotted spoon and carefully transfer to food processor, allowing most of the water to drain before adding. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and process the mixture until it is whipped and smooth. To make it even smoother and more like mashed potatoes, add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream. Serve warm.
5. Recipe makes four servings. Enjoy!