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Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collard greens. Include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week and make the serving size at least 11/2 cups.

Cauliflower has a compact head (called a "curd"), surrounding the curd are coarse green leaves that protect it from sunlight which impedes the development of chlorophyll. While this process contributes to the white coloring of most of the varieties, cauliflower can also be found in light green and purple colors.

Nutrient Profile: Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium.

Health Benefits:

  • Detoxification Support: Cauliflower’s sulfur containing nutrients and phytonutrients help rid our bodies of toxins which can potentially damage our cells and increase the risk of cancer.

  • Antioxidant Benefits: The presence of vitamin C, manganese, and many different phytonutrients helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells.

  • Anti-inflammatory Benefits: The presence of vitamin K and the phytonutrient glucosinolate, helps prevent the initiation of inflammation which can lead to a reduction in cancer and other chronic diseases.

  • Cardiovascular Support: Unwanted inflammation in blood vessels can lead to cardiovascular disease. The presence of vitamin K, omega 3 fats and the phytonutrient sulforaphane is helpful to prevent inflammation.

  • Digestive Support: The fiber and sulforaphane help with digestive system support.

Selection and Storage: When purchasing cauliflower, look for a clean, creamy white, compact curd in which the bud clusters are not separated. Store uncooked cauliflower in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a week. 

Individual Concerns: People with Thyroid Dysfunction: Cauliflower may contain substances (especially found in cruciferous vegetables) which may cause swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter). This may lead to the thyroid not being able to produce as many of the hormones that are needed for regulating metabolism. Consumption of these vegetables should be altered but not eliminated in individuals with thyroid dysfunction. For example, steam, cook or ferment these cruciferous vegetables as the heat alters the molecular structure within the vegetables and thus eliminates the goitrogenic effect. If you have normal thyroid function and consume adequate amounts of iodine, these vegetables will have no effect on your thyroid and may be eaten liberally.

Recipe Suggestion:

This is one of my favorite recipes from True Food Kitchen restaurant. It is a copycat of their roasted mediaterranean cauliflower dish.

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