Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cauliflower instead of potatoes, say what?

Cauliflower is a peculiar looking vegetable, and I admit, as a kid, unless it was covered in cheese, I wasn't going to touch it. But I have come to value the crunchy, white and weird vegetable as an important nutrient in the balanced diet. Now for the not-so boring facts:

  • Cauliflower contains a chemical called Allicin that helps maintain heart health and lowers risk of stroke.
  • The presence of Vitamin C and Selenium in cauliflower strengthens the immune system.
  • Adding cauliflower to your diet regularly will help maintain cholesterol levels.
  • Cauliflower is rich in Folate. Folate is key in cell and tissue growth.
  • The high fiber content in cauliflower is great for colon health and will lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Cauliflower contains important phytochemicals which fight off certain cancers of the hereditary type.
  • Cauliflower has been found to be a wonderful blood and liver detoxifier. This is because, the thiocyanates and glucosinolates present in cauliflower aid in increasing liver ability of neutralizing potentially toxic substances.
  • Cauliflower contains a substance called Sulforaphane, which can effectively remove chemicals that cause cancer in the body! This substance also aids in preventing the spread of cancerous cells, that is metastasis, even in advanced stages of cancer! This chemical is released when you chop or chew cauliflower.
  • Very recently, it was found that a chemical called 'indole-3-carbinol', found in cauliflower can effectively prevent the development of breast cancer, because it works as an anti-estrogen agent!
  • Consumption of cauliflower regularly can aid patients afflicted with diseases like asthma, arthritis, kidney and bladder disorders, constipation and high blood pressure.
  • A regular and high intake of cauliflower reduces the risk of prostrate cancer!
  • Cauliflower is an ideal ingredient for a low-carb diet as it does not contain starch.
Ok, so now that you know the laundry list of health benefits of cauliflower, you might wonder, what do I do with it? Here are some options:

  • Instead of potatoes, throw some cauliflower into your favorite soups for a hearty and healthy addition.
  • Mash steamed cauliflower with a pat (not half cube) of butter and a 1/4 cup of shredded low fat cheese and serve it as a side. the kids will think they are mashed potatoes.
  • Cream of cauliflower and zuchinni soup (google a recipe for cream of cauliflower soup and substitute low fat milk for cream for a lighter choice, add zuchinni and blend with hand mixer for a creamy soup.)
What are your favorite cauliflower recipes? Please share!!!

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