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Is Cauliflower Healthy to Eat?

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that has a crunchy texture and crisp taste. Traditional cauliflower is an off-white color, but other varieties can be orange or purple. Cauliflower can be eaten raw, added to salads, served steamed as a side dish or pureed to add to soup. However you enjoy your cauliflower, it has many health benefits.

A strong immune system can boost the power of your white blood cells so they are able to destroy germs that can lead to illness. Deborah Mitchell and Winifred Conkling note in their book, "The Complete Book of Nutritional Healing," that there are two primary nutrients in cauliflower that may improve the health of your immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that aids your body in fighting infection, like colds, flu and sinusitis. Selenium is another antioxidant that works with vitamin C to fight infection and prevent you from getting sick.

Cauliflower is one of the best vegetable sources of dietary fiber. Fiber is an essential part of your diet because it helps many systems within your body work properly. Mitchell and Conkling report that a diet rich in fiber can reduce your chances of developing colon cancer. Dietary fiber may also help your digestive system operate smoothly so you are less likely to experience gas, bloating or constipation. The fiber in cauliflower is beneficial to your entire intestinal system and may also help prevent diverticulitis.

Cauliflower contains several compounds that may help prevent certain cancers. Linda Larsen reports in her book, "The Everything Low-Fat, High-Flavor Cookbook," that allowing cauliflower to come to room temperature before cutting and cooking it encourages more of these compounds to develop so you get more of them in your diet. Regularly adding cauliflower to your diet may reduce your risk of hormone-related cancers, like breast and ovarian cancers. Cauliflower may also lower your chances of developing lung, colon and bladder cancer.

Heart disease is a devastating medical condition that often occurs because of poor diet and clogged arteries. Mitchell and Conkling report that eating cauliflower may decrease your risk of heart-related medical problems. Cauliflower contains a substance called allicin, which has been linked to a decreased chance of heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions. This same substance may also reduce your risk of having a stroke. The high fiber content of cauliflower also helps lower your chance of heart disease.

References (2)

  • "The Everything Low-Fat, High-Flavor Cookbook"; Linda Larsen; 2008
  • "The Complete Book of Nutritional Healing"; Deborah Mitchell and Winifred Conkling; 2008

Photo Credits:

  • cauliflower image by Sean Wallace-Jones from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.