With the popular plant-based diet trends that are featured all over social media today, certain vegetables have been in the spotlight with increasing frequency. Produce that’s versatile and easy to use as a meat or grain replacement is especially popular right now, like “zoodles”—noodles made from zucchini, and spaghetti squash. Cauliflower has also received a whole lot of love for how easily it can be prepared, and how it adds a textured crunch to any plate. With cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower rice, and cauliflower mashed potatoes, this popular produce selection is not only great to cook with—it’s also great for your body! Here are eight exciting healthy benefits of cauliflower.
1. Improves cardiovascular health
Studies have shown that cauliflower can improve high blood pressure, which is often associated with heart disease and reduced cardiovascular health. Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous veggie clan, and many of its relatives (like broccoli) are also credited for their correlation with low blood pressure and better heart health.
2. Fights inflammation
Cauliflower is a powerful anti-inflammatory vegetable. This is extremely important, because inflammation can cause failure in your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off diseases like cancer. With a high indole-3-carbinol content, cauliflower helps to fight inflammation and keep your immune system in good shape.
3. Aids digestion
Cauliflower is full of fiber, and our digestive tract relies on fibrous foods to process what is already in the gut, extract nutrients, and create waste for us to get rid of. But if we don’t have enough fiber in our diet, waste can become stagnant, and digestion gets more difficult. Cauliflower’s high fiber content makes digestion easier, promoting regular bowel movements and reducing bloating.
4. Provides vitamin B
Cauliflower has a healthy amount of choline, which is a kind of Vitamin B. Foods that are high in Vitamin B have been found to promote better brain health, leading to improvements in cognition, learning, and memory. Vitamin B has also been linked to fighting brain diseases—especially those that are age-related, like dementia.
5. Packed with vitamin C as well
Although cauliflower is in no way related to the “usual suspects” for Vitamin C, like citrus, this veggie actually offers a ton of immune-system boosting Vitamin C. Vitamin C also does more than ward off infection and illness—it also supports good skin health.
6. Gives you great hair
If you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish, you may find it hard to get the kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that are so abundant in salmon and tuna. But cauliflower is a vegetable that provides plenty of healthy omega-3s—and these fatty acids are vital to good hair, skin, and nail health.
7. Contains detoxifying ingredients
The sulforaphane in cauliflower also helps the body detoxify by neutralizing and treating harmful toxins. This makes life a lot of easier for your liver, and improves its functionality.
8. Aids weight loss
Finally, cauliflower—like most vegetables—is great for weight loss. It’s low calories, high in fiber, and can be added to any meal. Cauliflower is particularly great for weight loss because it can be easily seasoned, and it’s a hearty substitute for grains and other heavier starches. Make cauliflower a part of your daily diet by grilling it, pureeing it, or adding coconut oil and spicy seeds to intensify crunch.