• The health benefits of cauliflower

    The health benefits of cauliflower

    The often overlooked white cauliflower is a haven of nutrients that are essential for our health, these beauties originate from the Mediterranean and date back to the 6th century B.C. As with many of our fruits and vegetables, China and India are now the largest producers of cauliflowers in the world.

    Cauliflower belongs to a genus and species of plant known as 'Brassica Oleracea', which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage. The head is actually closely packed, undeveloped flower buds. The lack of colour is due to the large green leaves that shield the head from the sunlight.

    Raw cauliflower has been shown to bind together with bile acids, this action can help regulate blood cholesterol levels, making this an ideal vegetable for those wishing to improve their overall cholesterol. If raw is not your thing, studies have shown obtainable cardiovascular benefits when cauliflower has been steamed for just 10 minutes.

    Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables, but don't be fooled into thinking that its colour denotes a lack of anything nutritious, quite the contrary. Cauliflowers are just as rich in phytonutrients as their green counterparts, in addition it is also rich in sulphur containing compounds known as glucosinolates, whose role is in supporting body systems, this includes immune, digestive, cardiovascular, inflammatory and detoxification systems.

    This tasty vegetable is also an excellent source of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, quercetin and kaempferol to list but a few of the powerful phytonutrients. Vitamin C is also abundant in cauliflower, its antioxidant activity may help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease, whilst playing an important role in the immune system.

    When eaten once a week cauliflower has been associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, when eaten more regularly cauliflower has been shown to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.

    Regularly eating cauliflower can help to improve your digestion, as it is high in both fiber and water content which can help prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract and reduce your risk of colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

    The nutrients found in cauliflower

    A quick look at some of the top nutrients found in Cauliflower

    Vitamin C
    - Supports the immune system
    - Increases iron absorption
    - Protects cells from oxidating damage
    - Helps reduce the risk of heart disease, including coronary heart disease and stroke
    - Helps in the formation of collagen, carnitine, and catecholemines

    Vitamin K

    - Promotes normal healthy clotting
    - Prevents heart disease and arterial calcification
    - Improves vascular health, leading to fewer varicose veins
    - Maintains healthy bones
    - Acts as an adjunct to vitamin D
    - Helps to reduce the risk of developing prostrate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and leukaemia

    Folate - Vitamin

    - Promotes brain development and improves functioning
    - Promotes a healthy nervous system
    - Decreases risk of various cancers, including breast cancer
    - Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
    - Helps nervous system development in the fetus
    - Assists in the production of red blood cells
    - May reduce the risk of depression

    Choline - Macronutrient

    - Very little is known about the effects of this nutrient
    - Plays an important role in methylation
    - Essential for membrane structure
    - Essential for the smooth running of the nervous system

    Pyridoxine - Vitamin B6

    - Protects the immune system
    - Maintains a healthy metabolism
    - Helps to produce energy from food
    - Promotes healthy hormones
    - Maintains healthy cells
    - Assists in the absorption of vitamin B12
    - Improves neurological function
    - Promotes healthy brain development
    - Reduces premenstrual symptoms
    - Helps to prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease

    Potassium - Mineral
    - Supports a healthy nervous system
    - Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
    - Maintains a healthy kidney function
    - Regulates fluid balance
    - Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
    - Helps to improve bone and muscle health
    - Helps to reduce anxiety

    - Mineral

    - Supports the formation of healthy bones through absorption of calcium
    - Supports collagen production
    - Helps with the control of blood sugar
    - Contributes to the prevention of oxygen related damage and damage from ultraviolet (UV) light
    - Antioxidant, fights free radical damage. Diets low in manganese have been linked to skin problems and asthma
    - Proper functioning of the thyroid gland
    - Promotes metabolism of fats and carbohydrates

    Molybdenum - Mineral

    - Little is known about its impact on our health
    - Known to have a role in the activity of several enzymes in our body
    - Plays a role in the proper functioning of our nervous system
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    Holland & Barrett, the good life.

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    Healing Beyond Medicine: How self-empowerment, a raw vegan diet, and change of lifestyle can free us from sickness and disease.

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