Cauliflower is a vegetable that is often overlooked. It is a member of the cruciferous family like broccoli and kale, a family which is known for containing nutrients that are known for fighting against several diseases.
There are two main ingredients in cauliflower, and all of the cruciferous family, that are the main disease fighters. These are indole-3-carbinol, or 13C, and the photonutrient sulforaphane. In research done at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, sulforaphane lowered the occurance of breast tumors, in lab animals by almost 40%. Toxins that would normally damage the cells and turn cancerous are swept out of the system by sulforaphane, preventing tumors before they begin. 13C works in concert with the sulforaphane by acting as an anti-estrogen. Estrogen in high levels is known to foster tumor growth, especially in the breasts and the prostate glands. 13c helps to lower the estrogen count, thus lowering the chances of tumor growth.
Cauliflower also contains vitamin C and folate. Folate helps the blood work more efficiently and is often recommended for preventing anemia. Folate is also essential for proper tissue growth and not getting enough can make you succeptible to many diseases down the road such as cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C is considered an antioxident. When used alongside other antioxidents such as vitamin E and betacarotene, you can keep your immune system strong.
Nevertheless, cauliflower is a vegetable you don’t want to pass by. When purchasing cauliflower, make sure the tops are white. If the floret has begun to spot brown or purple, it is past its nutritional peak. Serving the cauliflower raw will give the highest nutritional benefits, however, most children like it cooked, lightly steamed also keep its cancer-fighting components intact.
Recipe: Mashed Cauliflower
- Steam cauliflower in half water and half chicken broth (or you can use vegetable broth).
- Cook for 20 min.
- Put in colander and drain
- Put in blender and add 1 tsp olive oil. If your child is helping, a hand potato masher will work well. Smashing the cauliflower by hand helps a child feel included, which increases a child’s desire to try a new food.
- Then serve with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of pepper on top.
- Add smashed cauliflower to scrambled eggs to make a delicious and healthy breakfast!!!!
To learn more about the benefits of cauliflower, click here.