(Natural News) Cauliflower has been enjoying increasing popularity as of late, thanks to a vast number of research that supports its health benefits. In fact, the vegetable is now being hailed as the “new kale” due in part to its nutritional value. According to New York-based nutritionist and personal trainer Mary Jane Detroyer, cauliflower is now replacing kale as a superfood, due to its versatility as a substitute for rise or potatoes in certain dishes. The vegetable is ideal for people who need to cut back on their calorie content such as obese individuals, diabetes patients and people with high cholesterol, the nutritionist said.
“It’s very low in calories, so it’s a great food for weight loss. It can easily be incorporated into many deliciously tempting dishes to seduce you to eat more nutrients and less of the heavy stuff. It can seamlessly stand in for heavier foods like mashed potatoes and rice – and for just a fraction of the calories,” the Nutrition Twins (Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos) also quoted in DailyMail.co.uk.
According to the University of Arizona, cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, kale and collard greens. The vegetable’s name literally means “cabbage flower” in Latin. Cauliflower originated in Asia Minor, and was eventually cultivated in different parts of the world. Most of today’s cauliflower crops are grown in France, Italy and India as well as China and the U.S.
The vegetable’s high nutrition value has prompted health experts to place it among the many varieties of superfoods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already included cauliflower among the top 30 powerhouse vegetables in its Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. Previous research have found that cauliflower promotes strong bones and brain health, improves heart health, induces weight loss and reduces inflammation. The vegetable was also known to fend off even some of the most life-threatening conditions including cancer.
A closer look at cauliflower’s many health benefits
According to experts, cauliflower is rich in antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. These antioxidants are known to inhibit the effects of free radicals, which in turn helps improve the body’s overall health. One cup of cooked cauliflower offers 73 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C intake, 19 percent of the daily vitamin K amount, and eight percent of the daily manganese intake. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center noted that one cup of cooked cauliflower provides up to nine percent of the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
The vegetable’s high vitamin K content makes it ideal for bone health. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women with high vitamin K intake were 30 percent less likely to suffer hip fracture than those with a low intake.
Cauliflower is also a rich rouse of choline, a nutrient essential for brain health. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that people with high choline levels exhibited better cognitive performance, executive function, sensory motor speed, and perceptual speed.
Previous studies have also found that the vegetable may show potential in cancer treatment. According to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer, naturally-occurring chemicals found in cauliflower can boost DNA repair in cells, which in turn prevents cells from becoming cancerous. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that postmenopausal women who had higher consumption of brassica vegetables — such as cauliflowers, broccoli and cabbage — had lower odds of developing breast cancer. In addition, an analysis published in the journal Current Drug Metabolism confirmed that eating cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower may lead to significant reductions in cancer risk.