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Who is the Cauliflower?

Have you noticed the rise in popularity of the Cauliflower in recent days?

I have suddenly started noticing some delicious cauliflower recipes emerging. 

It’s in everything, from pizza crusts to desserts, soups to mash.  It’s also used by many as a grain substitute in the form of cauliflower rice.  My personal favourite is baked cauliflower with a bang of flavour (Bang Bang Cauli). 

I felt it was time to get my gadget hat on and research this curious vegetable.  If you know me, you already know this is what I love best!

The cauliflower is a part of the Brassica (Brassicaceae) genus of plants, informally known as cruciferous vegetables.  Other cruciferous plants include cabbages, broccoli, radish, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. 

All cruciferous vegetables are known for their cancer preventing properties; however, the cauliflower stands out due to its abundance of preventative properties and vitamins.

We have all heard of antioxidants, but did you know that antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals in the atmosphere and help reduce inflammation?  Our trusted cauli contains carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants, which have anti-cancer properties and may help reduce the risk of several illnesses such as heart disease.

Have you ever noticed the cauliflower’s strong and pungent smell?   It is the result of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have been known to slow the growth of many types of cancer cells.  In particular, research has shown them to be protective against colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer.

The Cauliflower is very low in calories and is packed with vitamins and minerals, including 71% of your RDA of vitamin C and 20% of your vitamin K.

Not many people know how vitamin K actually helps the human body, I certainly didn’t.  In actual fact, vitamin K does a lot for us.  It is an important factor in bone health and wound healing, as well as being a fat-soluble vitamin, which makes proteins for healthy bones and blood clotting. 

A study done by Harvard states vitamin K helps make four of the thirteen proteins needed for blood clotting.  Vitamin K also works with vitamin D to ensure your bones get enough calcium to help them develop properly.

Cauliflowers are also surprisingly high in fibre; one cup of cauliflower (325g) contains 3g fibre.  There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble.  Cauliflower is a brilliant source of insoluble fibre, which can play a key role in weight loss by stabilising hunger pains, caused by strong contractions of the stomach when it is empty.   insoluble fibre also helps to prevent constipation and improve bowel-related issues such as haemorrhoids and faecal incontinence (problems controlling your bowel movements).

In summary, it is fair to say the cauliflower is a superfood  that is incredibly beneficial to your diet.  So, whether it’s a cauliflower crust pizza, cauliflower rice or cauliflower ice cream, you can enjoy this versatile vegetable knowing you are sharing goodness with your family.