Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a floret or flower, vegetable, which is derived from the Latin word caulis and flower. Its scientific name is Brassica oleracea and is developed and grown from the species of the family that belongs to Brassicaceae. It looks like a cabbage with white head called curds. These hard, tightly clustered florets are surrounded by the leaves from its lower stem.

Cauliflowers are made as curries commonly and also fried, steamed, boiled and roasted. Some raw and fresh cauliflowers are eaten raw. These flowers are cooked after removing the thick stalk and external leaves. People who are on low carbohydrate dieters and who love potato can find these cauliflowers as good alternates for low carbohydrates in it. They are also pickled for preserving for a long time. Mark Twain has described this cute cabbage similar cauliflower as “Cabbage with college education”.  
Cauliflowers are grown in a few counties and their major and important growing places are China, India, Spain, Italy and France in the sequence. 

History of Cauliflower and Interesting facts about Cauliflower

The present cauliflower seen and used is highly modified from the actual ancient one. The ancient cauliflower varieties are known to be native to Asia. Consumption of cauliflowers was started in 15th century in Europe and 18th century in the US. They are grown in high altitude areas of these countries. 

Some interesting fact of cauliflower is that the whiteness of cauliflower are caused by covering of the leaves surrounded the florets, which do not let it to chlorophyll by the Sun. It belongs to the cabbage related family and so the similar shape. When purple cauliflower is cooked for long, it turns to be in green color. Cauliflowers can be stored maximum of 10 to 12 months when stored in 00 F. The compact head, which is a large flower bud, is called as curd. One serving of cauliflower can supply the vitamin C required for daily recommended value.  

Cauliflower Plant 

Cauliflower plant is produced from the seed and is an annual plant. To grow these plants, it needs rich soil and moderate climate. The seeds are sown in the months March to June and the first harvesting is generally done in the winter and continued to throughout the year. The cauliflowers, harvested in the winter are fresh and are very tasty compared to the other. 

Cauliflower Description 

Its head part of the plant, which looks like a big bud, is considered for consumption. The white head part is actually a flower, with a stem with decreasing width in the middle of it. 

While purchasing, you should look for the firm and tight head of this flower. There should not be brown spots or bruise present above the flower. The leaves around this head tell about the freshness. The texture would be deteriorated when refrigerated for a long time, though the flavor is not affected. However, they are best when used and consumed during the winters. 

For domestic usage, cover the cauliflower completely in a perforated plastic cover and preserve in the fridge. If part of the cauliflower has to be cooked, planning the rest to be preserved in the fridge, it is possible. You first need to blanch the left over cauliflower in salted water. After 3 to 4 minutes, drain the salt water and store it in a tight container or even in a plastic bag to preserve it in the fridge. 

Varieties of Cauliflower available 

Though there are hundreds of varieties are available in cauliflowers, here are the three major categories found in cauliflowers.

Italian Cauliflowers

These cauliflowers are ancestral form from which many of the new kinds of cauliflowers are derived. They look in green, purple, yellow and brown.

Northwest European Cauliflowers

These cauliflowers came into existence in the 19th century in France and widely used in Europe. There are two kinds of them with annual and biennial production of these cultivars, where the former is harvested in summer and later in winter. 

Asian Cauliflowers

This kind of tropical cauliflower is developed in the 19th century in India and is widely grown in India and China. 

Many of the varieties of cauliflowers can be grown in the home gardens too.

Nutrients in Cauliflower

Cauliflower is enriched with multiple vitamins called B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, Vitamin C, E and K. Apart from these vitamins, other nutrients found in it are calcium, magnesium, Phosphorous, iron, manganese and high quantity of potassium. It contains good levels of carbohydrates with good sugars and dietary fiber and proteins, with very less fat. 

Overall, cauliflowers have good nutritional density, dense with high dietary fiber, vitamin C, water and folate. Additionally phyto-chemicals like sulforaphane, glucosinolates, carotenoids and indole-3-carbinol further enrich the nutritional qualities in cabbage. Purple cauliflowers are enriched with tannins. These nutrients are more of similar to cabbage. Vitamin C in cauliflower is more than 80%. 

These nutrients are well retained after stir frying, microwaving and steaming rather than boiling. 

Nutritional Value of Cauliflower

All values are per 100gms
Water in Cauliflower
Protein in Cauliflower
Fat in Cauliflower
Minerals in Cauliflower
Crude Fiber in Cauliflower
Carbohydrates in Cauliflower
Energy in Cauliflower
Calcium in Cauliflower
Phosphorous in Cauliflower
Iron in Cauliflower

Health benefits of eating Cauliflower

Cauliflower prevents cancer

The Phyto-nutrients available in cauliflower would prevent and control the cancers, especially prostrate, cervical and ovarian.  

Cauliflower is a good low carbohydrate food

People who are in diet control can consume it regularly for its low calories content. 

Cauliflower as digestive support

With over 12 grams of fiber found from 100 calories ensures better digestive support to the human body. The lining of the stomach would be well protected with the help of glucosinolate present in cauliflower. 

Cauliflower controls respiratory diseases

Papillomatosis respiratory problems, which are caused by the virus called Human Papilloma could be well controlled by Di-indolyl methane present in this Brassica group of cauliflower vegetable. 

Cauliflower controls cervical dysplasia

The same Di-indolyl methane, present in cauliflowers are found to be used for treatment in clinical trials for phase III cervical dysplasia. 

Cauliflower boosts up immunity

Vitamin C, richly available in cauliflower helps boosting up the immunity of the body.

Cauliflower prevents Infection

The same vitamin C in cauliflowers help preventing the infections in the body.

Cauliflower controls hypertension

Potassium from cauliflower helps encountering the hypertension caused from sodium. 

Cardiovascular support with Cauliflower

Cauliflowers support anti-inflammatory, because of the vitamin K as well as omega-3 content which eventually provides cardiovascular support.

Cauliflower in Indian Languages

Indian Language
Local Name
Cauliflower in Bengali
Phool kopi sag
Cauliflower in Hindi
Phool gobi sag
Cauliflower in Marathi
Phool gobi sag
Cauliflower in Kannada
Hukosina yele

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