- 10 Best Slimming Foods
- Nutrition Stats
- Health Benefits of Cauliflower
- Aren’t “white foods” not that good for you?
- What about cauliflower rice?
- Is cauliflower high in carbs?
- How should I cook it?
- Can it help prevent cancer?
- Nutrition facts
- The many colors of cauliflower
- Health benefits
- Health risks
- Enjoying cauliflower
- Cutting Carbs? Here’s How to Make Cauliflower Rice in Under 10 Minutes
- Calories in Cauliflower Curry
- Calories in Similar Recipes
- Everything you need to know about cauliflower
- On a keto diet? 4 reasons why the cauliflower diet may be the best for weight loss
- How does the Cauliflower Diet help with weight loss?
- How to include cauliflower in your diet for optimal weight loss
- The Bottom Line
- Have you tried the cauliflower diet?
10 Best Slimming Foods
They’re a great source of protein, which may be key to keeping you full. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that when people ate two eggs for breakfast, they took in more than 400 fewer calories over the next 24 hours than when they ate bagels. “The study proved our hypothesis that eating eggs induces higher satiety and keeps the subject fuller for longer,” says lead researcher Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D., from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although this was only a one-day study, eating eggs regularly may have long-term weight management benefits, says Dr. Dhurandhar.
TIP: For a healthier egg, farmers are improving the hen feed by adding canola oil, alfalfa, rice bran and even sea kelp. Try Eggland’s Best eggs, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, along with more vitamin E and less saturated fat than regular eggs.
One study found that eating a breakfast of two eggs can leave you feeling full longer than a bagel.
“When you are trying to lose weight, non-starchy vegetables such as cauliflower are one of the few foods that can be eaten in unlimited quantities,” says Dr. Rolls. It’s good for you, too. Cauliflower contains the cancer-fighting phytonutrient sulforaphane, as well as a good amount of folate and vitamin C, which may be helpful for weight loss. In fact, a review from Purdue University pointed to vitamin C status as a key factor in how much fat is burned during physical activity. All that and it’s pretty tasty, too. (If you’re not a cauliflower fan, try spinach or broccoli.)
TIP: Love the creamy consistency of mashed potatoes? Steam a head of cauliflower and mash it with garlic salt, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and a touch of butter.
If the yogurt ads are to be believed, you should be fitting into that itty-bitty bikini before you know it. While yogurt and other dairy products are not weight-loss magic bullets, there is some truth in advertising. A recent study at the University of Tennessee found that dieters eating three servings of yogurt daily lost twice as much weight as their non–dairy– eating counterparts on a 12-week weight-loss program. Why? “Calcium combined with other bioactive compounds found in dairy products slows down the process of making fat and increases fat burning, especially around the belly,” says lead researcher Michael B. Zemel, M.D., a professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. No word yet on how effective ice cream is at burning fat, but we’re not holding our breath.
TIP: Sneak more dairy into your diet by adding plain yogurt to dips, sauces and salad dressings. You get the health benefits without the added sugar of flavored yogurts.
Mom didn’t know how right she was: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — just eating it can make you slimmer. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley analyzed a national six-year survey and found that people who ate breakfast had a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who skipped breakfast, and that those who ate cooked cereal had a lower BMI than any other breakfast-eating group. Also, oatmeal was ranked as the most satiating breakfast food on the Satiety Index, developed by Australian researchers a decade ago, and it’s the third most satiating food overall. “Oatmeal helps you stay fuller longer, since it’s packed with fiber and is a good source of protein,” says Dr. Katz.
TIP: If you don’t have time for cooked oatmeal every morning, make muesli by mixing old- fashioned oats with plain yogurt, dried fruit and fruit juice and leaving it in the fridge overnight.
Almonds and walnuts have been getting all the glory these days, but don’t discredit peanuts, the most commonly eaten nut in America. Researchers at Purdue University found that peanut eaters end up eating less over the course of the whole day and are more likely to maintain weight, even if given as many peanuts as they want. So what is it about peanuts? Is it the protein? The fat? Turns out it’s a little bit of everything. “We’ve tried to isolate different components of the nut to determine what makes it so filling,’ says Richard Mattes, Ph.D., a nut researcher at Purdue. “But there is something special about the whole package.”
TIP: Calories do count, so look for single-serving sizes at convenience stores and drugstores.
We all know soup is good food, but who knew it was slimming, too? A recent study published in the journal Obesity Research found that adding two 10-ounce servings of broth-based soup to a weight loss diet each day can almost double the amount of weight lost in a six-month period. Why? Adding water into a food makes it more filling than drinking water separately. “The water in soup adds volume to a meal and helps you feel fuller, without extra calories,’ says Dr. Rolls, lead researcher on the study. “As a result, you take in fewer calories over the course of the day.”
TIP: Add your own veggies or fiber-rich beans to broth-based canned soup to keep you full longer.
You might be surprised to learn that fish tops oatmeal and vegetables in the satiety department. The Australian Satiety Index ranks steamed white fish such as halibut or cod as the number-one most filling food out of 38 common foods. Also, a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that people ate 11 percent less at dinner after having fish for lunch versus those who ate a beef lunch. “This study demonstrated that a protein-rich lunch meal with fish protein reduced calorie intake compared with the same-calorie lunch meal of beef protein,” says lead researcher Saeedah Borzoei, Ph.D. Why is it so filling? “We are still learning about the filling properties of fish, but we do know that fish has a strong flavor, which can lead to greater satiety and less of a need to eat,” notes Dr. Katz.
TIP: To add some flavor to grilled fish, try a quick marinade of soy sauce, lime and ginger.
High-fiber grains are a great way to round out a meal, and fine-cut bulgur is easy to cook. Bulgur, which is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat, takes about 10 minutes or less to prepare once water is boiled and is a great substitute for white rice and pasta, which are low in fiber and heavily processed. “Fiber helps prolong the insulin response so you don’t have the blood sugar spikes you have with low-fiber carbohydrates like white pasta or rice,” says Dr. Katz. With all the good fiber comes some other benefits: iron and vitamins E and B6.
TIP: Find bulgur in health-food stores and organic markets. For a quick side dish, combine fine bulgur with chicken broth, diced canned tomatoes and some cooked onions.
When most people think of dieting, they think of salad. But if that means some sad greens topped with unripe tomatoes, it’s no wonder diets don’t work. “Salads are a great opportunity to add a lot of filling foods into your diet at one time: fresh vegetables, lean protein, beans and healthy fats,” says Dr. Rolls. And research backs it up. A study from Penn State University found that women who ate a salad before a pasta lunch ate fewer calories for the whole meal than those just digging into the pasta.
TIP: Start your salad with mesclun, arugula or spinach. Not only are these greens tastier than iceberg, they also contain more iron, calcium, vitamin C and folate.
Last year, kale was known as the nutrition superstar, but this year the crown goes to cauliflower — a versatile vegetable. Eat it raw, cooked, roasted, baked into a pizza crust or cooked and mashed as a substitute for mashed potatoes. You can even prepare cauliflower riced as a substitute for regular rice. You can buy it by the head or, for convenience, you can get the florets already cut.
As far as nutrition goes, cauliflower is high in vitamin C and a good source of folate. It’s fat free and cholesterol free and also is low in sodium content. Additionally, cauliflower contains only 25 calories in 1/6 of a medium head. This portion size also contains 2 grams of dietary fiber and only 5 grams of carbohydrate.
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family along with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips and bok choy. These vegetables possess a compound that has a strong, distinct odor that many people find unappealing, but they also can offer health benefits that may reduce the risk of various types of cancer.
If you find cauliflower pale in appearance and boring to look at on your plate, it’s also available in a few different colors — purple, green and orange.
CHOOSING THE BEST HEAD OF CAULIFLOWER
Look for a cauliflower that has tight-fitting, creamy-white curds and bright-green, firmly attached leaves. Avoid choosing a head that has brown spots or loose sections that are spread out. Cauliflower wrapped in a cellophane bag can promote rot by trapping in moisture. Unwrapping and transferring cauliflower to a loosely sealed bag with a paper towel inside helps absorb moisture. Whole heads of cauliflower can be kept in the refrigerator for four to seven days. Throw out precut florets after four days.
The goal is to make up half your plate with fruits and vegetables. So, why not give cauliflower a try? If you have a food processor, experiment with making a cauliflower pizza crust or creating rice-size pieces to serve with your next stir fry. And be sure to get the kids in the kitchen so they can learn some nontraditional ways to use this common vegetable.
Here’s a recipe that puts a cauliflower twist on a popular side dish:
Potato Cauliflower Au Gratin (serves 8)
- 1 large potato, chopped into pieces the size of a nickel so the dish bakes evenly
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup sliced leeks
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat oven to 375 F. In a medium saucepan, boil water. Once boiling, add potato and cauliflower to parboil. Drain, cool and set aside in a medium bowl.
- Preheat a medium saute pan on medium heat; add olive oil. Saute leeks and garlic until tender. Using a whisk, add flour and stir to incorporate well. Deglaze the pan by adding in milk and chicken stock. Let come to a boil, whisking regularly. Stir in the thyme, onion powder, salt and black pepper.
- Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Place potatoes and cauliflower in the baking dish. Pour leek and milk mixture over potatoes and cauliflower. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top. Garnish with parsley.
Nutritional analysis per 1/2-cup serving: Calories 106, total fat 4 grams, saturated fat 2 grams, trans fat 0 grams, monounsaturated fat 2 grams, cholesterol 10 milligrams, sodium 223 milligrams, total carbohydrate 12 grams, dietary fiber 2 grams, total sugars 3 grams, protein 6 grams
Linda Carruthers is a registered dietitian-nutritionist at in Springfield, Minnesota.
Call it the new Brussels sprouts! Cauliflower’s mild flavor makes it a versatile swap for other less nutritious, high-carb foods. Plus this member of the Brassica family packs tons of fiber and cancer-fighting nutrients.
Here’s why you should stock up on these florets and their riced versions stat.
Serving Size: 1 cup
- 27 calories
- 2.1g protein
- 5.3g carbohydrates
- 2.1g fiber
- 2g sugar
- 0g fat
- 53mg vitamin C
- 15% DV folate
- 18% DV vitamin K
- 15% DV vitamin B6
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
This veggie is more than trendy. Making it a staple side can:
- Lower your risk of inflammation: The antioxidants in cauliflower help protect cells from damage that leads to chronic illness.
- Better regulate your blood pressure: The magnesium content assists with muscle contraction and cognition too.
- Keep your nervous system healthy: Thank the folate and vitamin B6 in cauliflower for that.
- Protect your bones: Vitamin K is necessary for both bone-mineral density and blood clotting.
Still not convinced? Here are the top questions nutritionists get about cauliflower, answered:
Aren’t “white foods” not that good for you?
Some highly processed carbs like white bread, white rice, and products made from them provide less nutrients than other options. On the flipside, cauliflower contains just 27 calories per cup and it’s packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cutting traditional carbs and replacing them with cauliflower can help retain flavor and fill you up without a calorie spike — a good option if you’re diabetic or looking to lose weight.
Try these smart swaps:
Pizza: Use cauliflower to make the crust, or buy a premade one. This will make your slice higher in fiber and lower in sodium.
Mashed “potatoes:” Cook cauliflower and blend it in food processor with Greek yogurt or cream cheese.
What about cauliflower rice?
Not only is cauliflower rice good for you, but it’s also a great way to introduce kids to the vegetable by mimicking a familiar food (white rice). Mixing half and half together can sneak in more veggies while maintaining a flavor your kids love.
You can easily make cauliflower rice in a food processor, or buy it’s conveniently pre-made from Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem holder Green Giant.
Is cauliflower high in carbs?
Nope! Cauliflower is a carbohydrate, like all vegetables. However, it’s the non-starchy, complex kind with lots of fiber and low amounts of naturally occurring sugar. One cup contains about a sixth of the carbs as the same amount of cooked pasta or rice, making it a great option for diabetics or anyone watching their blood sugar.
How should I cook it?
Most cooking methods retain all the nutrients of cauliflower except for boiling, which reduces the content slightly. You’re better off roasting regardless since that can taste a little bland!
Can it help prevent cancer?
While no single food in isolation is linked to preventing or causing tumor growth, cauliflower contains a compound called sulforafane, which helps block abnormal cell development.
That said, eating lots of cruciferous veggies in general may decrease your risk of all kinds of chronic diseases! Broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale are all great options for filling your plate.
Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute Director, Nutrition Lab A registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, Jaclyn “Jackie” London handles all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation.
Cauliflower is much more than broccoli’s paler cousin: This member of the cruciferous vegetable family is packed with a rich supply of nutrients and is finally getting the attention it deserves as a nutrition powerhouse.
With a nutty and slightly sweet taste, cauliflower has become one of the trendiest vegetables over the last few years, making its way onto restaurant menus and dinner tables in a variety of ways, especially riced versions of the vegetable.
Although vividly colored fruits and veggies tend to be the healthiest choices, Heather Mangieri, a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian and nutritionist, health author and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that cauliflower is a notable exception.
“Despite its white color, cauliflower is a very versatile and vitamin-rich vegetable,” Mangieri said. “It is a great source of vitamin C and folate and a good source of fiber and vitamin K. It is also rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, two naturally occurring compounds thought to play a role in preventing chronic diseases,” she noted.
In fact, cauliflower ranks among the top 25 powerhouse fruits and vegetables in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), a scoring method that ranks foods based on their nutrient content per calorie.
White florets are the primary edible portion of the vegetable, which are found in a tightly-packed head, while its green leaves and stalk are typically not eaten. Cauliflower can be cooked, eaten raw and added to soups, salads or stir-fries.
Mangieri noted that cauliflower, like many other cruciferous vegetables, can give off a strong smell while cooking. This is caused by high levels of sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. Shorter cooking times can minimize the pungent aroma.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume 1.5 to 2.5 cup-equivalents of dark green vegetables (which includes cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower) per week.
Here are the nutrition facts for cauliflower, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
|Amt per Serving||%DV*||Amt per Serving||%DV*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%||Total Carbohydrate 5g||2%|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0%||Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|Sodium 30mg||1%||Sugars 2g|
The name cauliflower comes from the Latin caulis (stalk) and floris (flower), meaning “cabbage flower,” according to the University of Arizona.
Cauliflower is cruciferous vegetable, a plant family that includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, radishes, turnips and watercress. It has a rich supply of nutrients comparable to its green-colored relatives in the cruciferous family.
Cauliflower originated in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) from wild cabbage, and the plant once resembled collard greens or kale more than the white vegetable it’s known as today, according to the George Mateljan Foundation’s World’s Healthiest Foods website.
The vegetable gained popularity in France in the 1500s, and was subsequently cultivated in Northern Europe and Britain. Today, most cauliflower is grown in the United States, France, Italy, India and China.
When growing, cauliflower starts out resembling broccoli, according to the University of Arizona. However, while broccoli opens outward to sprout green florets, cauliflower forms a compact head, called a curd, composed of flower buds that have not developed fully. The flower buds are protected from sunlight by heavy green leaves that surround the head. This prevents chlorophyll from developing, so the head remains white rather than turning green.
The many colors of cauliflower
Although white is the vegetable’s most common color, several varieties of colored cauliflower are also available, including orange, purple and green.
Orange cauliflower: Tasting similar to white varieties, orange cauliflower has 25 times more vitamin A in its florets than white cauliflower, according to the University of the District of Columbia.
Purple cauliflower: The vegetable’s lavender color comes from anthocyanins, which are plant pigments rich in antioxidants that are also found in red cabbage. When cooked, the florets change color from purple to green.
Green cauliflower: This cross between broccoli and cauliflower is also known as broccoflower. It has a sweeter taste than white cauliflower.
Cauliflower is not an especially well-studied vegetable on its own, according to World’s Healthiest Foods. Researchers are more likely to study the health benefits of diets containing cauliflower as well as other cruciferous vegetables.
Vitamins C and K and manganese are antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals before they can cause damage to healthy cells and contribute to disease, such as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants such as vitamins K and C may help prevent conditions such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis, Mangieri said.
One cup of cooked cauliflower provides 73 to 77 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, 19 percent of the daily vitamin K amount and 8 percent of the daily manganese amount, according to World’s Healthiest Foods.
Cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, are rich in plant-based compounds, such as sulforaphane and indoles, which scientists think may reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer. Studies of these cancer-protective compounds in animals have shown promising effects in preventing cancer, but human studies in people who ate higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables have shown mixed results of its cancer-preventive effects, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Some research suggests that the glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables may help reduce risk of certain cancers, namely prostate cancer,” Mangieri said. When glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables break down, through being chopped or chewed, they produce compounds that may encourage the elimination of carcinogens from the body, according to a review published in Current Drug Metabolism.
A review published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology looked at several studies that examined the link between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk. It found that “of the case-control studies 64 percent showed an inverse association between consumption of one or more brassica vegetables and risk of cancer at various sites.”
The association between a high consumption of cruciferous vegetables and a reduced risk of cancer is most consistent for lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancer, according to the study authors. But they also suggest that it’s not yet clear whether this association is due to eating more cruciferous vegetables, specifically, or to eating more vegetables in general.
A few studies have found that consuming higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables has been linked with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to eating a lower intake, but results have been largely inconsistent, according to the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University.
Sulforaphane is associated with strong blood vessels and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. A 2015 review published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that sulforaphane’s anti-inflammatory capabilities may help protect against hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke and myocardial infarction.
Cauliflower has a high fiber content, and one cup of it cooked has about 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of fiber. Diets rich in fiber can help prevent constipation, and promote bulkier, softer stools that are easier to pass through the digestive system than hard ones. These beneficial effects not only make life more comfortable but also help maintain colorectal health.
The risks from eating cauliflower are generally minimal. Like other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower can make some people feel gassy or bloated.
According to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, people taking warfarin (Coumadin), a blood-thinning medication, should watch their intake of green leafy vegetables including cauliflower, since the vegetable’s vitamin K content may interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. It’s fine to include these nutritious vegetables in your diet, but keep your intake of foods rich in vitamin K consistent from week to week, experts recommend.
Steaming and broiling are probably the most common ways to cook cauliflower, but they can leave the vegetable mushy and bland. That’s why Mangieri suggests roasting, sautéing and eating it raw to retain more flavor. The shape of the florets and their mild taste make them perfect for dipping into dressings and sauces.
Here are Mangieri’s suggestions for including this versatile veggie in your diet:
- Cut it up and eat it raw, plain or with hummus or low-fat ranch dressing.
- Roast the vegetable with a small amount of olive oil, or use it in a stir-fry.
- Mash cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes.
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it forms rice-size pieces, and enjoy it in place of white rice.
- Use riced cauliflower in place of flour as the main ingredient in a homemade pizza crust.
- Top it with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for a tasty, healthy side dish.
Live Science Contributor Cari Nierenberg also contributed to this article.
- World’s Healthiest Foods: Cauliflower
- Mayo Clinic: Cauliflower: The New Nutrition Superstar
- Kids Prefer Veggies Not Too Raw, Not Too Cooked
Cutting Carbs? Here’s How to Make Cauliflower Rice in Under 10 Minutes
Just how hot is the phenom of “rice” made out of cauliflower? With nearly 28,000 posts on Instagram featuring #cauliflowerrice, it’s safe to say this dish is trending hard.
It’s tough to say what the best thing is about it. Among its advantages: It’s made from one of the healthiest cruciferous vegetables you can get, so it’s loaded with nutrients including fiber, vitamins C, K and B6, and potassium. Cauliflower has 25 calories per cup vs. 218 for a cup of cooked brown rice. (And, if you’re watching carbs, cauliflower has 5g per cup vs. 46g for a cup of brown rice.) Cauliflower rice is easy and fast to make. Plus, it’s crazy-delicious. Seriously.
No wonder Pinterest is abuzz with this side dish. No matter what your reasons for trying it, it’s definitely time to try it. Here’s how:
RELATED: 25 No-Cook Recipes
It’s that simple. One pound of cauliflower will yield about 4 cups of “rice.” Use it to make fried rice, or alongside any dish you would normally have with regular rice. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!
Calories in Cauliflower Curry
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Everything you need to know about cauliflower
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has been found to reduce the chance of developing many adverse health conditions.
Eating more plant foods, such as cauliflower, has been found to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Cauliflower is high in fiber and water. Both are important for preventing constipation, maintaining a healthy digestive tract, and lowering the risk of colon cancer.
Studies have shown that dietary fiber may also help regulate the immune system and inflammation. As a result, it could help decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
A high-fiber intake has been associated with a significantly lower risk of developing:
- coronary heart disease
- certain gastrointestinal diseases
A higher fiber intake appears to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for people with obesity.
Cauliflower contains antioxidants that help prevent cellular mutations and reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.
One of these antioxidants is indole-3-carbinol or I3C, commonly found in cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower. It has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and reproductive cancers in men and women.
For the past 30 years, eating more cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of and lung and colon cancer.
Studies have suggested that sulfur-containing compounds, known as sulforaphane, can help fight different types of cancer. Sulforaphane is what gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite.
Researchers say that sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells.
The scientists are now studying sulforaphane to see if it might delay or impede cancer. So far, there have been promising results for melanoma, esophageal, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
If foods that contain sulforaphane can inhibit HDAC enzymes, they could be used as a part of cancer treatment in the future.
Choline is an important and versatile “vitamin-like factor” in cauliflower that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory.
It also helps maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.
A low intake of vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.
Vitamin K consumption can improve bone health by acting as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improving calcium absorption, and preventing excretion of calcium in the urine.
A high intake of fiber has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
People who take calcium supplements may be at risk of a buildup of calcium in the blood vessels, but taking vitamin K with calcium can lower the chances of this happening.
On a keto diet? 4 reasons why the cauliflower diet may be the best for weight loss
The Cauliflower Diet for weight loss  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Cauliflowers for weight loss? Yes, you heard it right! The simple, white cruciferous vegetable can help you shed the pounds. Cauliflower is, without-a-doubt, an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants that may help prevent or reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, it has has been often overlooked in favour of other veggies. And if you’re trying to slim down your tummy or simply wish to improve health, adding cauliflower to your diet might help. Perhaps, going on a cauliflower diet may actually help you lose weight effectively. What’s even more, cauliflowers is a great vegetable choice for those who are on the keto diet.
Basically, the cauliflower diet involves replacing carbohydrates like rice, wheat, and potatoes with cauliflower. Radha Thomas in her book, ‘The Cauliflower Diet’, shows how the humble vegetable is an almost-perfect substitute for several types of starch and can be adapted to every kind of cuisine to help you shed the kilos in very less time. The versatile vegetable in the diet can be used in making cauliflower rice, pizza bases, mashed potatoes, or even cookies that replace carbs from food. Read – Carrot juice benefits for weight loss: Lose belly fat fast with his low-calorie, nutrient-dense detox drink
How does the Cauliflower Diet help with weight loss?
Take a look at how including cauliflower in your daily diet can help you shed those extra pounds, and without compromising on taste.
- Cauliflower is high in fibre, which is beneficial for digestive health and may help prevent obesity by promoting fullness and reducing overall calorie intake.
- Cauliflower is also low in calories but high in water content (about 92% of its weight is composed of water), which is associated with weight loss. Aside from being low in calories, the vegetable is gluten-free.
- Cauliflower is also a very good source of various essential nutrients such as vitamin C, phosphorus, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve insulin sensitivity by fueling the secretion of leptin. Leptin is a protein hormone that can help boost metabolism and regulate the body’s weight.
- In addition to this, the vegetable is high in sulforaphane, a plant compound that may offer many health benefits. Studies suggest that sulforaphane may possess properties that reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Raed – The 12:12 intermittent fasting diet: Can it really boost weight loss and flatten your tummy?
How to include cauliflower in your diet for optimal weight loss
The versatile vegetable can be used to replace grains and legumes in your meal. Since cauliflower has significantly lower carbs compared to grains and legumes, substituting the veggie for these foods is also a fantastic way to follow a low-carb diet. Cauliflower is so healthy, easy to prepare and can be used as a replacement for high-carb foods in several recipes – such as cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, cauliflower mac & cheese, etc.
Not only the vegetable is versatile but also easy to add to your diet. Cauliflower can be consumed raw or cooked in a variety of ways like teaming, roasting or sauttéuing. It also makes an excellent addition to just about any dish, including salads, soups, etc.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the cauliflower diet can be useful for preventing diseases, achieving good health and weight loss. However, people who are taking blood-thinners may want to avoid consuming large amounts of foods containing vitamin K that helps the blood clot. Moreover, since cauliflower is a high-fibre food it may cause some unwanted symptoms if eaten in excess – like bloating and flatulence. But in most cases, people can tolerate fibre-rich foods in moderate portions.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
Have you tried the cauliflower diet?
All those who cannot imagine their veggies and curries without rice, cauliflower has become the new saviour. Sounds unbelievable? Radha Thomas in her book, “The Cauliflower diet” shows how the humble veggie has now become a potent replacement for carbs.
Cauliflower is the new soya and this versatile vegetable can be made into rice, dough, mashed potatoes and even cookies and pudding.
The American Institute of Cancer Research has placed cauliflower in the list of vegetables that fight cancer. A cruciferous vegetable, it is said to be an excellent source of Vitamins B,C,K, manganese, potassium, foliate and also omega 3 and chlorine.
No wonder the author found in this vegetable an answer to most of her health queries.
If you have tried and given up most of the weight-loss diets because you could no longer eat the same food week after week, Ms Thomas makes amazing culinary revelations in her book that will help you stick to that strict diet plan with quite an ease.
Her over two decade long yo-yo journey of losing and gaining back finally made her realize that the all protein diet that made her lose weight quickly also gave her constipation and bad breadth. And after a point she developed a hatred for meat and heavy cream because eating them had become unbearably monotonous.
She missed her rice, potatoes, biryanis and payasms all that she had grown up eating. So when she started experimenting with cauliflower as their substitute, the results that she got was very encouraging. Not only was Radha able to stick to her all protein and no carb diet, but it also provided her body with needed roughage and nutrition and made food an interesting experience.
What is cauliflower diet?
Replacing carbohydrates like rice, potatoes and wheat with cauliflower forms the basis of cauliflower diet. The vegetable in this diet is used in making cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, pizza bases, cookies etc that replace carbs from food. The diet also works for those who are on a gluten free diet.
The author does not blindly recommend the diet to everyone and throws in a word of caution. “Complex carbohydrates in cauliflower cause gas, hence those suffering from this trouble should be careful. Lactating mothers, those on blood thinners and patients of hypothyroidism should consult their doctor before going on a cauliflower diet,” warns the author.
Cauliflower is universally known as a gas producing vegetable and is not recommended to thyroid patients as it interferes with iodine absorption, those on blood thinners and lactating moms are also advised to exercise caution while eating cauliflower. To clear some of these queries, we had a brief chit chat with the author. Here are the excerpts.
Tell us all about your cauliflower diet.
It’s now commonly accepted among doctors, nutritionists, health and fitness professionals that a diet low in carbs and high in fibre and protein is the best way to any kind of weight loss program. Unfortunately, in India, our diet is exactly the opposite. We eat a ton of rice and a tiny bit of veggie and daal and meat. If you’re vegetarian, even that little meat is forbidden. Heaven forbid you’re vegan, you can’t have even cheese or milk which contains some protein.
So what are you left with? Rice, rice and more rice. Especially here in South India. Even your idli and dosai is nothing but factory-milled, nutrient-shorn, polished and worthless rice. This rice (or flour, in case you’re thinking, ‘Oh, but I eat Chappatis, I’m ok) quickly metabolizes in your body, raising your blood sugar in the process and when it’s not burnt off in exercise, it converts to fat and settles down in your cells adding worry upon worry for your poor body.
In my book The Cauliflower Diet, the basic premise is to substitute the nasty and nutritionless carbs found in milled rice, ground flour etc… with the nutritionally rich, fibre-filled cauliflower that can be transformed quickly and easily into something that tastes almost exactly like rice, pizza base, potato filling etc.
Why cauliflower? Aren’t there many vegetables that are more nutritious than cauliflower?
Ah, but are they malleable, morphable and magnificently moldable like the meek and mild cauli? I don’t think so. I zeroed in on the cauliflower about five or six years ago, quite by accident (I can’t honestly remember how and when) and one of the first things I discovered was how wonderfully it yielded to the taste of any dish I was trying to make. From pizza to even a delicate sushi, once the cauliflower has been lightly cooked, it loses its own flavor.
Cauliflower like most cruciferous vegetables is gas producing. Don’t you think people suffering from it will not be able to benefit from it?
Because of the high fibre content of the cauliflower, excess consumption can cause flatulence. But no more so than pigging out on kidney beans, rajma and most types of lentils. I am not advocating giving up all other vegetables at all. All I am saying in my book is that you can use cauliflower as a low-carb, high-fibre, high-nutrient substitute for flour, rice, potato and other traditional carbs that honestly, don’t do very much for you anyhow. And by having Chicken Curry and Cauliflower Rice or Steak and Mashed Cauliflower (instead of potato) you’re not going to go overboard.
There shouldn’t be a problem with flatulence if you don’t deliberately tempt fate. If you don’t have a problem with Gobi Manchurian and Aloo Gobi (two recipes that are not in my book because they are not substitutes for anything), you ought to be fine with The Cauliflower Diet.
Cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli have been associated with brain worms and you mostly recommend par-boiling them in your recipes. Do you think it is safe to consume them like this?
These worms die in boiling water. But if you want to eat the cauliflower raw, you have to soak the florets in salted water for about half an hour, and that will get rid of any worms too. It’s important to be careful.
Also, cauliflower is a seasonal vegetable and the ones that we get off season are tasteless and loaded with pesticides. What is your solution for this?
I live in Bangalore and we get cauliflower all year round at our local Hopcoms, in fact all over the place. I am not sure about other cities. Pesticides are a nasty business. You need to wash any vegetable as well as you possibly can and hope for the best. I wish I had a solution to pesticides, GMO and other evils that plague the food supply chain not only in India but all over the world. I suppose going organic is one way to solve the problem, but it’s expensive and not always possible. It’s hard to fight multiple battles all at once. Weight loss, ill health, pesticides. my goodness, it’s a miracle we’re still alive to talk about it.
Like you said in your book that after a point you were fed up of eating meats, heavy cream and butter and longed for carbs. Don’t you think the same can happen with cauliflower?
I am happy to say an emphatic ‘no’ to this question. The beauty about the cauliflower diet is that you don’t give up anything except nutritionally barren rice and flour. And that too, the cauliflower recipes in my book step in niftily to fill the void in such a way that you won’t even notice they’re gone. So you can continue to eat exactly as you always have, merely substituting good for bad.
Radha Thomas is confident about her diet plan as it has shown results on her own body.
Even if you are not on a diet and do not think very highly of cauliflower, you should still read the book for her amazing recipes and her style laced with humour, sarcasm and wit, with exciting nuggets of information thrown in between makes it an interesting read.