Gobhi ke parathe. You either love them or you hate them. There’s no in-between. The same goes for gobhi itself for many people. Though they might not look it, these vegetables are a great source of nutrients for our bodies.
Dr Ushakiran Sisodia, Registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai, said it’s not just a nutritious vegetable but also a powerhouse of nutrition. “In my years of practice, I’ve often recommended cauliflower to my patients for its impressive health benefits.”
Though it can be eaten during the monsoon, special care should be taken in selecting and cleaning it, as the damp conditions during the monsoon increase the chances of vegetables getting infested with worms and attracting more dirt.
“It’s crucial to wash it thoroughly, preferably in warm salt water, to ensure it’s clean before consumption,” noted Dr Sisodia.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of cauliflower.
Nutritional Profile of Cauliflower
According to Dr Sisodia, cauliflower, per 100 grams, contains the following nutrients.
Calories: 25 kcal
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Sugars: 1.9 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 1.9 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Vitamin C: Approximately 80% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin K: About 20% of the DV
Folate (Vitamin B9): About 14% of the DV
Vitamin B6: About 10% of the DV
Potassium: 299 milligrams or about 9% of the DV
Manganese: About 8% of the DV
Magnesium: About 4% of the DV
Phosphorus: About 4% of the DV
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): About 7% of the DV
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): About 5% of the DV
Thiamin (Vitamin B1): About 4% of the DV
Iron: About 3% of the DV
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Dr Sisodia elaborated on the health benefits of cauliflower as the following.
- Rich in antioxidants: Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants, notably Vitamin C and manganese. These antioxidants are crucial in reducing oxidative stress in the body.
- Aids digestion: Additionally, the dietary fiber in cauliflower aids digestion, promoting a healthy gut and reducing instances of constipation.
- Detoxifies liver: The vegetable also has compounds like glucosinolates, which assist in detoxifying the liver.
- Improves bone health: Many are not aware that cauliflower contributes to bone health due to its Vitamin K content.
And while further research is ongoing, certain compounds in cauliflower, such as sulforaphane, show potential in reducing cancer risk, Dr Sisodia noted, adding that with its fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a heart-friendly choice.
Can diabetics consume cauliflower?
Diabetics can safely consume cauliflower, Dr Sisodia said. Its low glycemic index and high fiber content make it an excellent food choice for diabetics.
Is it beneficial for pregnant women?
Cauliflower is beneficial for pregnant women due to its folate content, which plays a crucial role in fetal development, said Dr Sisodia. Additionally, its rich vitamin and mineral profile can support overall health during pregnancy.
Things to keep in mind while eating cauliflower
While cauliflower is generally a healthy addition to most diets, there are a few things one should be cautious about, as per Sisodia.
Allergies: Firstly, though rare, some individuals might experience allergic reactions to cauliflower. The symptoms could be itching or swelling. If you experience this after consumption, it’s best to avoid the vegetable and consult with a general physician or nutritionist.
Overconsumption: Eating more cauliflower may lead to minor digestive issues like gas and bloating due to its fibre content.
Myths about Cauliflower
“Over the years, I’ve heard many misconceptions about cauliflower,” said Dr Sisodia, debunking some of thse myths.