Cauliflower is considered a superfood because it is rich in powerful antioxidants that have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent diseases like cancer. This crunchy, cruciferous veggie supplies almost all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, including choline, a vital nutrient that can be difficult to obtain from other foods in the typical diet.
Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. Whether roasted, stir-fried, or steamed, it can be prepared a variety of ways and is easy to add to any meal plan. Cauliflower truly has so much range in the kitchen as an ingredient in dishes and casseroles, it takes on the flavor of other foods so you can enjoy it often without getting tired of it.
If you’re following a low carb diet, cauliflower makes a great substitution for high-carb dishes, like rice and mashed potatoes. What’s more, studies show that eating cauliflower can actually help you lose weight. Keep reading to find out how…
Is Cauliflower Keto Friendly?
Cauliflower is a Keto superstar, in fact, it seems to be the vegetable of choice for those following a Ketogenic diet. Because cauliflower is low in carbs and has a mild taste, it makes the perfect substitute for potatoes, rice, pasta, and other high carb dishes.
How Many Carbs are in Cauliflower?
One cup of chopped cauliflower contains only 5 grams of carbs. One cup of cauliflower also contains 3 grams of fiber, which brings the total net carbs down to a mere 2 grams per cup! For this reason, cauliflower is an excellent food choice for those following a strict, low carb diet, like Keto.
How Many Calories are in Cauliflower?
One cup of chopped cauliflower contains 25 calories. Cauliflower is extremely low in calories because it’s a less starchy vegetable that’s made up of mostly water and the fiber content will keep you feeling full. Adding butter or cheese to cauliflower will increase the calories significantly, so if you’re on a calorie-reduction diet, be sure to limit high-calorie condiments.
|Amount Per 1 cup chopped cauliflower (107 grams)|
|Total Fat 0.3 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0.1 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Trans fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 32.1 milligrams||1%|
|Potassium 319.9 milligrams||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 5 grams||1%|
|Dietary fiber 2.1 grams||8%|
|Sugar 2 grams|
|Protein 2.1 grams||4%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||85%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||10%|
A Nutritional Powerhouse
Cauliflower if an excellent source of vitamins C, K and B6. You’ll also get a good dose of folate and pantothenic acid as well as trace minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Cauliflower is also high in choline, a rare nutrient that many people are deficient in that helps maintain healthy cells, synthesizes DNA, and supports metabolism.
High in Fiber
Cauliflower’s high content of fiber to help keep you feeling full. Fiber aids in healthy digestion reduces the risk of heart disease and supports gut health.
Rich in Antioxidants
Cauliflower supplies a number of powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect against a number of chronic diseases, like cancer. The antioxidants in cauliflower also protect against harmful free radicals that can cause cell damage.
This vegetable is high in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, two important types of antioxidants that can slow the growth of cancer cells. Cauliflower is also high in sulforaphane, another potent antioxidant linked to disease prevention.
Early research shows that people who eat larger amounts of cauliflower and related vegetables have a lower risk of developing certain cancers, like prostate and lung cancer.
Those who are deficient in vitamin K may have a higher risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Consuming vitamin K regularly in foods like cauliflower can improve bone health and calcium absorption while preventing calcium loss through urination.
The high fiber content of cauliflower has also been linked to cardiovascular health. Individuals who eat foods rich in vitamin K have a lower chance of excess calcium build-up in the blood vessels, thus the result may be improved circulation.
Promotes Brain Health
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower have neuroprotective benefits. A study published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience journal found that foods like cauliflower that are high in vitamin E lowered the risk of long-term risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
A review in the Journal of Neurophysiology linked the choline in cauliflower with the prenatal health of the fetus. It was found that this nutrient enhanced the neural and cognitive development of the fetus in utero.
Unclogs the Arteries
A research study in 2009 on mice found that eating cauliflower could help protect the lining of the arteries. Scientists found that a chemical called sulforaphane found naturally in cauliflower stimulated proteins that offer protection to the arteries.
Early research suggests that eating larger amounts of cauliflower and related vegetables is linked with a lower risk of ischemic stroke in some people.
Overall, most people can tolerate cauliflower in moderate portions. Risks of consuming cauliflower in excess include Bloating and flatulence. The high fiber content of cauliflower may cause increased bloating and flatulence.
New studies suggest that cauliflower may be linked with a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women, but not in postmenopausal women.
How to Use Cauliflower on Keto
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Combine steamed cauliflower with cream or milk, cheese and fresh herbs to make mock mac and cheese instead of using high-carb macaroni noodles.
Grate up cauliflower and sauté it to make cauliflower rice that can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to recipes that call for rice, like casseroles and sushi.
Instead of making mashed potatoes, mash cauliflower for a lower carb version that is easy to make and simply delicious. Just add butter and season well with salt and pepper.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
To make low carb cauliflower pizza, cook and drain cauliflower and then pulse it in a food processor. Strain the liquid and add mozzarella, oregano, basil, salt, garlic powder, and an egg to form a pizza crust.
Spread out on parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or so until it firms up. Then you’re ready to add your favorite low carb pizza sauce, toppings and more cheese, then return to the oven for 5 more minutes or so until cheese is fully melted and veggies are cooked to your liking.
Try substituting half or all of the chickpeas for cauliflower when making hummus. Once all the other ingredients are blended together, you’ll barely be able to tell the difference.
Pureed cauliflower can be used to thicken cream-based soups, stews and chowders instead of adding other higher carb thickeners like potatoes or flour.
Is Cauliflower Good for Weight Loss?
Cauliflower is one of the foods that actually help shed inches off your midsection. Because cauliflower is low in calories, carbs and fat, it is natural weight-loss food. A cup of cooked cauliflower contains only 28 calories, 5 grams of carbs and half a gram of fat. The fact that cauliflower has a 92% water content is another reason this veggie is linked to weight loss.
What’s more, cauliflower has properties that also help you shed pounds. A study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that eating cauliflower was linked to weight loss.
Researchers determined that participants who ate non-starchy vegetables and fruits such as cauliflower, string beans and apples lost more weight over those who ate starchy fruits and veggies.
Adding more fiber to your diet helps you lose weight and reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Eating a high fiber diet can reduce the number of overall calories you consume throughout the day, which contributes to weight control. Not only does the fiber in the cauliflower help burn belly fat, it slows digestion and promotes feelings of satiety.