Is Cauliflower considered one of the dreaded “white” foods that many popular diets advise against eating?
Foods like pasta, rice, white bread, sugar and other white foods are off limits for many diets. However, cauliflower is a white food you can feel good about eating. This nonstarchy vegetable is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage and broccoli. High intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of some cancers. They contain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, that may help neutralize damaging toxins. The nutrition profile of cauliflower is quite impressive. Cauliflower is very low in calories, yet high in vitamins.
Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup, or 128 grams, of raw cauliflower:
- Calories: 25
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
- Folate: 14% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Manganese: 8% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
A few interesting facts:
Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that give cauliflower its pungent smell and flavor. Glucosinolates activate the body’s detoxification system. Chewing breaks down glucosinolates into their active form, which triggers the detoxification process. Research suggests that they may play a role in preventing various types of cancers. Cauliflower contains the second highest amount of glucosinolates, after broccoli.
Potassium is an essential dietary mineral. Normal body functions, including regular heart beats and proper body hydration, depend on proper potassium concentrations both inside and outside of cells. The adequate intake (AI) for potassium is 4,700 mg per day for both men and women. Cauliflower is an excellent, low-calorie source of potassium. One cup of chopped raw cauliflower contains 320 mg in only 27 calories. In comparison, a medium banana contains 422 mg in 105 calories. Did you ever think about putting cauliflower in your smoothie instead of a banana? Cuts down on the sugar also.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes skin and brain health. When you think of vitamin C, you might think of oranges or other fruit. But cauliflower has a surprisingly high amount of vitamin C. One cup of raw cauliflower contains 52 mg. In comparison, a medium orange contains 64 mg. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women per day. Also, less sugar.
Quickly cooking cauliflower reduces the sulfur smell, preserves crispness and color and reduces the loss of nutrients. Steaming or microwaving cauliflower will preserve its vitamin content better than boiling. I love to roast cauliflower in the oven. I recently made it in the airfryer. It turned out great!