It’s hard to walk down a grocery aisle these days without seeing quite a few products made with cauliflower, from pizza crusts to pasta and chips. You might already know that these alternatives can help us shed a few pounds, but adding more of this veggie to our meals may also keep cognitive decline and cancer at bay.
On top of being a smart swap for foods high in carbs and calories, cauliflower is packed with a ton of antioxidants and nutrients. It’s an especially great source of choline, which plays an important role in maintaining brain health. A recent study found that getting ample amounts of it as we age can reduce our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It does this by producing a specific neurotransmitter that protects our brain’s ability to retain memories, control muscles, and balance moods. Bonus: Choline also prevents the buildup of cholesterol that causes fatty liver disease.
As for those antioxidants we mentioned, there are two in particular called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that have shown promising results for warding off various cancers. In one study, researchers found that they protected cells against colon, lung, breast, and prostate cancer.
Like other fruits and veggies, you’ll also find plenty of carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants in cauliflower, which have similar anti-cancer affects along with heart-boosting benefits. As if that weren’t already enough, the high vitamin C content in cauliflower (roughly 77 percent of the daily recommended amount) acts as another powerful antioxidant to rev up our immunity, fight off inflammation, and reverse signs of aging.
Of course, we aren’t trying to diminish cauliflower’s impressive reputation as a weight loss staple. With only 25 calories, five grams of carbohydrates, and three grams of fiber, there’s no denying it’s an excellent choice to sub in for starchier options. Plus, it’s a water-rich food, which has been shown to help us shed more pounds and stay hydrated.
Basically, if you haven’t already hopped on the cauliflower bandwagon, consider this your sign that it’s time to start! Take a look at some scrumptious cauliflower recipes we’ve gathered up to get the ball rolling.