Cauliflower: The Newest Nutrition Superstar

In the world of vegetable stardom, kale has been king the last few years, a reputation the nutrition-rich cousin to cauliflower well deserves.

But we’re here to announce an upset. Kale, move over!

No question, cauliflower makes for a healthy competitor to kale in taste and nutrition, not to mention its winning versatility in recipes and dishes. In fact, OA cauliflower-based products, including Plantpower™ Cauliflower Sandwich Thins and Plantpower™ Cauliflower Pizza Crusts, are taking cauliflower to a whole new level.

The History of Cauliflower

So where did this super-versatile, cruciferous veggie come from?

According to the Roman historian Pliny, first-century Romans cultivated cauliflower as a variation on cabbage that they called cyma. Pliny wrote in his Natural History: “Of all the varieties of cabbage, the most pleasant-tasted is cyma.” 

In the Middle Ages, early forms of cauliflower were associated with the island of Cyprus, and from there were introduced into Western Europe. Cauliflower entered France and began to appear on tables during the time of Louis XIV. The by-then popular vegetable was introduced into India in 1822 by the British, and it quickly became a mainstay of Indian culinary art.

Today, we get most of our cauliflower from China and India. Secondary producers are the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Italy.

Cauliflower Nutrition: Is It Good for You?

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, and bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables possess a compound that has a strong odor when cooked, but they also offer health benefits that may reduce the risk of various types of cancer.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and a good source of folate, an important B vitamin for brain health. It’s fat free and cholesterol free and also low in sodium. Additionally, cauliflower contains only 25 calories in one-sixth of a medium head. This portion size also has 2 grams of dietary fiber and only 5 grams of carbohydrates.

Coenzyme Q10

When eaten raw or boiled, cauliflower can help maintain and increase your body’s natural stores of coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10. Found mostly in organ meats and fatty fish, this important substance is rare in vegetables, but cauliflower and broccoli are two exceptions.

CoQ10 occurs naturally in most body tissues, mainly the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas, and it helps enzymes do their job. Additionally, CoQ10 boosts your immune system and is an antioxidant that scavenges tissue-damaging free radicals. The amount of CoQ10 in your tissues decreases with age, so it’s a good idea to eat foods that contain CoQ10 as you grow older.1

Sulforaphane

Cauliflower, kale, and other cruciferous veggies contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical known for its potential cancer-fighting properties. Studies have found that sulforaphane targets and kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unchanged.2

Cauliflower versus Kale: The Showdown

“I love—love—cauliflower,” OA customer Kathy Beshaw said recently when speaking about how OA products support her low-carb lifestyle.

Kathy’s enthusiasm is catching, especially when you bite into an OA Pizza Crust wrapped around your favorite burrito filling or salad, or a Sandwich Thin™ popped up from the toaster ready for butter and jam.  It’s the taste we’re hearing our customers rave about and be surprised by—who would’ve thought?

We’re fans of kale, too. But for the record, here’s a breakdown of how cauliflower and kale measure up nutritionally:

Nutrition

Cauliflower vs. Kale

Carbs

100 g of raw cauliflower has just under 5 g of carbs. The same amount of raw kale has 10 g of carbs, or double the amount found in cauliflower.

Vitamin C

Both kale and cauliflower are good sources of vitamin C. When cooked, cauliflower has slightly more of this antioxidant powerhouse.

Fiber

When it comes to fiber, cauliflower has a slight edge: 2.3 g in 100 g of the cooked veggie versus 2 g in the same amount of cooked kale.

Calories

Kale is low in calories—just 36 in a cup of cooked kale. But a cup of cooked cauliflower has even less: 29 calories.

B Vitamins

Cauliflower is higher than kale in pantothenic acid, an important B vitamin that metabolizes fat. There’s also evidence that it may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Cauliflower is also higher than kale in folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that helps make red blood cells. Folate isn’t stored in your body, so you need to eat folate-rich foods every day.

Cooked cauliflower is slightly higher than kale in vitamin B6, which helps form hemoglobin to carry oxygen to your blood.

Choline

Cauliflower is packed with choline, an essential nutrient that’s crucial for liver function and brain development. Raw kale has hardly any choline.

 

Take the Cauliflower Challenge with Outer Aisle Crusts and Thins

According to the USDA, your health will benefit if you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. That’s an easy challenge to meet with OA Plantpower products, which are made from 63% fresh cauliflower.

Use our crusts and thins to make pizza, waffles, and even that ham and cheese sandwich—all adding to the veggie half of your plate. And the taste—well, with original, jalapeño, and Italian flavors, OA Pizza Crusts and Sandwich Thins™ have the spice and kick to make your eating pleasure come alive. 

Taste, versatility, and outstanding nutrition. It seems that cauliflower has all the makings of another vegetable superstar!

Sources:

  1. Rajiv Saini, Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Jul-Sep; 3(3): 466–467. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.84471
  2. John D. Clarke,  et al, Multi-targeted prevention of cancer by sulforaphane. Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8; 269(2): 291 304.  doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.04.018

0 comments

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published