What are the health benefits of eating cauliflower?

Julie Daniluk
Nutrition & Dietetics
Cauliflower can prevent ulcers: Cauliflower contains a compound called sulforaphane that acts as an antibacterial agent for the bacteria helicobacter pylori. (1) This type of bacteria is found in the stomach and is one of the biggest causes of gastric ulcers, as well as being linked to stomach cancer. Sulforaphane has also been shown to kill the bacteria that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics.

Cauliflower is great for the prostate: In all of the vegetable kingdom, cauliflower contains one of the highest levels of the compound I3C (Indole-3-carbinol). In many studies, I3C has stopped the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate and caused cell death of existing cancer cells.

Cauliflower lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease: As a member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower has been shown in studies to decrease the occurrence of stroke. (2) Cauliflower also has a high vitamin C content that combats free radical damage to the arteries and prevents the build-up of artery clogging cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Cauliflower is an amazing source of vitamin K: Vitamin K is known for its wonderful ability to boost bone strength. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows a positive relationship between dietary vitamin K intake and bone mineral density (BMD) in women. (3) Note: When people are on blood thinners such as warfarin for cardiovascular disease, it's important to balance intake of vitamin K foods because they assist the body with blood clotting. (4)
  1. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/282/13/1233.full.pdf+html
  2. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/282/13/1233.full.pdf+html
  3. http://www.ajcn.org/content/77/2/512.abstract
  4. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/12/1115.full.pdf+html
With varieties named "Snow White" and "Mayflower," the vegetable cauliflower is much more interesting than it appears. For such an unassuming vegetable, cauliflower provides an array of nutrients, including fiber, iron, calcium and vitamin C. In fact, one serving of cauliflower has more than 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C.
Dole Nutrition Institute
Cauliflower contains glucosinolates, which trigger the body’s own antioxidant systems. Italian researchers found that cauliflower compounds suppressed breast-cancer cell growth and perhaps even promoted cancer-cell death. Canadian scientists report that men with prostate cancer who consumed cauliflower more than once a week cut their risk of the cancer becoming aggressive by more than 50%.
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale, contain compounds that may help prevent cancer. These compounds appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer-causing agents in the body, and they increase the activity of enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogens.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

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Health Value Of Foods

Health Value Of Foods

A healthy diet is rich in foods with high nutritional value, providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other food nutrients it needs to protect against disease and maintain a healthy weight. To identify healthy foods, it...

's important to read nutrition labels and know the source of your food. Products advertised as whole-grain, organic or fortified may not necessarily be healthy for you. Find out how to get the most health value from various fruits, nuts, spices, oils and vegetables -- and learn which types of red meat and processed foods to avoid -- with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.