Cauliflower Ranks Among CDC’s Top Powerhouse Vegetables

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, highly nutritious vegetables that include broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, arugula, boc choi and collard greens among others.

Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of beneficial biological compounds. These delicious superfoods are rich in antioxidants, contain high levels of phytochemicals, essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fiber. Cruciferous vegetables are also the best source of phenolic compounds, which confer strong antiseptic and antibacterial benefits.

Cruciferous vegetables are highly prized for their powerful anti-carcinogens, such as indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.1 2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) ranks cauliflower among the top powerhouse vegetables.3 The ANDI project evaluates various foods based on nutrient content in relation to caloric content.

Cruciferous vegetables are effective in helping to prevent hormone related cancers, such as breast cancer, because phytochemicals abundant in these plant foods help the body excrete estrogen and other hormones.4

Just one serving a day of cruciferous vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by more than 50 percent!5

With its solid head of white, tightly clustered florets, cauliflower is an attractive and delicious vegetable that cooks quickly and readily absorbs flavors and seasonings. Cauliflower adds delicate flavor and a delightful texture this delightful dish.

Cauliflower Portobello and Potato Medley
Serve this hearty dish over Brown Jasmine Rice colored with a bit of turmeric
6 Servings

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 scallions, sliced including 3” of green
2 cups sliced carrots
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 teaspoon hot curry powder (or mild, to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 (12 oz) can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oil over medium high heat one minute in a large saucepan or dutch oven, add  rushed pepper, garlic, scallions, carrots and potatoes; cook for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium and cook mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pulse the tomatoes in a small blender (just 3 taps) and add to the cauliflower mixture.. Add curry powder, ginger, nutritional yeast and cilantro. Mix thoroughly, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until ready to serve.

Nutrition Analysis Serving: (2 cups)
Calories 165, Protein 7g, Carbohydrate 31g, Fiber 8g, Fat 3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 82mg, Sodium 494mg.

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV. Her latest book is The Skinny on Soy.  Follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter

1Frydoonfar HR1, McGrath DR, Spigelman AD. The effect of indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane on a prostate cancer cell line. ANZ J Surg. 2003 Mar;73(3):154-6.

2Murillo G, Mehta RG. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention, Nutr Cancer. 2001;41(1-2):17-28

3Di Noia J. Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130390

4Yuan F, Chen DZ, Liu K, et al. Anti-estrogenic activities of indole-3-carbinol in cervical cells: implication for prevention of cervical cancer. Anticancer Res 1999;19:1673-1680

5Zhang CX, Ho SC, Chen YM, et al. Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009;125:181-188.