Cauliflower Health

I love cauliflower, steeped in fresh tomatoes, it's the most divine vegetable. Some important things you should know about cauliflower.

Cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli belong to the same family cruciferacea.

These vegetables have been studied to play a significant anti-carcinogenic role in humans. This is attributed to glucosinolates and thiocyanates which help neutralize toxic subastances. When they are cooked with turmeric (haldi, paspu), their anti-cancer benefits increase manifold.

Cauliflower contains allicin which improves heart health and helps prevent stroke.

Cauliflower is also rich in folates, hence women planning a pregnancy or who are pregnant should try and include cauliflower as much as they can in their diet.

Cauliflower is also rich in fiber and Vitamin C.

Cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol which helps in the metabolism of estrogen, and is studied to play an important role in reducing the incidence of breast and female cancers.

The best time to buy cauliflower: December to March

Choosing a cauliflower: Buy heads which are heavy and firm, creamy white in color, and with florets not separated.

Avoid flowers with small florets. Also avoid flowers which are discolored or have brownish spots which form as a result of aging.

Storing: Store in plastic or paper bags for upto one week in the refrigerator. Store with stem down to prevent moisture from accumalating in the floret region. Cut florets should be consumed in a day or two.

Cauliflower is one of the few vegetables which spoils faster after it is cooked, so cooked vegetable should be consumed in 2 to 3 days.

Best way to cook: Lightly cook to preserve all nutrients. It can also be eaten raw.

Consumption: Combine with fennel (saunf) or dill(suwa) to reduce flatulence.

Precautions: Cauliflower(and other members of cruciferacea) have some natural compouds which interfere with the synthesis of thyroxin or thyroid hormone, and can result in goitre. These vegetables should be avoided in people with thyroid problems.

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