Continuing the topic of vegetables on the keto diet, we will talk about cauliflower in this article. You already know that green leafy vegetables are allowed on the keto diet. It characterizes the main keto vegetable category. However, cauliflower is neither green nor leafy. Is it suitable for a low-carb diet? Is cauliflower keto?
Yes, cauliflower is keto. It is low in carbs and high in healthy fiber, making it a good keto vegetable. Moreover, cauliflower is a great choice for many keto side dishes as it replaces rice or mashed potatoes. Due to its high amount of vitamins, cauliflower is very beneficial for your health.
How many carbohydrates are in cauliflower? Should you limit your cauliflower intake while on a keto diet? What are the health benefits of cauliflower? Let’s figure out all these issues together!
What is Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, along with broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Its fibrous root system is close to the soil surface. The stem is cylindrical, leaves with petioles, the shape of the heads is round or flat round. The inflorescences are dense – from very short (1″) to long (5″) and different in colors (white, yellow, or purple). This cabbage got its name because of the head, consisting of thickened fleshy inflorescences, resembling overgrown buds in appearance.
Cauliflower has excellent taste and healthy dietary qualities. You can eat boiled inflorescences, stew, or bake them with meat, vegetables, and sweet potatoes, or add them to different salads. You can prepare side dishes, frying cauliflower in butter and eggs, pickle and marinate it, both separately and in combination with other vegetables.
Young tender inflorescences and thickened flowering shoots of cauliflower are used to prepare dietary broths and soups, which will compete with chicken broths in terms of nutritional value and taste. Cauliflower is also found in frozen vegetable mixes.
Is Cauliflower Keto?
Yes, definitely, cauliflower is keto. It has a good keto proportion, and you can eat it without restriction during the keto diet. 100 grams of cauliflower contain:
- 25 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- 3 grams of fat
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber
- 2 grams of net carbs.
As you can see, cauliflower is low in carbs, and you don’t have to worry about it interfering with your ketosis. I recommend that you combine cauliflower with healthy fats in any recipe for the correct keto ratio.
For example, you can perfectly substitute mashed potatoes with cauliflower by simply boiling it, grinding it in a blender, and adding a good amount of butter. Or you can make keto rice by boiling the cauliflower until slightly soft and whisking it in a blender until it looks like rice.
Cauliflower is great for the vegan and vegetarian keto diet as it makes great juicy steaks. Simply slice the cauliflower into flat, oblong steaks a couple of inches thick, add your favorite spices and oils, and grill until crisp. You’ll definitely like it!
Cauliflower Health Benefits
Cauliflower is a healthy source of many nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It contains 2-3 times more vitamin C and more protein than white cabbage. Cauliflower contains vitamins A, PP, B6, B1, and the inflorescences contain sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron necessary for your body.
In addition, the vegetable also contains a large amount of tartronic acid, citric and malic acid, and pectin. Let’s take a closer look at the 11 main health benefits of cauliflower.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
The vitamin K you get from cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties that improve blood circulation. It prevents the accumulation of lipids in the blood, which leads to cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis.
Vitamin K improves vascular tone and maintains normal blood pressure. Sulforaphane, a substance found in cauliflower, is useful when you need to raise your blood pressure.
Helps with Digestive Problems
As mentioned above, cauliflower is rich in fiber, and it makes this vegetable very beneficial for digestion and helps in the elimination of toxins from the body.
In addition, sulforaphane protects the stomach lining and makes it more resistant to harmful bacteria. Due to the isothiocyanate content, eating cauliflower is a great way to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and colon cancer.
Sulforaphane and isothiocyanates contain elements that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It makes it easier to fight cancer and helps to stop its growth.
Eating cauliflower helps prevent the onset and development of certain cancers, such as lung cancer, bladder and breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer.
Prevents Macular Degeneration
Because of its high vitamin C and antioxidant content, cauliflower may effectively reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which, in some cases, leads to blindness.
Sulforaphane also helps protect retinal tissue from damage caused by oxidative stress. Thus, to a large extent, cauliflower prevents visual impairments and eye diseases such as cataracts.
Reduces UV Damage
The sulforaphane and vitamin A in cauliflower are also beneficial in protecting the skin from UV damage. Protect yourself from problems such as inflammation, skin cancer caused by UV rays, redness of the skin due to blood flow in the capillaries, and cell damage.
It is important that, in addition to the effects of this vegetable, you always take your sun exposure responsibly.
Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Another important reason to eat cauliflower is that sulforaphane activates the enzymes needed for detoxification. It helps our brains recover from neural damage caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. It means that cauliflower reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Fights Hypertension and High Cholesterol
Thanks to cauliflower’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, your arteries stay healthy, and your blood pressure normalizes.
Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. It is great if you are dealing with heart problems or want to avoid them.
Provides Electrolyte Balance
Cauliflower helps balance electrolytes in the body, and it makes your nervous system better at transmitting nerve impulses for muscle contractions.
If you are into sports, then most likely you consume a lot of energy drinks. Many people do this to get more electrolytes. The problem is that these drinks also contain sugar, which we don’t need at all during the keto diet. Cauliflower is a good alternative. Just add it to your nutrition.
Takes Care of the Brain and Cells Health
The phosphorus found in cauliflower is essential for the repair of cell membranes. It is essential for your brain and nervous system to function properly.
In turn, potassium and vitamin B6 contribute to the health of your brain as well as neurons. It is essential if you want your brain to be in the best possible health.
Protects Against Diabetes
Due to its vitamin C and potassium content, regular consumption of cauliflower can help reduce the risk of diabetes. These two elements regulate blood glucose levels and normalize metabolism.
When your potassium levels are low, your glucose levels can rise and become a serious threat if you have diabetes. For this reason, it is important to consume enough potassium-rich foods.
Helps Reduce Weight
Cauliflower contains a lot of fiber, which not only helps to improve digestion but also maintains weight. This vegetable is very low in calories and forms part of many healthy weight loss diets. It gives you a feeling of fullness by filling your stomach, and if you combine it with healthy fats, this satiation will be long and pleasant.
As you can see, this vegetable has many health benefits. Cauliflower is keto. It’s low in carbs and high in healthy fiber, so it won’t hurt your low-carb diet. You can come up with many delicious recipes and spice up your keto meal plan with this healthy vegetable.