Cauliflower against cancer

Updated: Feb 15, 2019

by Janet Murton.

Cauliflower is a wonderful cruciferous vegetable, with an impressive array of vitamins, minerals, fibre and other plant compounds, called phytochemicals. It is easy to grow and cook; tastes great and is now available in a variety of colours! All of these characteristics make it a beneficial food to add to a cancer preventing or cancer-treating diet.

All natural colours!

Cauliflower has a high antioxidant profile. Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I-3-C) are antioxidants found in all cruciferous vegetables and are responsible for their pungent aroma. These compounds may slow the growth of cancer cells, particularly breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers.

These compounds are easily destroyed during cooking, hence best use as little water as possible at a low heat. The beneficial compounds can leach into the water and be destroyed by high heat. They are activated once chopped or chewed, so make sure they are either chopped finely or thoroughly chewed.

Vegetable fibre feeds healthy gut bacteria and is associated with reduced risk of colon cancer. Fibre also slows digestion and helps to create a sense of fullness, which together with the low-calorie content of cauliflower is useful in achieving a healthy weight – also associated with a decreased risk of many cancers.

Healthy meal tip:

For cancer protection, consider replacing white rice with cauliflower rice:

Cauliflower rice

· 1 head cauliflower

· 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

· 1 onion diced

· 1 garlic clove chopped

· 1 tbsp turmeric powder

· ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

· Celtic sea salt and pepper

Finely chop or grate cauliflower until it looks like rice.

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir through turmeric powder.

Reduce heat and add cauliflower. Cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste and coriander leaves.