Cauliflower…. superfood of the week
*****plus my all time favorite cauliflower recipe******
When we hear the word "superfood" most of us think of exotic, expensive and hard to find foods with some magical properties coming from far away lands. It's true that foods like Acai, Goji, and Maca have high levels of nutrients we all could use more of, but lets not forget the incredible bounty of nutrient dense foods we have growing in our own back yards. These foods are not only easy to find locally, meaning they didn't have to be processed, put in a bag and travel across the planet, but eating food in season is exactly what our cells need to be healthy.
This week we are looking closer at everyday foods we might pass by at the market and asking what makes them super too? Our search starts with one of our partners in health....Singing Frogs Farm. They grow an amazing varity of vegetables including one of my personal favorites, cauliflower.
Singing Frogs Farm is a unique no-till, ecologically beneficial, highly intensive vegetable farm in Sebastopol CA. Their innovative system includes no-till soil management, which triples the organic matter in the soil, leading to more nutrient dense food for you! This system allows them to produce over five times the state average of crops per acre and nurtures the healthy populations of pollinators, beneficial insects and vertebrates as natural pest control.
Check out their website for market locations: http://www.singingfrogsfarm.com/Home.html
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which include its more popular green cousins broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Cauliflower is white because of its ribbed, coarse green leaves that protect the undeveloped flower buds from the sunlight.
This is one vegetable that deserves a regular rotation in your diet, as it contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals.
Health benefits that rank caulifower superfood status:
Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer.
For instance, research has shown that combining cauliflower with curcumin (the active compound in the spice turmeric) may help prevent and treat prostate cancer.
Boost Heart Health
Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. Scientists believe sulforaphane's benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression, especially in the easily damaged inner lining of the arteries known as the endothelium.
You need some level of inflammation in your body to stay healthy. However, it's also possible, and increasingly common, for the inflammatory response to get out of hand. If your immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when no threat is present, it can lead to significant inflammation-related damage to the body, a condition linked to cancer and other diseases, depending on which organs the inflammation is impacting. Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Most Americans are seriously lacking in nutrients their body needs to function. Eating cauliflower regularly is a simple way to get these much-needed nutrients into your body. For instance, one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It's also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
Boost Your Brain Health
Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy "super-charged" the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating that it may boost cognitive function, and improve learning and memory. It may even diminish age-related memory decline and your brain's vulnerability to toxins.
Cauliflower helps your body's ability to detoxify in multiple ways. It contains antioxidants that support Phase 1 detoxification along with sulfur-containing nutrients important for Phase 2 detox activities. The glucosinolates in cauliflower also activate detoxification enzymes.7
Cauliflower is an important source of dietary fiber for digestive health. But that's not all. According to the World's Healthiest Foods...
"Researchers have determined that the sulforaphane made from a glucosinolate in cauliflower (glucoraphanin) can help protect the lining of your stomach. Sulforaphane provides you with this health benefit by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in your stomach."
Antioxidants and Phytonutrients Galore
Eating cauliflower is like winning the antioxidant and phytonutrient lottery. It's packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more. Antioxidants are nature's way of providing your cells with adequate defense against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). As long as you have these important micronutrients, your body will be able to resist aging caused by your everyday exposure to pollutants, chronic stress, and more. If you don't have an adequate supply of antioxidants to help squelch free radicals, then you can be at risk of oxidative stress, which leads to accelerated tissue and organ damage.
Now that you know better you can do better.
This week Three Leaves Foods is making it easy for you to get all of the benefits cauliflower has to offer. Our Roasted Cauliflower Soup with mineral rich kombu stock will be delicous and health building.
Order by this sunday at midnight to reserve yours! http://www.threeleavesfoods.com/#!shop/cpjq
Roasted Curried Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower, cut into uniform florets
1/4 cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or ghee
2-4 tablespoons of curry powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Half a lemon
¼ cup minced cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 F
Toss florets in a bowl with the oil (coconut is my fav), curry powder, salt, and pepper.
Add the seasoned florets to a parchment lined baking sheet
Put the tray in the oven for 15-25 minutes fliping half way through, until they are softened, browned and crispy in parts.
Finish it by squeezing juice of half a lemon over the top and sprinkling on some cilantro.
learn more at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx