how to reduce bloating from cauliflower + 5 amazing health benefits

How to Reduce Bloating From Cauliflower + 5 Health Benefits of this Amazing Winter Veggie

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Also note: While I am a certified nutrition coach, I am not a medical doctor. Information here is not intended to be a replacement for the advice you should seek from your doctor.

When you say Winter veggies… many think of cauliflower! And rightfully so: cauliflower is a true superfood, packed with vitamins, minerals, and even anti-tumoral compounds. 🥦. However, many of us might struggle to incorporate this Cruciferous veggie into our diet as it can cause excessive gas and digestive issues. If you are among them, don’t worry. Here is how to reduce bloating from cauliflower! And that’s not all. We will also look at 5 incredible health benefits of this veggie, as well as some tasty recipes to make everyone fall in love with it. 💗

5 Incredible Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Along with broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts – cauliflower is one of the most popular Cruciferous veggies, thanks to its low-carb and low-calorie values as well as its incredible versatility in the kitchen. (Did you know that it can even be used to add precious nutrients and improve the consistency of your favorite chocolate smoothie?). Besides that, cauliflower has also some incredible health benefits. Here are some of the main ones.

1. High in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Cauliflower is jam-packed with different beneficial micronutrients. Among them are vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in bone metabolism, regulating blood calcium levels, and blood clotting, vitamin C – an antioxidant renowned for its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to boost the immune function, and choline – a nutrient that plays a pivotal role in the correct function of the metabolic and nervous systems.

2. It contains precious anti-tumoral compounds

Cauliflower has also been shown as having potential anti-tumoral properties. The merit goes to the phytonutrients contained in it. These chemical compounds found in plants are associated with protection against several types of chronic diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes. In addition, cauliflower is high in glucosinolates and isothiocyanate. These are two groups of antioxidants that can offer protection against several types of cancer, among which are breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

3. Weight-loss friendly and high in fiber

With only 25 calories, 5 grams of carbs (which makes it also a keto-friendly veggie), and as much as 2 grams of fiber for just one cup (around 128 grams), cauliflower will assist your weight loss journey. Indeed, the fiber contained in it will allow you to feel fuller, longer after your meals, as it helps slow down the digestive processes. Add some cauliflower to your stews, pasta dishes, or even smoothies to increase their volume and bulk them up with precious nutrients, while keeping the calories to a minimum. Moreover, cauliflower can become the base of a low-carb and low-calorie pizza crust, or can be easily transformed into some guilt-free cauliflower rice.

4. It can protect your skin

Did you know that cauliflower can even boost your skin health from the inside? Indeed, it is rich in vitamin C, which can promote collagen formation. In turn, collagen is essential in fleshing out skin cells and in mitigating the signs of aging skin. In addition, the sulforaphane in cauliflower may protect the skin from premature skin damage caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV).

5. Cauliflower can boost your memory and improve cognitive functions

As hinted above, cauliflower is rich in choline, a vitamin that plays a key role in brain health and development. Indeed, studies show how this precious vitamin can enhance cognitive function, regulate the sleep cycle, and improve learning and memory skills. But there is even more to the story: choline can even reduce age-related memory loss and provide a defense against toxins in the brain.

How to Reduce Bloating From Cauliflower

Although cauliflower is a true superfood, many of us still struggle to consume it as it is often the cause of gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and other digestive issues. The reason for this is that cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous veggies, such as kale and broccoli, contains raffinose and other oligosaccharides. These are specific types of sugars that remain undigested until bacteria in the gut ferment them, producing gas, and, in turn, causing bloating and gas. This is a real pity, as cauliflower is rich in many compounds that are very hard to get elsewhere – choline and vitamin K above them all.

Fortunately, I’ve got something for you! Here is how to reduce bloating from cauliflower – and other cruciferous veggies for that matter – in 5 steps.

  1. Start slow and chew well
    The best tip when it comes to reducing gas and bloating is to not gorge on broccoli at any one sitting. The reasons for this are essentially two. First, our body might not be able to digest the fiber and specific types of fast carbohydrates (such as the raffinose) found in cauliflower. Gradually increasing our portions will give our gut the time to adapt and progressively build up the bacteria that are necessary to break down these veggies. The second is that chewing them very well before swallowing is essential for breaking down these sugars before they reach our digestive system. Remember: digestion always starts in the mouth!
  2. Cooked is better than raw
    Cooked cauliflower is much easier to digest than raw cauliflower. Indeed, the cooking process breaks down some of the carbs contained in the cauliflower. In this way, our intestines can pass them more easily and absorb what it needs, rather than allowing them to sit and produce gas. Alternatively, pureeing them is another great tip!
  3. Pair them with some digestive herbs and spices
    Pairing your cauliflower with some herbs and spices might be quite helpful in aiding digestion and preventing the formation of gas. Among these herbs and spices are fennel, dill, cumin, coriander, anise, ginger, and cinnamon.
  4. Drink more
    Drinking plays an important role in digestion as it helps fiber to move through the body. This is essential to speed up the digestive process. If you cannot stomach water, you can add a squeeze of lemon or lime to it. Alternatively, you can opt for teas that can help ease digestion and reduce gas, such as those that contain chamomile, fennel, peppermint, or turmeric.
  5. Take some probiotics or digestive enzyme
    If all the previous tips don’t work, you can try to take some probiotics or digestive enzymes before meals. More specifically, alpha-galactosidase is an enzyme supplement that helps to digest the oligosaccharides, preventing them from reaching the large intestine. This is great for avoiding bloating and abdominal pain.

Cauliflower: the Nutritional Info

Cauliflower is a cruciferous veggie rich in minerals, and vitamins (primarily calcium, vitamin K and vitamin C). At the same time, it is low in calories and carbohydrates.

1 cup, or 128 grams, of raw cauliflower, contains:

  • Calories: 25
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
  • Folate: 14% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 8% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI

Cauliflower: Some Fun Facts

  • Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. It is “cruciferous” because the flowers have four petals and resemble a Greek cross. More specifically, it is a flower that has not fully developed yet.
  • White cauliflower is not the only type of cauliflower on the market. Indeed, orange, purple, green, and brown cauliflower is often used to give a touch of color and taste to several dishes!
  • A single floret of cauliflower contains around 10% of our daily vitamin C needs.
  • The stems and leaves are not only edible, but they are also rich in iron, fiber, vitamin C, and calcium.

Ingredient Selection Tips

Opt for cauliflower heads that are firm and tightly closed, as this is a sign of freshness. If you opt for white varieties, make sure that there are no dark “sunburned” spots on them. Avoid heads that show signs of softness, as this might represent the start of spoilage. Also check the leaves: they should be firm to the touch and have a bright green color. On the other hand, avoid heads with withered leaves.

Cultivation

Cauliflowers are very sensitive to heat and cold. This is why, in order to thrive, the plant requires a consistently cool temperature of around 60°F (15 °C), as well as at least 6 hours of daily sunlight. In addition, the soil needs to be properly fertilized so that it holds moisture. On the contrary, the curd may start separating into smaller heads, hindering the growth of our cauliflowers.

cauliflower plant
The cauliflower plant

In addition, the PH values of the soil must remain between 6.5 and 6.8 at all times. This allows the plant to stay in a continual state of growth. Indeed, interruptions may end up ruining the curd. Last but not least, cauliflower plants are susceptible to many leaf-eating insects, such as aphids, cabbage loopers, and Harlequin bugs. The bottom line is that cauliflower requires lots of care and attention, and is not a very beginner-friendly vegetable.

Some Tasty Recipes with Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a very versatile ingredient, great in both salty and sweet recipes. Yes, you have heard it right! Adding cauliflower to our smoothies or cake batters will not only improve their texture but also enhance the natural sweetness of these treats.

Among my most successful recipes with cauliflower are these delicious recipes: Shepherd’s Pie, Air Fryer Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower, Healthiest Mac n’ Cheese, and One-Pot Chili Mac and Cheese. All of them are great to introduce your picky eaters to eating cauliflower!

air fryer crispy buffalo cauliflower next to watermelon and yuka fries
My healthy and super tasty Air Fryer Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower!

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Shepherd’s Pie Vegan Tofu Cauliflower Recipe
Check out this easy, plant-based, light, and healthy vegan Shepherd's Pie recipe! Kid-friendly and great for weight loss! Recipe with Irish and UK roots.
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One-pot Chili Mac and Cheese
No time to cook but craving a rich and warming pasta dish? Look no further! This one-pot chili mac and cheese is the solution for all your "pasta problems" 🍝
This healthy chili mac is the perfect trade-off between a truly comforting food and a wholesome meal. Indeed, it contains lots of fibers and antioxidants (from the veggies) whilst being packed with plant-based proteins (from the pinto and red kidney beans), which will leave you feeling satisfied but energized. Contrary to your regular pasta dish, you won't feel sluggish after eating this one-pot chili mac and cheese! 🏃‍♀️
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Buffalo Chicken Casserole
I just love one-pot dishes! This Buffalo Chicken Casserole is easy to make, delicious, and good for your health and weight! This dish is creamy, and nutrient rich with lots of cruciferous vegetables with a side of wild rice, which makes the perfect weeknight dinner.
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Air Fryer Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower
This crispy buffalo cauliflower is better and crispier than any other air fried buffalo cauliflower recipe you will find!
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Healthiest Mac and Cheese
Looking for a lighter, healthy mac and cheese? Look no further! This mac and cheese rivals it's traditional counterpart AND it's nutritious!
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healthy mac and cheese served in the white plate with broccoli and basilico leaves on the top

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