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Humble cauliflower is often overlooked as a leading member of the cruciferous family, but it’s actually one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It boasts a rich supply of health-promoting phytochemicals, anti-inflammatory compounds, and other cancer-busting nutrients.
Importantly, cauliflower supports digestion and detoxification. This is due to its sulfur-containing compounds, known as glucosinolates. These compounds break down in your stomach into byproducts during digestion, supporting efficient nutrient absorption as well as toxin and waste removal.
This delicious side or main dish also features kale, another superstar cruciferous veggie that provides glucosinolate compounds in addition to vitamins A, C, K, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Like cauliflower, kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
The DIM (diindolylmethane) and indole-3-carbinole in cruciferous vegetables such as kale and cauliflower help metabolize and breakdown estrogen in the body. This helps women maintain a healthy balance of hormones, which is critical for overall health, and specifically to lower risk of hormone-driven cancers. Kale is also a good source of quercetin, which has strong anti-inflammatory compounds and prevents tumor cell growth.
Quercetin also aids in the removal of excess estrogen from the body by stimulating liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents.
Last, but definitely not least, pine nuts help suppress appetite as they contain pinolenic acid, which triggers the release of appetite-suppressing hormones. They are also very high in protein… just 1⁄4 cup provides 8 grams of protein! Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: This article was initially published in August 2018 and was updated in June 2021.