Health Benefits of Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a new food trend that’s full of some surprising benefits. Instead of using traditional rice, some people substitute cauliflower rice as a low-carb, low-calorie alternative.

It’s easy to see why this is appealing. Cauliflower has a mild taste and can be cooked in a variety of ways. On top of that, cauliflower rice also has some impressive health benefits.

Health Benefits

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in cauliflower rice provide significant benefits. The folate in cauliflower rice is a necessary vitamin for healthy cell growth. Doctors recommend that people who are or might become pregnant consume at least 400 micrograms of folate every day. This supports healthy development and can help prevent birth defects.

Other health benefits of cauliflower rice include:

Reduced Cellular Oxidation

Cauliflower rice is full of antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin C. These antioxidants remove free radical particles from your body. Free radicals are loose oxygen molecules that can damage your cells and lead to cancer. By removing free radicals, antioxidants can help lower your risk of cancer.

Ease of Digestion

Cauliflower rice is a good source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Soluble dietary fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel in your stomach. This gel absorbs cholesterol and helps remove it before it reaches your bloodstream. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your gut. This helps you digest your food more efficiently and prevents you from absorbing unhealthy cholesterol.

Improved Immune Function

Getting enough vitamin C regularly can help keep your immune system in good shape. Studies have shown that simply taking a large dose of vitamin C after cold symptoms appear may not have any effects on the immune system. However, regular vitamin C consumption keeps the immune system healthy and may even minimize cold symptoms if you do get sick.

Lower Blood Pressure

A chemical found in cauliflower known as “sulforaphane” may be linked to lower blood pressure. Early studies have shown that regular consumption of this substance can help keep blood pressure lower. While more studies need to be done, the research is promising.

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Nutrition

Cauliflower rice is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium is the most common mineral in the body. Your bones and teeth are mostly made out of calcium, and it’s also important for regulating your muscles and heartbeat. Eating enough calcium is important for maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis.

The potassium in cauliflower helps keep your cells healthy by regulating the sodium in your system. This keeps your heartbeat regular and your blood pressure lower.

Nutrients per Serving 

One half-cup serving of cauliflower rice contains:

Cauliflower is also an excellent source of:

Portion Sizes

Cauliflower rice is a helpful part of a healthy diet, but occasionally it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Cauliflower rice is high in fiber, which takes longer for your stomach to digest. Eating too much cauliflower rice at once can sometimes lead to discomfort and constipation. Keeping your portions to just a cup or two of cauliflower rice will help keep your digestive system running smoothly.

How to Prepare Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower is in season year-round in various locations in North America. As a result, you can get cauliflower rice frozen in grocery stores or health food stores at any time of year. You can also get fresh cauliflower and make your own cauliflower rice at home.

To make your own cauliflower rice, all you need to do is wash a raw cauliflower head and break it into smaller florets. You then put these florets into your food processor and pulse until the cauliflower pieces are the size of grains of rice.

Cauliflower rice keeps for about two days. Cauliflower can start to develop a sulfur smell if left to sit for too long. If you’re making a large batch, you should freeze anything you don’t eat that day.

Cauliflower rice is a flexible, nutritious food. Here are some ways to add it to your diet:

  • Use cauliflower rice in stir fries
  • Make stuffed peppers with cauliflower rice
  • Mix cauliflower rice into couscous to add bulk
  • Substitute cauliflower rice in fried rice recipes
  • Use cauliflower rice as the base for a healthy pizza crust
  • Make homemade sushi with cauliflower rice
  • Try cauliflower rice burgers
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on August 31, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

BioMed Research International: “Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidants Activity of Fresh Processed White Cauliflower.”

Brit.co: “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Cauliflower Rice.”

Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk: “Dietary Fiber.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

Harvard Health Letter: ”Can vitamin C prevent a cold?”

International Scholarly Research Notices: “Modulation of Arachidonic Acid Metabolism in the Rat Kidney by Sulforaphane: Implications for Regulation of Blood Pressure.”

Journal of Functional Foods: “Crucial facts about health benefits of popular cruciferous vegetables.”

Mayo Clinic: “Folate (folic acid).”

National Institutes of Health: “Calcium.”

National Institutes of Health: “Potassium.”

Pharmacognosy Review: “Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health.”

Taste Cooking: “Caul Me by Your Name.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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