Broccoli and cauliflower are the cruciferous rock-stars of the veggie kingdom because of their cancer fighting powers. Weight-watchers love them because they pack in a lot of nutrients without adding too many calories. However, in a toss-up between broccoli and cauliflower, which vegetable would come out victorious? To examine this, we examine the powers of broccoli and cauliflower in several key areas. Curious to know which one’s healthier for you? Here are a few points that could help you choose between cauliflower and broccoli.
Broccoli is far ahead in terms of its vitamin contents. It has 155.2 micrograms of vitamin K compared to cauliflower’s 11.2 mcg. When it comes to the other vital vitamins important for our immune support, broccoli provides a 46.6% and a whopping 205.7% of our daily intake requirement for A and C respectively. Cauliflower has a much lower content of vitamin C while it has no vitamin A at all.. Broccoli is rich in other vitamins too such as Vitamin E and the B complex vitamins.
Both the vegetables contain almost the same amount of iron, magnesium and phosphorous. Iron is essential for our blood to carry oxygen to all parts of the body, while magnesium and phosphorus are essential for growth and development. Cauliflower is significantly higher in potassium than broccoli is. Potassium is an essential electrolyte which keeps your heart and other other organs functioning at their best. Broccoli, however, has the edge when it comes to calcium, having twice the amount of it than cauliflower does. Calcium is important for our bone strength and density.
Cauliflower and broccoli are a weight-watcher’s delight as they are low in calories while being high in fiber, keeping you full for a long while. 100 gm of broccoli has 44 calories, while cauliflower has about 29 calories. Compare this with an amazing 312 calories in 100 gm of french fries. Three servings of these veggies each day can give you 25% of your daily protein intake. This is important especially if you’re vegan, because you might be getting less protein than you need.
Only cruciferous vegetables have sulfur-containing glucosinolates which are found to play an important part in preventing cancer. The Linus Pauling Institute of Research recommends at least 5 servings a week of these cruciferous vegetables to get their cancer fighting benefits. How exactly these prevent cancer is still a topic of research, but they are widely believed to play a role in controlling the body’s hormone levels. This is crucial in preventing hormone-related cancers like breast cancer which can be caused by high estrogen levels. It is also thought to play a role in controlling cell growth of cancer cells, preventing them from spreading.
Broccoli and cauliflower promote a healthy heart because they contain sulforaphane. Broccoli, in particular, is very high in sulforaphane. Atherosclerosis, the building up of plaque in the arteries, lead to them becoming constricted and ultimately resulting in a heart attack. Research has found that a protein called Nrf2 can prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. Studies have also shows that Nrf2 is missing in the areas where plaque has accumulated. Sulforaphane is found to activate this protein and clear up blocked arteries. Cauliflower is also a rich source of folate, vitamin B6 and B3 along with potassium which has been found to reverse artery damage. To reap their heart health benefits, remember to eat these vegetables lightly steamed or even raw.
Broccoli could hold the key for Alzheimer’s treatment methods. Researchers have found that sulforaphane can provide kick-start the body’s antioxidant mechanisms. These mechanisms can protect vital brain cells from getting attacked and destroyed by free radicals. Alzheimer’s is difficult to treat when behavioral changes are already underway. The Rochester Aging Study has found that eating these vegetables at an early stage or as a preventive measure improves memory and cognitive tests.