Cauliflower is a bit of a superfood. It’s incredibly nutrient-dense, which gives it a whole range of health benefits. Plus, it’s filling and low in calories and carbohydrates, so it’s a perfect addition to any low-carb diet.

But, it can sometimes be tricky to come up with new, fun, and tasty ways to incorporate cauliflower into your diet – especially if you’re looking to replace high-carb staples, like potatoes and pasta.

So, to help, we’ve put together some ideas for delicious, low-carb, cauliflower-centric meals. We’ll also look at a few of cauliflower’s incredible health benefits.

7 important health benefits of cauliflower

important health benefits of cauliflower

1. Cauliflower helps to keep the digestive system healthy

Eating cauliflower regularly can be beneficial for our digestive systems, particularly due to its high fibre content. In fact, there are around 3g of fibre in one cup of cauliflower; which equates to 10% of our daily recommended intake.

A diet that’s high in fibre can help waste to move smoothly through the body; reducing the likelihood and symptoms of constipation, as well as the risk of some gastrointestinal conditions like haemorrhoids and diverticula. Some experts even believe that it can help to protect us against colorectal cancer, though this association is controversial.

Cauliflower also has a high water content, which not only helps to keep you hydrated but prevents constipation too.

2. Cauliflower may reduce the risk of cancer

Cauliflowers contain a variety of chemical compounds, which studies have shown may inhibit the development of a range of different forms of cancer – including cancer of the breast, liver, and colon.

Two of the most important of these compounds are indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which can also be found in a range of other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and radishes.

3. Cauliflower may improve memory, mood, and muscle control

Choline is a nutrient that, among other things, plays an important role in producing the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a ‘chemical messenger’ that carries signals between nerves that affect our memory, mood, and muscle control.

Studies have shown that getting enough choline through our diet may lead to a sharper memory and reduced symptoms of anxietyResearch also indicates that it contributes to proper muscle growth and function.

Choline is found in animal products like chicken, fish, pork, and eggs – though you can also get it by eating vegetables such as broccoli, peas, and cauliflower. Cauliflower contains approximately 45mg of choline per 100g, which is 8-10% of our daily recommended intake.

4. Cauliflower can improve heart health and circulation

Cauliflower is also a good addition to your diet if you’re looking to keep your heart and circulatory system healthy.

As we’ve already discussed, it contains sulforaphane. In addition to possibly slowing the progression of certain types of cancer, studies have indicated that sulforaphane may reduce inflammation in our arteries, therefore lowering the risk of cardiovascular conditions like hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Cauliflower’s high fibre content can also be beneficial for our heart and circulatory system. Research has found that a high fibre diet is linked to a reduction in various risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure.

Cauliflower can improve heart health and circulation

5. Cauliflower can boost immunity

Cauliflower is bursting with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Although, one of the most important for our health is vitamin C.

Getting enough vitamin C through our diet has been linked to a number of health benefits. For example, it’s thought to lower our risk of developing conditions like dementia and cardiovascular disease. Although, it’s perhaps most well known for its immunity-boosting properties.

Vitamin C is involved in the production, protection, and function of phagocytes and lymphocytes; white blood cells that work to defend our bodies from infection. It also plays a crucial role in our skin’s defence system.

6. Cauliflower may help to maintain bone strength

Cauliflower is one of the best things you can incorporate into your diet if you’re looking to boost your vitamin K intake. Getting enough vitamin K in our diet is important for a variety of reasons – the most important being that it helps to improve bone strength.

Various studies have shown that vitamin K deficiency causes a reduction in bone mineral density and therefore increases the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. This is because vitamin K helps our body to metabolise calcium – the primary mineral that makes up our bones.

It’s worth mentioning that there are two main types of vitamin K: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 (which is found in some animal products and fermented foods) is primarily associated with bone health, while vitamin K1 (the one present in cauliflower) has less of an association. But, research has shown that a deficiency in both can negatively affect the strength of our bones – so it’s important to get enough of each.

7. Cauliflower can help you to maintain a healthy weight

As well as being packed with a variety of vitamins and nutrients that help to keep us healthy, introducing more cauliflower to your diet is also a great choice for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

There are a couple of reasons for this. With only 25 calories per 100g, cauliflower is easy on the waistline. But, due to its high fibre and water content, it also fills you up. These two facts are a match made in heaven if you’re looking to lose weight because you can use it as a substitute for high-calorie, starchy foods like potatoes and rice, without having to go hungry.

Keep reading to find out some tasty, low-carb ways to include more cauliflower in your diet.

How to make tasty low-carb dishes with cauliflower

How to make tasty low-carb dishes with cauliflower

Low-carb diets have been a go-to in the weight loss community for decades. Cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates we consume and focusing primarily on whole foods that are rich in protein and fat can really help us to shed pounds.

And low-carb diets aren’t only used for weight loss. In fact, when done correctly, they can also reduce your risk of developing various conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

However, when it comes to taste, texture, and whether or not something fills you up, it can be difficult to find satisfying substitutes for all our favourite carby staples. But cauliflower is fast becoming a fundamental part of the low-carb diet.

So, to help get you inspired, we’ve pulled together a list of tasty low-carb cauliflower dishes. And for more information and advice on low-carb diets, why not check out the Mayo Clinic website?

Note: Always remember to speak to your GP first before making major changes to your diet.

1. Cauliflower mash

If you’re swapping to a low-carb diet, then the thought of having your bangers without any mash might seem a little unexciting. Though, this creamy cauliflower mash recipe from The Kitchn (which uses pre-riced cauliflower) will more than make up for it. You can customise it with cheese, parsley, or whatever you like.

2. Cauliflower hash browns

Often, when we wake up in the morning, all we want is something satisfying to set us up for the day – but heavy, starchy options like potatoes and bread can sometimes feel unappealing.

If this sounds familiar then look no further than these cauliflower hash browns from A Sweet Pea Chef. Tasty and light, yet filling, they’ll only take you 15 minutes to put together.

3. Cauliflower potato salad

If you’re looking for a sumptuous side to go with your summer barbeque, why not give this cauliflower potato salad from Tasty a try? Despite the somewhat misleading name, it’s made without potatoes – and it’s so good, you won’t miss them!

4. Cauliflower soup

Who says cauliflower has to be a substitute for things like meat and potatoes? In fact, there are a variety of cauliflower soup recipes that’ll show you it can be the star of the show in its own right.

This cream of cauliflower soup recipe from Gordon Ramsey is smooth and velvety, while this Tuscan cauliflower soup from PunchFork is chunky and hearty.

5. Cauliflower buffalo wings

A favourite among lovers of spice and sport for decades, buffalo wings are a great low-carb snack for parties and gatherings. Although, if you follow a plant-based diet, it can be difficult to find satisfying snacks that aren’t high in carbs. But look no further than these cauliflower buffalo wings from Sandhya’s Kitchen.

Hot, tasty, and tangy, buffalo wings always hit the spot – and with its stringy texture, cauliflower makes a great substitute for real chicken wings, so meat eaters will be happy too.

6. Cauliflower arancini

Usually made with rice, arancini are crunchy, cheesy delights that are perfect as a starter or a side dish – and these cauliflower alternatives are no different.

This recipe from Kitchen Sanctuary will show you how to make some regular-sized ones, while this one from Spoon Fork Bacon supersizes things. Both are baked instead of fried, so you can cook them in the oven.

7. Cauliflower lasagna

Potatoes and rice aren’t the only carbs that cauliflower can stand in for – just try this lasagna recipe from The Spruce Eats, which uses thinly sliced cauliflower instead of pasta sheets. Try squeezing out the moisture from the cauliflower before cooking to give it more of a pasta-like consistency.

8. Cauliflower shepherd’s/cottage pie

Shepherd’s and cottage pies are the ultimate British comfort food, and if you’re following a low-carb diet, there’s no reason why you should miss out. So why not give this cauliflower shepherd’s pie from Eating Well and/or this cauliflower cottage pie from Taste a try?

If you follow a plant-based diet, why not try this vegan option from Delicious Everyday?

9. Cauliflower crust pizza

Probably the most see-it-to-believe-it (or taste-it-to-believe-it) entry on this list, cauliflower crust pizza has become somewhat of a phenomenon in the culinary world over the past few years.

Instead of traditional dough, this pizza base from BBC Good Food is made by whizzing up cauliflower and almonds in a food processor, before mixing with eggs and baking in the oven. Then, once the base is cooked, just finish with sauce, cheese, and all your favourite toppings.

10. Cauliflower rice pudding

And finally, something sweet to finish off. This simple and tasty cauliflower rice pudding recipe from My Keto Kitchen is creamy, delicious, and not as unusual as it sounds! Flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla, it’s best served warm.

Final thoughts…

From helping to maintain our immune system to boosting our memory, eating cauliflower has a range of health benefits. Plus, there are plenty of tasty ways to incorporate it into meals as part of a healthy, low-carb diet – whether you’re looking for a starter, side, main course, or even a dessert.

For more nutritional advice and information, head on over to the health section of our website. And, to get some more recipe ideas, why not visit our food and drinks section?