Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) is the vegetable in the Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae) family, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Cauliflower is a white vegetable that bears large rounded leaves that resemble collards. This vegetable is grown for its edible head. The head is actually a mass of sterile flowers. It was originally grown in Asia around the Mediterranean Sea.
Cauliflower is naturally high in fiber. There are 2 g of fiber in 100 g (3.5 oz) of cauliflower. Dietary fiber (8% daily value [DV]) lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure by improving insulin sensitivity. Cauliflower also contains high amounts of the antioxidant, vitamin C (80% DV). Vitamin C is an important nutrient involved in collagen production. Collagen is a component of skin, muscles, and other connective tissues.
Cauliflower is also bestowed with folate (9% DV). Folate (or vitamin B9) is necessary for healthy red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy. Cauliflower also contains high amounts of vitamin K (19%). Vitamin K (or phylloquinone) plays a vital role in bone health. This is because vitamin K has a positive effect on calcium, which gives bones their strength and structure.