Let’s get straight to the question — is cauliflower a starch vegetable? Well, cauliflower is a starch but before we elaborate further, let us first talk about what exactly is a starch. Starch is a carbohydrate, an important source of energy for the body and a preferred one for the brain. This food component is broken down by an enzyme called amylase and converted into single sugars like glucose, during the digestion process. They are one of the three types of carbohydrates, in addition to fiber and sugars.
What Is Starch?
Starch is a complex carbohydrate. Plants often form starches by stringing large numbers of sugar molecules together. Unlike sugar, starches do not taste sweet. As they go through the digestive process, they raise the blood sugar levels but not as quickly as sugars do, because they take longer to be digested.
Resistant starch, a kind of starch, is more of a dietary fiber because it cannot be digested into the small intestine and is instead, partially digested by a bacteria in the large intestine. It is found in some bread, vegetables and cooked cereals and pasta.
Other Starchy Foods
Health experts recommend us to limit the consumption of starchy foods. Some of the starch-rich foods are legumes, grains, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and peas. These foods often contain some amount of sugar and fiber as well as starch.
Cauliflower In A Low Starch Diet
Starches are the complex carbohydrates and are useful as a low starch dietary supplement. Limiting the consumption of various high-starch foods helps in sticking to a low-carbohydrate diet that helps lose weight and control blood sugar levels.
Cauliflower is a low-starch food that adds important nutrients, like vitamin C to the diet. A low-starch diet reduces or eliminates the weight gained by starchy foods including grains, bread, rice, cereal, pasta, and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and peas. So, the next time someone asks — is cauliflower a starchy vegetable, you know what should you say.
When choosing starchy foods, it is better to opt for those that contain higher amounts of fiber than those made of refined grains. Fiber helps slow down the digestive process, keeping the stomach full for longer and limiting the rise in the blood sugar. It lowers your risk for some health conditions, including heart disease, constipation, diverticulitis and high cholesterol.
How To Cook Cauliflower?
Here are some healthy ways to cook a cauliflower:
1. Cook As A Wheat & Rice Substitute
A cup of cooked cauliflower contains-
- 6 grams of total carbohydrates
- 3 grams of natural sugars
- 4 grams of dietary fiber and almost no starch
Since starch is a type of a carbohydrate, the less quantity starch makes the cauliflower a great food for the“low-carb” weight-loss diet. Also, the dietary fiber found in cauliflower promotes weight control as well. Use cauliflower as a low-starch alternative to rice or bread with the main course.
2. Prepare As A Potato & Pasta Substitute
Substituting cooked cauliflower for higher-starch foods, like potatoes and pasta will facilitate in lowering the carbohydrate consumption and assist in reducing weight. Every cup of cooked pasta has 36 grams of starch, and a medium baked potato contains 30 grams of starch. To create a low-starch cold dish, use fried cauliflower rather than food or potatoes, and substitute light plain yogurt for salad dressing.
3. As A Munching Substitute
Cauliflower could also be a low-starch option between the meals. Snack on the cauliflower florets instead of the crunchy, high-starch snacks, such like potato, pretzels or crackers. Dip cauliflower into nutritious spreads like garlic, balsamic vinegar, red peppers, bean dip, garbanzo beans, guacamole and hummus, etc. Fat-free plain yogurt is also an amazing option.
4. As A Healthy Food Option
To limit the starch consumption, cook cauliflower without any bread. Although a low-starch diet may have some benefits, many high starch content foods are nutrient-rich and must be a part of a balanced diet. Whole grains like whole-wheat pasta and bread, brown rice, and oatmeal, can lower the risk for type-2 diabetes and heart disease if consumed instead of the refined grains. Starchy vegetables like corn and peas, sweet potatoes, are high in fiber and potassium.
Top 5 Health Benefits Of Cauliflower
Other than being a great dietary food and a low-starch supplement, it is also considered to be a superfood. Here’s why?
1. Packed With Anti-Inflammatory Properties
If the immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when there is no threat present, that may lead to some serious inflammation-related damage to the body. However, cauliflower contains a lot of anti-inflammatory nutrients that helps keep this inflammation in check.
2. Enriched With Vital Vitamins & Minerals
Eating some cauliflower daily is an easy and simple way to get the much-needed nutrients into your body that is usually sidelined. For example, one serving of cauliflower contains up to 77% of the recommended everyday quantity of vitamin C. It is a good source of manganese, fiber, protein, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, and vitamin K.
3. Boosts The Brain’s Health
Cauliflower is also a good source of choline, a B vitamin that is known for its role in the development of the brain. It might also diminish the age-related memory loss and the brain’s vulnerability to the toxins during the childhood, as well as conferring protection in the later life.
4. Detoxification Support
Cauliflower helps the body’s ability to detoxify and remove the waste in some ways. It contains antioxidants that support the Phase 1 detoxification. It also has sulfur-containing nutrients that are important for the Phase 2 detox activities. The presence of glucosinolates in cauliflower also helps in the activation of the detoxification enzymes.
5. Loaded With Digestive Benefits
Cauliflower is an important source of dietary fiber when it comes to digestive health. It is already established that it is a low starch food. But, being a green leafy vegetable, it is rich in fiber that helps in the proper movements of bowels.
In so many ways, cauliflower not only helps in losing weight but also supplements with all the important nutrients that last for a lifetime.