Life Extension Magazine®

Multiple heads of cauliflower high in vitamins and low on calories


Cauliflower is low in calories and carbs and high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Studies link it to lower risk of overall mortality, especially death from cardiovascular disease.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, in August 2023. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

Cauliflower has been a dinner staple for hundreds of years, but its popularity has recently increased with the invention of a new way to eat it: as cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice has the look and feel of rice, but is low in calories and carbs, and high in vitamins and minerals. But whether you’re eating it steamed, roasted, or as a rice substitute, cauliflower’s health benefits remain the same.

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables.

The health benefits of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are due in part to their phytochemicals, which have been shown to help induce detoxification, stimulate immune function, decrease the risk of certain cancers, inhibit DNA mutations, and reduce the proliferation of cancer cells.1

Cauliflower is also rich in glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds regarded as promising tools that reduce free-radical damage.2

Studies have also shown that compared to those with the lowest intake, people who eat the most cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, have a decreased risk of overall mortality, especially death from cardiovascular disease.3

To make cauliflower rice, grate the cauliflower head using a box grater, then press it into an absorbent towel to remove excess moisture. It can be eaten raw or used as a rice substitute in dishes like stir-fries, risotto, tabouleh, or casseroles.


  1. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(4):389-95.
  2. Food Chemistry. 2012 2012/05/15/;132(2):1003-9.
  3. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul;94(1):240-6.