They may look similar, but do you know what the similarities and differences between cauliflower and broccoli are? There’s no doubt that both vegetables are super healthy and jam-packed with nutrients, but which of them is actually better for your health?
Brisbane-based nutritionist Alessandra Trovato exclusively spoke to Starts at 60 about the real health benefits of broccoli and cauliflower and how to make the most of them.
Members of the brassica family, both veggies are rich in vitamins C and K, however broccoli beats cauliflower in this respect as it has a higher nutrient content. Broccoli also provides more minerals and fibre, and also contains vitamin A which is not found in cauliflower.
“Broccoli is known as a super veggie due to it being high in beneficial nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, manganese, and potassium. Broccoli also contains a high amount of protein,” Alessandra explains.
However, cauliflower is also a great source of protein, folate, manganese, potassium and fibre, which is essential for digestive health. Alessandro added: “Cauliflower is [also] loaded with antioxidants which are key for reducing inflammation and protecting you against chronic diseases.”
And thanks to their endless nutrients, these cruciferous veggies come with an array of health benefits. Both veggies are low in calories, making them a fantastic snack for anyone watching their weight, and both are packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for the health of your heart.
Broccoli specifically is great for eye health, Alessandra says, adding: “Broccoli contains several carotenoids which are plant compounds which may improve eye health and reduce the risk of eye related diseases.”
Broccoli and cauliflower both contain compounds that can help prevent the development of some cancers. “Broccoli contains a unique family of plant compounds called isothiocyanate which improve many risk factors for disease and may reduce the risk of cancer,” she says.
So, which is healthier overall, broccoli or cauliflower?
“Both broccoli and cauliflower are nutritionally very similar and both should be included in your diet. However the overall winner is broccoli,” she explains.
It’s easy to fall in the same old pattern with broccoli and cauliflower – steamed with a little oil or butter? However Alessandra recommends adding broccoli into a variety of dishes such as stir fries and pastas. Meanwhile, she says cauliflower can be designed into a variety of foods including rice, pizza crust, hummus and mash.