You won't throw away cauliflower leaves after reading this!

You won't throw away cauliflower leaves after reading this!

These cauliflower leaves are the richest sources of calcium in vegetables

Written by Bhakti Paun Sharma |Published : July 30, 2015 6:25 PM IST

Did you know you are discarding a rich source of calcium every time you clean your cauliflower? We are talking about the greens of the cauliflower leaves here. Niti Desai, a popular South Mumbai-based nutritionist, suggests that cauliflower leaves are one of the richest sources of calcium in vegetables.

Cauliflowers are a nutrition powerhouse!

A study [1] conducted in North India, showed improved levels of haemoglobin, serum retinol, height, weight and nutritional status in children when cauliflower leave supplements were added to their meals.

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Cauliflower leaves are rich in calcium and iron [2]. In fact, the leaves are one of the richest sources of calcium in vegetables. By virtue of being leaves, they are rich in fibre too. Foods rich in calcium and iron have several health benefits ranging for healthy bones, better immunity and high fibre content aids digestion and keeps the gut healthy. A 100g serving of cauliflower leaves has approximately 600mg of calcium in it.

Know more about how calcium-rich foods are beneficial to your health.

For those who are lactose intolerant or are unable to incorporate milk and other dairy products in their daily diets, cauliflower leaves can be a great source of calcium.

Select the leaves carefully

Choose the green, bright and tender variety of leaves that are free of blemishes. Pale colour or whitish yellow leaves may not be as appetizing as the green ones.

Wash the leaves thoroughly in fresh water before using them.

How to use them?

Cauliflower leaves are crunchy and have a mild flavor. Hence, they can be easily accommodated in many recipes. It can be consumed raw and in cooked form as the calcium and iron content of these leaves is not lost upon cooking.

Cauliflower leaves are great garnishes for soups, salads and stews. You can add them to any vegetable preparation. Replace methi or palak in your thepla and roti with cauliflower leaves to increase your intake of calcium and fibre.

Deepshika Agarwal, Mumbai-based dietician and sports nutritionist, suggests making a hariyali or green dal by adding methi or spinach leaves along with cauliflower leaves to tur (arhar) or moong dal.

You can also saut them in a little butter and season it with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some roasted white sesame seeds and you have a calcium rich salad ready. When roasted or saut ed with garlic or soy sauce, cauliflower leaves make a great side dish.

So the next time you see fresh and green cauliflower leaves, don t throw them in the trash, instead use them in your curries and stews for a calcium-rich diet.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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  1. Jood S1, Gupta M, Yadav SK, Khetarpaul N.Effect of supplementation on haemoglobin and serum retinol levels and nutritional status of school children of northern India. Nutri Health. 2001;15(2):97-111. (improved the Hb, serum retinol, height, weight and nutritional status)
  2. G. Singh, Asha Kawatra, S. Sehgal. Nutritional composition of selected green leafy vegetables, herbs and carrots. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2001, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 359-364 (beta carotene and iron)