Cauliflower is an edible root vegetable belonging to the genus Brassica of the Brassicaceae family. It is eaten both as a vegetable and salad. They provide many health and beauty benefits as they are loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc. However, it is important to eat them in moderation as there are some side effects of eating too many cauliflowers.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Cauliflowers
Following are the major side effects of eating too many cauliflowers.
(1) Not So Good For Our Digestive System
Cauliflowers contain dietary fibers that improve bowel movement and relieve constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
However, excessive fiber may over-stimulate the bowel and cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, poor absorption of nutrients, constipation, intestinal gas, and intestinal blockage, etc.
Sulfur compounds like glucosinolates in cauliflower produce hydrogen sulfide in our stomach and cause abdominal pain, discomfort, gas, and bloating.
They are responsible for the smelly farts that we pass after eating cauliflower.
(2) Eating Cauliflowers During Pregnancy And Nursing
Cauliflowers contain many healthy compounds like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers, etc. These compounds play an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and other relevant compounds like carotenoids, flavonoids, etc in cauliflower protect the fetus from free radical damage.
Folic acid in the cauliflower reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida and helps in the brain development of the fetus.
Cauliflower regulates blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
However, overeating cauliflowers during pregnancy may have an adverse effect.
Excessive dietary fibers may cause gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, indigestion, intestinal gas, intestinal pain, and diarrhea, etc, in pregnant women.
Sulfur compounds like glucosinolates in cauliflower may cause flatulence, pain, and discomfort in the stomach.
Consult with your doctor before eating cauliflowers during pregnancy to ensure there’s no food-drug intolerance and no complications involved.
Nursing mothers should be cautious of eating gassy vegetables such as cauliflowers and cabbage as they may cause colic in the babies.
Consult with your doctor before adding cauliflowers to the diet.
(3) Cauliflower And Blood Sugar Regulation
With an exceptionally low glycemic index of 10, cauliflower reduces the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream, and prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level. This helps in managing diabetes.
Dietary fibers in cauliflower reduce the rate at which sugar is absorbed by the bloodstream, and regulates blood sugar levels.
But still, eat cauliflowers in moderation as otherwise, they may drop blood sugar below the normal level and cause excessive hunger, excessive sweating, shakiness, dizziness, fast heartbeat, confusion, moodiness, and irritability, etc.
Cauliflower may interfere with diabetic medication.
If you take diabetic medication, eat cauliflowers after consulting with your doctor to ensure there is no food-drug intolerance.
(4) Cauliflowers And Hypertension
Hypertension is a common health problem that affects millions around the world and is a major cause of several cardiovascular issues.
When consumed moderately, cauliflower helps in regulating high blood pressure as it contains potassium.
Potassium is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Avoid eating too many cauliflowers as the high potassium level may drop blood pressure abnormally and may cause nausea, dizziness, dehydration, poor concentration, fainting, blurred vision, or pale skin, etc.
If you take blood pressure medication, consult your doctor before adding cauliflowers to your diet. This is to ensure there is no food-drug intolerance risk.
(5) Antioxidant Overload
Cauliflowers are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and other relevant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids. These antioxidants protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of several cancers.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that steal electrons from neighboring molecules to stabilize themselves, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
At moderate levels, antioxidants react with the free radicals in our body, but in large doses, they may react with the healthy cells, and increase the risk of cancers.
As per a 2011 study involving 35,500 men vitamin E overdose may increase prostate cancer risk by 17 percent.
According to a study by the National Cancer Institute, smokers who took high doses of beta-carotene supplements were at higher risk of developing lung cancer in comparison to smokers who didn’t.
As per a study by the Office of dietary supplements, high doses of vitamin E increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Keep the above points in mind while eating cauliflower or other antioxidant-rich food items.
If you take antioxidant supplements, eat cauliflowers after consulting with your doctor to ensure safety.
Stick with the serving recommendation prescribed by the doctor and don’t overeat.
(6) May Cause Allergic Reactions
Cauliflower may cause allergic reactions like severe itching, swelling of hands and face, difficulty in breathing, etc, in some individuals.
If you are allergic to cauliflower, you are likely to be allergic to other members of the Brassicaceae family such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage, etc.
Avoid cauliflowers if you are allergic to them ( or to any other member of the Brassicaceae family).
(7) May Increase The Risk of Kidney Stones
At moderate levels, cauliflowers are good for the kidneys as they contain antioxidants that protect our kidneys from free radical damage and dietary fibers that eliminate toxins and help our kidneys.
However, cauliflower also contains organic compounds called purines. During digestion, our body breaks down purines to form uric acid.
Avoid eating too many cauliflowers as high amounts of purines may increase the formation of uric acid crystals in our joints, and cause kidney stones and gouts.
If you are on medication for treating kidney stones, don’t eat cauliflowers before consulting with your doctor.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.