Is romanesco good for you? At first glance of the ORAC value, you would probably conclude it's a terrible choice. In its raw form, a reading of 136 is even less than a crispy chicken sandwich from McDonald's. But when you boil romanesco or broccoflower as it is called, you get an ORAC value which is 10x as much than when it's raw, coming in at 1,387.
How does that make sense when fresh vegetables are supposed to be more nutritious than baking or boiling them?
The reason is simple. It's not that the amount of antioxidants is going up, but rather the density of the food is. When you boil or cook broccoflower, the size or mass of it is a tiny fraction of what a fresh head looks like. That's why the ORAC is exponentially higher when it's cooked versus raw.
Therefore in its most common form - cooked - green cauliflower has about 10x more antioxidant activity than that McDonald's sandwich. Sorry if you were hopeful that the prior statement about it meant justification for chowing down on one, because it doesn't!
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010