Properties and Benefits of Cabbage: Containing a perfect blend of powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients, cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata) is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Believe it or not, this common garden vegetable was found to lower blood cholesterol levels, detoxify the body and protect against Helicobacter pylori infection.
According to the medical community, the regular consumption of cabbage constitutes the best prevention method against several cancers such as breast, ovarian, colon, bladder and prostate cancer due to the vegetable having high levels of antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory compounds. Including cabbage in your diet constitutes a huge step forward towards the ultimate nutrition plan.
Everyone knows what cabbage looks like: a great, big, green and white ball (or head) of tightly wrapped leaves. There are, of course, variations in terms of color as well as leaf appearance such as red cabbage or spring greens, a type of cabbage with loose leaves. What does cabbage taste like? As you may already know, cabbage has a sweet taste both raw and cooked, with the mention that cabbage spines (the central part of the vegetable) may taste somewhat peppery. The leaves are quite tender and crunchy, breaking easily unless cooked.
The most popular cabbage varieties include:
1) White cabbage or Dutch cabbage, with light green leaves with patches of white.
2) Green cabbage, with dark green leaves.
3) Red or purple cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata rubra), with red-purple leaves.
4) Savoy (Brassica oleracea sabauda), with ruffled, dark green leaves.
A good reminder when it comes to cooking cabbage is to cook it as little as possible in order to lose as little nutrients as possible. Of course, you may encounter reluctance from your children’s part when it comes to eating veggies.
So I am going to tell you how my mother convinced my highly reluctant brother to eat cabbage: she made it into salad!
As delicious as it may be to stuff boiled cabbage leaves with meat, rice and spices, then simmer in water and fat for several hours, I recommend you try this cabbage salad recipe: wash your white cabbage well, grate it in a large bowl, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil (sunflower seeds, olive, linseed oil, you name it), one tablespoon vinegar (optional), one grated orange carrot, a pinch of salt and lots of finely chopped, fresh dill. It will speak for itself.
If you are not convinced yet, here are 5 amazing health benefits of eating cabbage:
1) Exceptional anticancer food. Cabbage contains 45 different flavonoids, notably quercetin and kaempferol as well as outstanding amounts of vitamins A, C and K, all powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumor agents.
All of these antioxidants clean our body of free radicals, dangerous reactive oxygen molecules which damage cells causing them to mutate and increase inflammation levels, two known factors which favor cancer debut. By adding up the individual activity of each of these antioxidants in cabbage, it has been concluded that regular consumption of the vegetable actively prevents bladder, breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer as well as endometrial, stomach and lung cancer.
2) Detoxifies the body. Cabbage boasts an excellent nutritional profile. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, a good source of fiber (2 g/100 g) and has no cholesterol and no unhealthy saturated fatty acids. Regular consumption promotes toxin elimination and, at the same time, helps strengthen the body due to its high vitamin and mineral content.
3) Protects against Helicobacter pylori, gastritis and ulcer. According to preliminary research, kaempferol and glucosinolates, natural compounds found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and mustard, have proven an efficient treatment against the gastritis and ulcer-causing stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Glucosinolates are released when crushing, chopping or chewing on raw cabbage leaves. Raw cabbage juice is a traditional remedy for treating ulcer.
4) Amazing vitamin content. Cabbage provides extraordinary amounts of vitamins A, C and K, all potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. Vitamin K (681%) also supports blood coagulation processes and calcium absorption in bones, reduces atherosclerosis risks and inflammation marker levels. Vitamin A (512%) is essential for good immunity because it protects the integrity of our mucous membranes, the parts most exposed to infectious agents.
Vitamin C (200%) helps prevent cardiovascular disease, stimulates immunity, reduces inflammation and prevents wrinkles.
5) Other health benefits. Considering it is rich in quercetin, cabbage contributes to the treatment of bladder infections, prostate inflammation as well as high blood cholesterol levels, allergies, hypertension and atherosclerosis.
The red-purple color of red cabbage indicates the presence of anthocyanins, another group of powerful antioxidants. Sour cabbage (Sauerkraut) is a traditional hangover treatment. Last but not least, cabbage is a good source of essential minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus which contribute to good overall health.
The truth is you will never see famous TV hosts praising cabbage for its extraordinary antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties or for its excellent nutritional profile. I mean, it’s cabbage. It will give you gas! They’d rather tell you about how you must have that one extract of some pricey, exotic fruit you can barely get your hands on.
It’s just like with medication: instead of paying less for the same active ingredient, you pay more for the brand giving you the exact same drug, just in a prettier bottle, under a different name. I say why not eat cabbage if it’s extremely healthy, cheap and easily available? Find a cabbage recipe you enjoy and include this healthy vegetable in your diet.