Cabbages are grown for their dense-leaved heads that are packed with nutrients and fiber and are low in calories. They belong to the cruciferous family which also includes cauliflower, kale and broccoli. Cabbages grow in various shapes (round to cone), sizes and colors (green, white, red and purple leaves). No matter the color of the cabbage you choose to eat, you can’t go wrong! This versatile vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked, and is often added to soups and stews.
Nutritional Content of Cabbage
Cabbage is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber. Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbages contain glucosinolates, sulphoraphane and indole-3-carbinol that are anti-carcinogenic. Cabbages also contain folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K, potassium and manganese in useful quantities.
Health Benefits of Cabbage
1.Inhibit Cancer Growth: Cabbages contain glucosinolates, sulfur-based compounds that have cancer-fighting properties. These glucosinolates become isothiocyanates in the body, which studies have shown inhibit the growth of a variety of cancer cells, including bladder, breast, colon and prostate cancer. In addition, the lupeol, diindolylmethane, sinigrin, indole-3-carbinol, and sulforaphane present in cabbages, may help defense enzymes and prevent tumor growth.
2. Treatment of Stomach Ulcers: A study at Stanford University revealed that cabbage juice was very effective as a natural remedy in the treatment of inflamed stomachs (peptic or gastric ulcers). The anti-inflammatory properties of cabbage are derived from the presence of glutamine which helps with inflammations of all types.
3. Eye Health: Cabbage is high in beta-carotenes which promotes good eye health and may help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
4. Weight Loss: Cabbage is a highly recommended diet choice for people looking to lose weight. It is mainly water, nutrient packed and has high amounts of fiber that make one feel satiated, yet has a very low calorific value of 33 calories per cooked cup.
5. Boosts the Immune System: Cabbages naturally boost the immune system owing to high levels of vitamin C, which helps the body rid of free radicals.
6. Nourished Skin: Vitamin C, anthocyanins, and sulfur, among other smaller quantities of antioxidants found in cabbage have free radicals fighting properties that detoxify the blood and play a major role in skin health and the general maintenance of body cells, keeping you young and healthy.
7. Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease: Research shows that the anthocyanins and vitamin K act as antioxidants in the brain by reducing plaques, thus helping in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. These compounds also maintain brain health.
8. Lowers Cholesterol: Cabbage is a super-food that is a natural and effective cholesterol reducer, by preventing bile from absorbing fat after a meal, which in turn lowers the amount of cholesterol in the body.
9. Relieves Constipation: Cabbage has a high fiber content which helps stimulate the digestive system, thus relieving constipation.
10. Healthy Bones: Like most cruciferous vegetables, cabbages contain adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium that are three essential minerals in the protection of bones from degradation, osteoporosis and general bone weakening.
11. Controls Blood Pressure: Cabbage boasts the presence of potassium which is a vasodilator, meaning it opens up the blood vessels, easing blood flow which protects the body from elevated blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke.