Cabbage is one of my favourite vegetables, it is so versatile and budget friendly especially now (beginning of 2016) when the price of vegetables has skyrocketed! Not only that, there are several varieties and colours to choose from, including green, purple and white, Napa, Savoy, Bok Choy to name a few, so you never get bored! From making a salad to a main dish or side, there are so many delicious cabbage recipes to choose from. I find I am including this wonderful cruciferous counterpart in several of my weekly meals! The cabbage is part of the Brassica plant family which include cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale and broccoli. Cabbage in particular provides very unique health benefits and I will discuss some of those in this post.
- Cabbage has some of the highest amounts of the most powerful antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables – phytonutrients that aid in the fight against cancer by stimulating detoxifying enzymes. Research has shown these compounds protect against several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, the antioxidant compounds found in the glucosinolates after the cabbage has been chewed and digested, might help prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth and migration of tumor cells and by triggering the death of potentially cancerous cells.
- These antioxidants may also help lower the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad cholesterol” levels in blood, which can build up in arteries and cause heart disease.
- The brightly colored and beautiful Purple Cabbage contains anthocyanins, which have been proven to have anti-carcinogenic properties, anti-inflamitory properties and may improve cardiovascular health.
- One serving or one cup of cabbage provides a person with 54 percent of the daily required value of the Vitamin C!! Can you believe that? Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infections and scavenging, harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
- One serving or one cup of cabbage provides a person with 85 percent of the daily required value of Vitamin K. Enough vitamin K in the diet helps to make your bones stronger, healthier and delays osteoporosis. It also plays a key role in helping your blood to clot, preventing excessive bleeding.
- Cabbage is also an excellent source of vitamin B6, folate, and manganese, as well as healthy amounts of thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). It also provides iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium for strong bones, and potassium for regulating the heart rate and blood pressure. Who would have thought? Certainly not me!
- Adequate fiber is another benefit of eating cabbage on a regular basis (it keeps you regular, lol pun intended!). Because it has a high water content, along with the fiber and absence of any fat and cholesterol, it is a dream food for anyone wanting to lose weight. Cabbage contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber intake is linked to a lower risk of diabetes and high blood cholesterol, while insoluble fiber can help regulate bowel movements. A diet that incorporates plenty of fiber-rich foods may also help prevent cancer, obesity, heart disease, hemorrhoids, constipation and diverticulosis.
- Sauerkraut, people, you can make sauerkraut with cabbage ( I add garlic and sometimes carrots to my batches). If you didn’t know, Sauerkraut has been proven to have one of the highest counts of probiotics (good bacteria) in just about any food. Around 80% of your immune system in generated in your gut, so making sure you get adequate probiotics is so very important. I will be making another batch of sauerkraut soon so I will post my recipe and instructions here, so keep a look out 🙂
On a personal note: For supper tonight I am making one of my favourite meals, Cabbage Roll Casserole. It is so quick, easy and tasty. Brown 1 lb of grass fed hamburg with some onion and garlic, add 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes and one small can or organic tomato paste. Chop up one large head of cabbage (today I used half a red cabbage and half a green cabbage) and add to the pot. Add some organic beef broth and some herbs (today I just added dried basil and thyme). Bring to a boil then simmer for about half an hour or until the cabbage is cooked to your liking. You can add some rice with it if you like but I prefer not to. Then enjoy!
Cabbage is truly a stomach’s best friend!