Cabbage is part of the robust cruciferous family of vegetables. These vegetables are known to be particularly helpful in supporting the body against inflammation, and in neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells. Cabbage has these same benefits, and more!
Here are five reasons to add cabbage to your healthy dietary lifestyle…
- Heart health and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Steaming cabbage allows the fiber in the cabbage to more easily bind with the bile acids in the digestive tract, which helps the bile acids to be excreted and results in reduced cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol levels can help heart health. (Raw cabbage also reduces cholesterol levels, but not as much as steamed cabbage)
- Cabbage has an effect on cancer. Cabbage contains a high amount of a glucosinolates, particularly sinigrin. The sinigrin can be converted into AITC (allyl-isothiocyanate). Research has shown that AITC can possibly prevent such cancers as bladder, breast, colon and prostate cancer. Savoy cabbage has a particularly high content of sinigrin.
- Cabbage is good for digestion. Isothiocyanates (ITCs), antioxidant polyphenols and glutamine found in cabbage can help to regulate bacteria in the stomach. The fiber in cabbage helps with elimination of waster products through the bowels.
- Cabbage contains three particular types of nutrients.
Anti-inflammatory nutrients – polyphenols and anthocyanins found in the color pigment of red cabbage (both are also antioxidants)
Antioxidant nutrients: polyphenols, anthocyanins, Vitamin C, thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane
Glucosinolates nutrients – compounds that possibly prevent cancer
- Cabbage contains many other nutrients that our bodies need:
- B vitamins – pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), thiamine (B1). Pantothenic acid is a co-enzyme necessary for the body to metablize carbohydrates, protein and fat. Pyridoxine promotes healthy cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems. Thiamine is vital for metabolism and for normal functioning of the nervous system.
- Minerals – calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and magnesium. Calcium is important for bone health and the pH balance of the blood. Potassium is important for body fluids and the cardiovascular system. Iron is necessary for our blood to transport oxygen to the organs. Manganese is a co-factor in the production of collagen which helps keep our skin healthy. Magnesium is essential for nerves, muscles, bones and teeth.
- Vitamin K, which regulates normal blood clotting, helps kidney functioning and helps limit neuron damage in the brain.
- Other vitamins and minerals found in cabbage are copper, choline, phosphorous, selenium and vitamin B3.
Cooking methods and time make a difference in the nutrition of cabbage. Tests have shown that microwaving cabbage destroys the nutrients much faster than steaming cabbage. One study found that raw cabbage and cabbage cooked for a short period of time had cancer preventing benefits, whereas cabbage cooked for a long period of time had no cancer preventing benefits.
Cabbage is a great bargain – very reasonably priced, chock full of nutrition and readily available all year long! It is incredibly versatile too. It can be eaten raw in a variety of salads, lightly steamed, stir fried or added to soups. Cabbage can add an extra boost of nutrition to an already healthy dietary lifestyle!
Are you interested in more information on how to boost your immune system or get rid of inflammation by harnessing the power of nutrition? Contact me, and let’s get you the information you need to make a difference in your health!
© 2014 Cathy Ormon Health Coach. All rights reserved.