Cabbage is a top notch leafy vegetable superfood to eat for strengthening your immune system and protecting your body against cancer.
This is the third article in my series of superstar foods to include in your diet for vibrant health and wellness. If you are a vegetable lover like me you probably are already passionate about the earthy flavor and wonderful versatility of cabbage. If you are not familiar with using it, I hope that this article on cabbage and its great health benefits will encourage you to start eating and using cabbage in your recipes.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that has an impressive array of healing nutrients that can help you maintain vibrant health when eaten on a regular basis. I recommend trying to include cabbage and other members of the cruciferous family into your diet at least 3 to 5 times per week. The cruciferous family of vegetables contains more phytochemicals with anticancer properties than any other vegetable family.
Phytochemicals aka phytonutrients gives plants their beautiful color. Phytochemicals also function as chemicals that plants create to protect themselves from insects, pests, UV radiation, and photosynthesis. When we eat cabbage that contains phytochemicals, their protective benefits help protect our bodies.
There are numerous studies that look at how cabbage can help prevent cancer. The key anticancer phytochemicals in cabbage is glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are compounds that function as antioxidants that fight inflammation and free radical damage to our cells. Glucosinolates also function as detoxifiers that help the body to eliminate harmful toxins, chemicals, and hormones.
The top glucosinolates in cabbage include sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, di-indolmethane, indole-3-carbinol, and sinigrin.
Cabbage is a rich source of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, amino acids, and fiber.
Cabbage comes in many tasty varieties that I enjoy eating. Some of these varieties include:
Green Cabbage —Green cabbage has pale green leaves and a mild earthy flavor.
Red or Purple Cabbage —Red cabbage or purple cabbage has red or deep purple leaves and tastes like green cabbage. The deep rich color of this cabbage variety comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin. The addition of acid like lemon juice, vinegar, or wine will help this cabbage maintain its vibrant color.
Napa Cabbage—Napa cabbage is pale green in color with white stems and curly leaves. It is more delicate in texture and flavor than green cabbage.
Savoy Cabbage —Savoy cabbage has green crinkled leaves and a sweet, mild flavor that is great in a variety of recipes.
Cabbage is available year round. Some of the best methods for cooking cabbage include steaming, braising, lightly sautéing, and baking.
Cabbage does have goitrogenic compounds. If you have a history of thyroid disease eating raw cabbage in large amounts may affect thyroid function. Cooking cabbage will inactivate these goitrogenic compounds.
I will be posting recipes that feature cabbage so check for them.
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This post was shared on Fat Tuesday.
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods Authors- Michael Murray N.D., Joseph Pizzorno N.D., Lara Pizzorno M.A. L.M.T.