The first thing that comes to mind, when talking of cabbage is that it is one of the veggies that is tossed in salads, or thrown in soup or is a part of the most loved Chinese food. But the versatility of this vegetable just doesn’t stop there. Cabbage belongs to the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. You can find this multi-layered vegetable in amazingly green, red, and purple colors. You can eat it raw or in cooked form, or simply make a juice out of it. This cruciferous vegetable is loaded with health, packed with essential vitamins such as C, K; folate, minerals like calcium, potassium, iodine, and phosphorus. Furthermore, cabbage has been grown for centuries in many parts of the world. In old times Romans used it to beat their hangovers and Koreans used it to treat skin ailments.
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Nutritional Facts of Cabbage
1 cup of shredded cabbage (70 grams) contains:
|Vit C||26 micrograms|
|Vit K||53 micrograms|
Top 9 Benefits of Cabbage
Check out the 9 good reasons, why cabbage deserves a place in your plate:
#1 Good for your gut
With cabbage being high in fiber and water content, it helps propel food through your digestive tract and aid normal bowel movement. It is even healthier if cabbage is consumed in fermented form where it acts as a probiotic, rich in good bacteria which keeps the gut healthy. Cabbage also helps relieve symptoms of gastritis (inflammation in stomach wall), stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) due to its high fiber content.
#2 Keeps your heart healthy
Cabbage helps lower cholesterol level in your body and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and helps regulate blood pressure. Studies have shown that cabbage contains flavonoids and phenols that are good for the heart. It also protects one against the oxidative stress that has an important role in the development of heart diseases such as ischemia (lack of oxygen supply to heart muscles), and heart attack.
#3 Eat Cabbage for brain health
Cabbage, especially the red variety contains vitamin K and an antioxidant called anthocyanin that helps improve your brain function. These nutrients prevent damage to the nerves and enhance memory. Cabbage consumption may prevent you from developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia (memory impairment). Consuming fermented forms of cabbage such as Sauerkraut and Kimchi are found to have beneficial effects on cognitive function as well.
#4 Immunity Booster
High vitamin C content in cabbage imparts immunity-boosting property to it. A strong immune system fights against diseases by killing harmful bacteria and viruses and helps you stay healthy.
#5 Helps keep Cancer at bay
Studies have shown that consumption of cruciferous vegetables lower the risk of certain types of cancers including cancer of colon, breast, lungs, and prostate. Anti-cancer property of cabbage is due to its rich content of nutrients like glucosinolates, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents. Sulforaphane, lupeol, and sinigrin found in cabbage help fight cancer cells. A powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin which is abundantly present in red cabbage is shown to have anti-cancer properties as it not only destroys already formed cancer cells but also prevents the formation of new cancer cells in the body.
#6 Helps reducing inflammation
Cabbage contains myriads of anti-inflammatory agents that help fight inflammation in your body. This eases allergy, helps relieve joint pain, and has a beneficial effect on arthritis. Because of its anti-inflammatory property cabbage is used as a herbal treatment for inflammatory diseases like stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and mastitis (inflammatory condition of breast cells). Cabbage is also found to have beneficial effects in contact dermatitis (an inflammatory condition of the skin).
#7 Good for Diabetics
According to a study, eating a cabbage rich diet reduces your chance of getting type 2 diabetes due to its high antioxidant as well as high fiber content. Eating red cabbage may alleviate diabetes and its associated complications.
#8 Cabbage for healthy skin
Eat cabbage regularly for healthy skin as it is packed with antioxidants that reduce free radicals responsible for ageing of your skin and skin discoloration. Eating cabbage can have beneficial effects on skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. It also improves skin problems, including xeroderma and acne.
#9 Helps in weight loss
Cabbage being leafy in nature is low in calories. Including cabbage in your weight loss diet is a great idea. Including cabbage soup in your diet will not only curb your hunger but also aids indigestion while providing health benefits.
2 Wholesome Recipes with Cabbage
Whether you stir fry, steam it, cook it, or just have it raw, cabbage gives a delightful taste to your tongue. Check out the wonderful recipes using cabbage, to add variety with the goodness of health.
#1 Lemon Garlic Sautéed Cabbage
From all types of cooking methods, sauté is considered to be the healthiest way of cooking cabbage, as it cooks the vegetable to the desired extent while keeping its nutrient content intact. This recipe is another tastier and healthier version to the Indian style of cooking cabbage.
- Shredded cabbage- 2 cups
- Extra-virgin olive oil: 1 tsp
- Minced garlic: 1 tbsp
- Red pepper flakes (crushed): Pinch
- Black pepper- 0.25 tsp
- Salt: According to taste
- Lemon: 1 tsp
- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium flame.
- Add minced garlic and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add cabbage, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes. Toss well.
- saute for 2 mins till cabbage is slightly cooked but not soft.
- Turn off the flame. Squeeze lemon juice and mix.
- Serve hot.
#2 Healthy Cabbage and Chicken Soup
This is a great preparation as it is low in calories, healthy, and filling.
- Oil- 1 tbsp
- Skinless chicken breast- 200 grams
- Red pepper flakes: 2 tsp
- Salt: According to taste
- Black pepper (ground): Half teaspoon
- Chicken broth- 8 cups
- Cabbage (1 medium-sized head): Torn into bite-sized chunks
- Celery (diced): 3/4 cup
- Green pepper (diced): 1/2 cup
- Onion (coarsely chopped): 1
- Garlic cloves (coarsely chopped): 8
- Green beans: 1/2 cup
- Chopped tomatoes: 1, medium
- Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp, chopped
- Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Place the chicken breast along with some salt, chili flakes, and pepper.
- Cook both sides until done. Keep aside.
- Now, take a heavy-bottomed pan. Heat the remaining oil and saute all the chopped vegetables.
- Stir in the chicken broth and add in the cooked and chopped chicken and seasoning.
- Bring the mixture to boil and then reduce the flame.
- Simmer for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Once done, garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot.
Cabbage is as nutritious as its counterparts such as kale and broccoli are. It is good for your digestive system, skin, and hair. It is one of the perfect choices for a weight-reducing diet as well. Packed with the goodness of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents it helps fight several deadly diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, BP, and stroke. It also improves brain functioning, enhances memory, and prevents diseases like Alzheimer and dementia.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A. Eating cabbage daily may not necessarily be harmful. But it is advisable to include a variety of veggies in your diet to get benefits from different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants present in different colored plants and vegetables.
A. All cabbages (irrespective of the color) have high amounts of phytonutrients but red and purple cabbage have a little higher content of antioxidants-anthocyanin.
A. Cabbage can be consumed safely during pregnancy as well. But make sure to have it in cooked form to avoid food poisoning and digestive issues like bloating or flatulence.
A. Both forms of cabbage – raw or cooked have their benefits and have the same nutritive value. Those with weaker digestion, can consume cooked forms of cabbage. Moreover, it ensures prevention of any food poisoning owing to bacterial or fungal contamination. You can saute or blanch for minimal but safe cooking before having it.
A. The outer leaves are edible but should be discarded if found with holes, dirt spots or insect remnants. Therefore, for clean eating and appealing presentation, outer leaves should be removed.