Belonging to the Brassica genus family of vegetables, cabbage is one vegetable which is often overlooked or under appreciated. It looks a lot like lettuce and has kale, broccoli, and cauliflower as its family members. You can find red, white, green, and purple cabbage with crinkled or smooth leaves. Grown for thousands of years across the world, cabbage is commonly found in stews, kimchi, coleslaw or sauerkraut. The delicious and tasty vegetable is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Let’s read about the 10 essential and impressive health benefits of Cabbage.
Reduces Inflammation- Chronic inflammation that occurs over a long period of time is associated with many diseases, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain many different antioxidants that have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that consuming and eating cruciferous vegetables regularly can reduce markers of inflammation. Sulforaphane, kaempferol and other antioxidants found in cruciferous group of plants are probably responsible for anti-inflammatory effects.
Improves Digestion- Fiber-rich cabbage is full of gut friendly insoluble fiber. This is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down in the intestines. Insoluble fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy and active by promoting regular bowel movements and adding bulk to your stool. Soluble fiber, which is plentiful in cabbage aids in increasing the number of beneficial bacteria for your gut. Fiber is the main source of food and fuel for friendly and healthy bacteria such as Bifidobacteria. These bacteria perform important functions like protecting the immune system and producing critical nutrients like vitamins K2 and B12.
Loaded with Vitamin C- Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed to make collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen gives structure, flexibility, and suppleness to the skin and is vital for the functioning of bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an extremely powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C works to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which has been associated with many chronic diseases, including cancer. Both green and red cabbage are excellent sources of this potent antioxidant, with red cabbage contains about 30% more.
High in Nutrients- Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6 and folate, both of which are essential for many important processes in the body, including energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system. It is high in fiber and contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and sulfur compounds. Cabbage also contains small amounts of other micronutrients, including vitamin A, iron and riboflavin.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels- Cholesterol feels like a bad thing but it is essential for your body to function. It is a waxy, fat like substance found in every cell in your body. People with high cholesterol also tend to have an increased risk of heart disease, especially when they have elevated levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Cabbage contains two substances that have been shown to decrease unhealthy levels of LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber and phytoserols present in cabbage assist in reducing LDL cholesterol.
Brilliant Source of Vitamin K- Vitamin K is basically a collection of fat-soluble vitamins that plays several important roles and functions in our bodies. Vitamin K1 is primarily found in plant sources. Cabbage is a terrific source of vitamin K1, delivering 85% of the recommended daily amount in a single cup (89 grams). Vitamin K acts as a cofactor for enzymes that are responsible for clotting the blood. The blood would lose its ability to clot properly, increasing the risk of excessive bleeding if there is inadequate Vitamin K in our bodies.
Easy to Cook or Include- Cabbage is really versatile and easy to include in your regular diet. It can be consumed raw or cooked. You can add it to soups, stews, meals, curries, salads, and dips. It can also be fermented and made into sauerkraut. Cabbage is also one of the most affordable vegetables in the market so its accessible to everyone.
Lowers Blood Pressure- High blood pressure affects more than one billion people worldwide and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Patients suffering from blood pressure reduce their salt intake but tend to forget about dietary potassium. Increasing dietary potassium is an efficient way of managing blood pressure. It helps to regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in the body. Potassium helps excrete excess sodium through urine. It also relaxes blood vessel walls, which lowers blood pressure. Red cabbage is an excellent source of potassium, delivering 12% of the RDI in a 2-cup (178-gram) serving.
Strengthens Your Heart- Red cabbage contains powerful compounds called anthocyanins. They give this delicious vegetable its vibrant purple color. Anthocyanins are plant pigments that belong to the flavonoid family. Increasing your intake of dietary anthocyanins works to reduce blood pressure and the risk of coronary artery disease. Cabbage contains more than 36 different kinds of potent anthocyanins, making it an excellent choice for strengthening your heart and improving its health.
Aids in Weight Loss- Cabbage is a green and leafy vegetable that is extremely low in calories. People who undertake weight loss journeys should include cabbage in their meals or have cabbage soups to aid reducing weight and benefiting their health. Cabbage also acts as an excellent replacement for junk food and can be used in slaws or dips as a low calorie alternative.