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The Many Benefits of Cabbage!

February 17, 2012

Today is World Cabbage Day, so make sure you add cabbage to your menu tonight!  It is a vegetable that has great nutritional benefits and has been around since 600 B.C.  It was used as a food and medicine during that time and today Russia, Poland, China, and Japan are some of the leading countries that produce cabbage.  Add cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, rutabaga, collard greens and of course CABBAGE, to your menus at least 2-3 times per week.  

Health Benefits of Cabbage: 

  • Cabbage can provide cholesterol-lowering benefits when it is steamed.  This is due to the fact that when steamed, the fiber components in cabbage can better bind to bile acids in your digestive system.  When this takes place, it’s easier for the bile acids to be excreted which results in lower cholesterol levels. 
  • It contains a good source of sinigrin which is classified as a glucosinolate.   The sinigrin can then be converted to allylisothiocyanate (AITC), which has shown to have cancer preventative properties for cancers such as bladder, colon, breast and prostate.  Each type of cabbage has a different kind of glucosinolate, however they all have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can prevent cancer. 
  •  It contains antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and polyphenols.
  •  Red cabbage contains anthocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.  All types of cabbage contain polyphenols, which also provide anti-inflammatory benefits.  
  • Cabbage is high in Vitamin K and C.  It also contains other nutrients in smaller amounts such as folate, fiber, manganese, molybdenum, vitamin B6, tryptophan, calcium, and vitamin B1.
  • It contains the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA.  In fact, there is more ALA in 100 calories of cabbage than in 100 calories of salmon!

 How to prepare cabbage:

Cabbage can eaten many different ways including raw, microwaved, steamed, or sautéed.  However, not all cooking methods are the same.  Studies have shown lightly steamed and sautéed cabbage retains more nutrients than microwaved cabbage. 

 Cabbage can be prepared and eaten many different ways and can be added to many recipes. 

Try this Colorful Health Salad Recipe and let me know what you think!

Colorful Health Salad

 Serves: 6 ( 1/2 cup = 40 calories)

 Ingredients

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded red cabbage

½ cup shredded carrot

½ cup chopped green pepper

½ cup chopped red pepper

¼ cup chopped red onion

1½ tablespoons minced parsley

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup fat-free Italian dressing

1½ teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon pepper

 Instructions

1. Combine cabbage, carrots, green and red peppers, red onion and parsley in a large

    bowl, stirring well.  Set aside.

2. Combine vinegar, Italian dressing, sugar and pepper in a jar; cover tightly and

     shake vigorously.

3. Pour dressing mixture over vegetables, tossing gently to coat well.

4. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

5. Stir coleslaw lightly before serving and serve using a slotted spoon.

ENJOY!

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