Amazing importance of consuming cabbage
Health benefits of cabbage are the importance of these leafy green vegetable to our overall health. Cabbage is used in the treatment of stomach ulcers, constipation, headaches, skin disorders, obesity, scurvy, jaundice, and eczema. It is also suitable in the prevention of arthritis, eye disorders, gout, Alzheimer’s disease, and diseases associated with the heart.
Consequently, cabbage belongs to the Brassica genus of vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. It may have several shapes and colors like white, green, red, and purple, and has either a smooth or crinkled leaves. This vegetable has numerous vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of your body.
What is cabbage?
Cabbage is known as a leafy green, white, or red vegetable that is cultivated annually and it is a biennial plant. Its leaves are whitish or light green covered with thick and dark green outer leaves. This leafy green vegetable is cultivated worldwide and may be served when cooked or eaten raw as salads.
What are the different types of cabbage?
Cabbage has several varieties which may either be more or less 7 varieties. They include the following:
- Red cabbage
- Bok choy
- Napa cabbage
- January king cabbage
- Choy sum
- Savoy cabbage
- Cannonball cabbage
Scientifically proven health benefits of cabbage
Here are the health benefits of cabbage to your body:
It’s highly nutritious
Although cabbage is low in calorie it is also rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consuming a cup of raw green cabbage usually 89 grams contains the following:
Calcium: 4 percent of the RDI
Fiber: 2 grams
Folate: 10 percent of the RDI
Manganese: 7 percent of the RDI
Magnesium: 3 percent of the RDI
Potassium: 4 percent of the RDI
Protein: 1 gram
Vitamin B6: 6 percent of the RDI
Vitamin C: 54 percent of the RDI
Vitamin K: 85 percent of the RDI
This green leafy vegetable contains small amounts of other nutrients like iron, vitamin A, and riboflavin. Since cabbage is rich in folate and vitamin B6 which are essential for energy metabolism and proper functioning of the nervous system.
Also, cabbage is rich in fiber and has powerful antioxidants such as sulfur compounds and polyphenols. These antioxidants protect our body from damage attributed to free radicals. A situation where these free radicals are high in your body may destroy your body cells.
Cabbage has enough vitamin C, an important antioxidant that may help prevent diseases associated with the heart, vision impairment, and some cancers.
Have anti-inflammatory properties
Cabbage has powerful antioxidants that help lower the rate of inflammation in your body. It is also found to boost the build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves which is an important component of glutamine. Consuming glutamine, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent; helps reduce inflammation, allergies, irritation, fever, pains around joints, and certain skin diseases.
It is known that our body needs an inflammatory response to protect us against infection and also speed up the healing process in the body. This is also known as acute inflammation which is a normal response to infection or injury.
A chronic inflammation that persists for long may bring about different diseases like heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Cabbage contains antioxidants like kaempferol and sulforaphane which are suitable for their anti-inflammatory effect.
Another study deduced that cruciferous vegetables like cabbage have several antioxidants that are shown to lower chronic inflammation. It has also been proven that consuming enough cruciferous vegetables lowers certain blood markers of inflammation.
Consequently, a study involving over 1,000 women of Chinese origin deduced that those who consumed the highest amounts of cruciferous vegetables had considerably reduced levels of inflammation, compared to those who consume the lowest amounts.
This leafy green vegetable is rich in fiber and glucosinolates which enables your body to retain water and stabilizes the bulkiness of the food as it passes through the bowels. Its increase in fiber also helps improve the number of important bacteria in the gut like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria help protects your immune system and produces certain nutrients like vitamin B12 and K2.
Furthermore, a 2012 publication in the World Journal of Gastroenterology shows that fiber, found in cabbage, aids bulk up the bowel movements in your body and also treats constipation.
Absence of roughage in food leads to constipation, which is the main cause of certain diseases like stomach ulcers, indigestion, gradual loss of appetite, and gastrointestinal cancers. A lack of roughage in food may bring about severe medical conditions like premature aging and eczema.
Why not eat enough cabbage to help your digestive system stay healthy and active?
Helps lower blood pressure
It is estimated that about 1 billion people in the world are mostly affected with high blood pressure which leads to stroke and heart diseases. A study deduced that increasing the intake of potassium in your diet helps lower your blood pressure. This is why patients with high blood pressure are advised by their doctors to limit the intake of salt in their diet.
Potassium which is present in cabbage helps control blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in the body. Excessive sodium is passed out as urine with the help of potassium. It also helps relax blood vessel walls, which reduces blood pressure.
You can also get potassium from consuming red cabbage as it contains 12 percent of the RDI in a 2 cup serving. Consuming enough potassium-rich cabbage helps lower high blood pressure and also keep it within the optimal range.
Good source of vitamin K
Vitamin K plays essential roles in our body because they contain fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are basically divided into two (2) major groups namely:
Phylloquinone (vitamin K1): Mainly present in plant sources.
Menaquinone (vitamin k2): Mainly present in animal sources and some fermented foods. It can also be produced by bacteria in the large intestine. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K1, giving 85 percent of the RDI in a single cup usually about 89 grams.
Vitamin K1 acts as a cofactor for enzymes that are responsible for clotting the blood. Absence of vitamin K in your body will make blood unable to clot properly, therefore, increasing the risk of excessive bleeding.
Have anti-cancer properties
It is known that brassica vegetables like cabbage which has a relatively high amount of glucosinolates, exhibit anti-carcinogenic properties according to the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. This is to say that cabbage and other various vegetables fight free radicals which may be harmful to our overall health and making us susceptible to heart diseases and cancer.
Consequently, cabbage contains glucosinolates that can be changed into isothiocyanate compounds. This changing helps prevent us from having various cancers like prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and bladder cancer.
A number of anti-cancer compounds are present in red cabbage such as lupeol, sulforaphane (glucosinolates are gotten from isothiocyanate), and sinigrin, which helps stimulate enzyme activity and prevent the growth of tumors that may result into cancer.
Populations of mainly Chinese women were examined and a significant reduction in breast cancer was observed when they regularly add cruciferous vegetables like cabbage into their diet according to a study in the journal Pharmacological Research.
Cabbage helps boost the immunity system and fight off free radicals since it contains a high amount of vitamin C.
Boost weight loss
If you really want to lose weight in a healthy way, consume enough cabbage since it contains important minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, such as fiber and water. Have it in mind that consuming cabbage alone isn’t nutritionally complete, and should be taken as part of a balanced, healthy diet.
Improves hair health
Since cabbage is rich in silicon and sulfur, it helps prevent dry hair. Cabbage improves hair health because of its increase in vitamin A content that acts as an antioxidant.
Suitable for brain health
Cabbage is an important food that helps boost your mental function and concentration because it contains anthocyanins and vitamin K. Vitamin K aids the production of sphingolipids which is the myelin sheath found around some nerves cells. It is one of those health benefits of cabbage we can’t just leave out.
This wrapping help protects the nerves from damage and decay. It is also advisable to consume red cabbage as it contains enough anthocyanins than normal cabbage.
These anthocyanins help protect the body against diseases, lower your chances of having cancer, enhance your nervous system, and improve the overall functioning of the brain.
Consequently, iodine could also be found in cabbage which improves the proper functioning of the brain, regulation of the glands of the endocrine system in the right condition, and its nervous system.
Read Also: Different Brain Foods That Improve Memory
Reduction of muscles ache
During the preparation of sauerkraut, a certain bacteria usually ferment the sugars in cabbage leading to lactic acid being released from the body. This compound has been shown to alleviate aches and muscle soreness in the body. To some extent, it can be used as a pain reliever.
A great addition to the diet
Cabbage is very delicious as it can be eaten raw or cooked and added to a different variety of dishes such as soups, salads, slaws, and stews. This leafy green vegetable can also be fermented and used in the production of sauerkraut as it is easily affordable.
Do you want a yummy taste? Then inculcate this leafy green vegetable into your diets for optimal taste and nutrients.
Excellent source of vitamin C
It is also referred to as ascorbic acid which is a water-soluble vitamin that produces collagen. Collagen enhances the structure and flexibility of the skin and also aid the proper functioning of the muscles, bones, and blood vessels.
This vitamin C protects the body against damage that should have been caused by free radical and lower your risk of having cancer.
Another study deduced that a diet rich in vitamin C helps lower your chances of having certain cancers. Red and green cabbages are good sources of vitamin C but red cabbage contains about 30 percent more.
Improves heart health
Red cabbages have been found to contain anthocyanins which are basically planted pigments that belong to the flavonoid family.
A study shows that eating foods rich in anthocyanins helps lower the risk of heart disease.
Furthermore, an analysis of 13 observational studies that included 344,488 people had similar findings. It deduced that increasing the intake of flavonoid by 10 mg daily brings about a 5 percent lower risk of having heart disease.
Cabbage is suitable for heart health because it contains more than 36 different kinds of important anthocyanins.
Helps lower cholesterol level
There is this myth from people that all cholesterol is harmful to the body, but it’s important for the proper functioning of the body. Some people who have high cholesterol also tend to have an increased risk of heart disease, especially when their “bad” LDL cholesterol is elevated.
Soluble fiber and plant sterols are the two substances present in cabbage that helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. It is known that about 40 percent of the fiber present in cabbage is soluble.
A study found that when you increase the intake of phytosterol by 1 gram daily, it helps lower LDL cholesterol concentrations by as much as 5 percent in the body.
Shield you from radiation therapy
A rare compound found in cabbage called 3.3’-diindolylmethane (DIM), has been shown to counteract some of the harmful effects while or after undergoing radiation therapy. It makes your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelet count remain visible, which is rarely visible during radiation therapy.
DIM can also be introduced during cancer treatment in order to prevent healthy tissue from being damaged.
Improves skin health
This is one of the health benefits of cabbage as it helps improve skin health and prevent rapid aging because it contains anthocyanins, vitamin C, and sulfur. Why not increase your consumption of cabbage to make your skin glow and look healthy.
Helps prevent cataract
Eating enough cabbage helps prevent macular degeneration and enhances good eye health, especially for older adults. This is because they are an excellent source of beta-carotene in the body.
Prevents prostate cancer
A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology deduced that cabbage has enough amount of beta-carotene in it. Dietary beta-carotene has been found to help lower your chances of developing prostate cancer, which is an added advantage on top of other anti-carcinogenic properties attributed to eating cabbage.
Improves the formation of strong bones
Cabbage contains essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium which aid the protection of bones from degradation and the development of medical condition like osteoporosis/general weakening of bones.
Increases healing effect
The presence of sulfur in cabbage help fights against infections in the body. Insufficient sulfur in the body can expose the body to microbial infections and slow healing process immensely. This is another surprising health benefits of cabbage you need to tap by consuming enough of it.
Other health benefits of cabbage
Cabbage can be useful in the treatment of leg ulcers, varicose veins, and peptic/duodenal ulcers. Inculcating cabbage into your diet daily will definitely make you live long and enjoy a healthy life
What are the uses of cabbage?
The following are the various ways in the usage of cabbage:
- Cabbage can be chopped as salads with salt and other spices.
- It can be served raw or steamed into a stew with salt and water.
- Cabbage can also be used in the preparation of soup and could be served hot.
What are the side effects of consuming cabbage?
Although cabbage has a lot of health benefits, it also has side effects like:
- Foodborne illness
- Iodine intake
- Fall in blood sugar levels
Now that you’ve known the amazing health benefits of cabbage to your body, why not begin eating a cucumber to stay physically and mentally healthy?