Bowl of Cabbage: 9 Health Benefits

If you are trying to improve your eating habits and become the healthier version of yourself, cabbage must be at the top of your grocery lists. There are many kinds of cabbage to consider, but almost all types promote fantastic health benefits.

Cabbage varies in color from purple to red and green, and the leaves can be crinkled or smooth, so don’t be afraid if you don’t find the regular cabbage. Regular consumption of cabbage of all kinds has been associated with a lower risk of multiple adverse health conditions. Without further ado, here are some of the best health benefits cabbage has to offer.

1.Improve digestion

Kimchi and sauerkraut are probably the most popular ways to eat cabbage. A fermented form of cabbage is packed with probiotics, which help to strengthen your immune system and improve your digestive health. The enzymes produced in a fermented form of cabbage make vitamins, minerals, and other components easier to absorb. The high water and fiber contents in cabbage also help to maintain a healthy digestive tract and prevent constipation. Consuming fiber in moderation ensures regularity, which is important for the daily excretion of harmful toxins through the stool and bile.

2.Ward off cardiovascular disease

The anthocyanins found in red cabbage have been shown to fight the inflammation that often contributes to cardiovascular disease. Almost any kind of cabbage is high in polyphenols that might lower the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood pressure and preventing platelet build up. A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that the regular consumption of flavonoid-rich foods like cabbage can reduce a risk of death from heart disease.

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3.Boost brain power

Cabbage is considered to be one of the most powerful brain foods that promote brain health and improve memory and concentration. The anthocyanins and Vitamin K, which are primarily found in red cabbages, have been proven to give a powerful boost to concentration and overall mental function. Vitamin K plays a critical role in the sphingolipids production, the myelin sheath around nerves, protecting nerves from decay and damage.

Therefore, eating vitamin K rich foods like cabbage can enhance your defense against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and neural degeneration.  Moreover, cabbage is an excellent source of anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that increase brain function, improve the nervous system, and fight cancer.

4.Reduce the cancer risk

Sulforaphane found in cabbage is a well-known cancer-fighting compound that can significantly reduce your cancer risk if you consume it regularly. That’s sulforaphane that gives cabbage its bitter taste can impede or delay cancer, according to numerous reports and studies. Researchers have already found that sulforaphane has the ability to ward off certain types of cancers, including esophageal, melanoma, pancreatic, and prostate.

Moreover, researchers have found that sulforaphane in cabbage has the power to inhibit the harmful enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), which are typically involved in the development and progression of the cancer cells. The ability of sulforaphane-rich foods like cabbage to stop HDAC enzymes could make them potentially essential part of cancer prevention and treatment.

The research conducted at the University of Missouri indicated that apigenin – a chemical present in celery, parsley, and cabbage – helps to reduce tumor size in a very aggressive form of breast cancer. The research showed that apigenin can be later used as a non-toxic treatment for breast cancer and potentially other types of cancer.

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That’s not all. Red cabbage is a great source of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent the formation of new tumor growths, destroy already formed cancer cells, and slow cancer cell proliferation.

5.Keep your eyes healthy

Cabbage is also an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is known to promote good eye health, and prevent macular degeneration and cataract formation, especially in elderly people. Beta-carotene has also been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer, making cabbage a must-eat food for men.

6.Strengthen your bones

Just like all cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is fortified with minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. One medium sized cabbage provides the body with 27% of recommended a daily intake of magnesium, 36% of calcium, and 44% of potassium. These three minerals play an important role in the protection of your bones from weakening and degradation as well as reduce your chances of developing the conditions such as general bone weakening and osteoporosis.

7.Detox the body in an all-natural way

Raw and fermented cabbage acts as a powerful natural detoxifier. It helps to purify the blood and flush out toxins from the body, primarily uric acid and free radicals, which are major causes of gout, rheumatism, renal calculi, arthritis, eczema, and other skin diseases. The natural detox abilities of the cabbage come from its high sulfur and vitamin C content. Just imagine, one medium sized cabbage provides your body with 553% of RDI of vitamin C. Doesn’t it sound like a wonderful reason to have a big bowl of cabbage salad today? The high vitamin C content will also boost your immune system and combat cold and flu.

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8.Beat chronic inflammation

Almost all diseases and illnesses are rooted in chronic inflammation. If your whole body is inflamed, various diseases and health issues will pop up one by one. Betalains in cabbage have potent anti-inflammatory properties that help people who suffer from arthritis and joint pain. However, the benefits of betalains aren’t limited to people with swollen joints only. Cabbage helps to manage blood pressure and prevent various skin disorders.

9.Lose weight

Since cabbage is chock full of so many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and has natural detox properties, it’s no wonder this vegetable aids in weight loss. Low in calories and high in nutrients, cabbage makes an ideal food choice for people trying to shed pounds. A cup of cooked cabbage contains only 33 calories while a cup of fresh cabbage has only 17 calories.

There’s no proven recommended daily amount of cabbage, but don’t overdo it. Aim to eat a cup of shredded cabbage per day or at least one medium head per week to improve your overall health and add years to your life. Be careful when eating fermented cabbage as too much of it can lead to numerous digestive woes, such as diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. If you’re pregnant or a breastfeeding mom, be sure to consult your doctor before adding any type of cabbages to your meal plan. There is evidence that even infrequent cabbage consumption by breastfeeding moms can develop colic in infant baby.