While planning a diet, cabbage may not be the first thing that comes to mind. It is not a glamorous vegetable out there, but you would be surprised to know the health benefits of this modest powerhouse.
Cabbage is a leafy vegetable of Brassica family, and is round or oval in shape. It consists of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world, and can be prepared in a number of ways, but most commonly, it is included as either a cooked or raw part of many salads. It can be used in the treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cabbage is powerful. Ancient healers declared it contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight. Modern nutritional science understands its power comes from its high sulfur and vitamin C content. It is a low-cal, fiber-rich vegetable. Let’s look at its health benefits and nutritional facts.
Aids Healthy Weight Loss
Cabbage is frequently recommended for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. Since cabbage is packed with so many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it is a healthy dietary option for people to eat a lot of, and it is quite filling, since it has high levels of fiber, which add bulk to the bowels. However, cabbage is extremely low in calories, only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage. So, people can eat plenty without gaining excess weight.
Improves Brain Health
The presence of vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage can give a strong boost to mental function and concentration. Vitamin K is essential in the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around nerves. This wrapping is what protects nerves from damage and decay. Anthocyanins in cabbage are a current area of research, but early indications point to it being a more powerful source of antioxidants than vitamin C, and red cabbage has even more types of anthocyanins than normal cabbage. It also appears that the nutrient uptake is not limited by anything, and that people can eat as much cabbage as they want, and continue to accumulate antioxidants, which help fight off diseases, reduce chances of cancer, improve the nervous system, and increase brain function.
Improves Bone Health
Cabbage is a great source of minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These three essential minerals are integral in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone weakening.
Stabilizes Blood Pressure
The presence of potassium in cabbage also makes it a wonderful way to protect yourself from elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Potassium is a vasodilator, which means that it opens up the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood.
For Skin Care & Anti Aging
Cabbage has a wealth of different antioxidant sources, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, sulphur, and other smaller sources, since it is a cruciferous vegetable. Antioxidants play a major role in skin health and the general toning and improvement of the body in response to the aging process. Free radicals can be an underlying cause of wrinkles, skin discoloration, spots, and many other conditions. Therefore, the antioxidants you gain by eating cabbage can cause a turn-around in your aging processes, leaving you feeling and looking healthy and young.
Cabbage acts as a good detoxifier too, meaning that it purifies the blood and removes toxins, primarily free radicals and uric acid which are primary causes of rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, and eczema. This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the high content of vitamin C and sulphur.
Cabbage has well-known cancer preventative compounds lupeol, sinigrin and sulforaphane. They stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. A study on women showed a reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were added to their diet.
Promotes Hair Health
Vitamin A, contained in cabbage, is an antioxidant that stimulates hair growth. Applying a mixture of boiled cabbage and freshly squeezed lemon juice on scalp can facilitate hair growth. Mash ½ cup boiled cabbage and 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice in a blender to form a thick paste. Massage this mixture on your scalp, leave it for 30 minutes and then shampoo and condition your hair as usual. This can be done twice a week.
Cooked cabbage is what most of the people prefer, but the cooking takes away many of the nutrients, particularly the high levels of vitamin C, and the other nutrients will become harder for the body to absorb. The best option is to eat the cabbage raw. Don’t be reluctant to add cabbage to your daily diet, whether it is in your soup or salad, and that small change will help you live a healthier and longer life.