Cabbage is one of the most nutritious foods out there, but it’s still often neglected and overlooked by people.
They usually appear to be lettuce, even though like broccoli and cauliflower, they belong to the brassica genus family of vegetables.
They have been around for years and years, and appear in a variety of shapes and sizes. Cabbages also have different colors; including white, red, purple, and green. They can also be added to all kinds of dishes to make for an even more delicious and nutritious meal.
Here are some more interesting reasons to eat more cabbages.
IT’S HIGH IN NUTRIENTS
Even though cabbage is very low in calories, it has an impressive nutrient profile.
In fact, just 1 cup (89 grams) of raw green cabbage contains…
Protein: 1 gram
Fiber: 2 grams
Vitamin K: 85% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 54% of the RDI
Folate: 10% of the RDI
Manganese: 7% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
Calcium: 4% of the RDI
Potassium: 4% of the RDI
Magnesium: 3% of the RDI
Cabbage also contains small amounts of other micronutrients, including vitamin A, iron and riboflavin.
As you can see in the list above, it 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.
In addition, cabbage is high in fiber and contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have an odd number of electrons, making them unstable. When their levels become too high, they can damage your cells.
Cabbage is especially high in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that may protect against heart disease, certain cancers and vision loss.
RICH SOURCE OF VITAMIN C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that serves many important roles in the body. For instance, it’s needed to make collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen gives structure and flexibility to the skin and is critical for the proper functioning of the bones, muscles and blood vessels.
Additionally, vitamin C helps the body absorb non-heme iron, the type of iron found in plant foods.
What’s more, it’s a powerful antioxidant. In fact, it has been extensively researched for its potential cancer-fighting qualities.
Vitamin C works to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which has been associated with many chronic diseases, including cancer.
Evidence suggests that a diet high in vitamin-C-rich foods is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers.
In fact, a recent analysis of 21 studies found that the risk of lung cancer decreased by 7% for each daily 100-mg increase in vitamin C intake.
However, this study was limited because it could not determine whether the decreased risk of lung cancer was caused by vitamin C or other compounds found in fruits and vegetables.
While many observational studies have found a link between higher vitamin C intake and a reduced risk of certain cancers, results from controlled studies remain inconsistent.
Even though more research is needed to determine this vitamin’s role in cancer prevention, it’s certain that vitamin C plays a key role in many important functions in the body.
While both green and red cabbages are excellent sources of this potent antioxidant, red cabbage contains about 30% more.
One cup (89 grams) of chopped red cabbage packs in 85% of the recommended intake for vitamin C, which is the same amount found in a small orange.
IT AIDS DIGESTION
If you want to improve your digestive health, fiber-rich cabbage is the way to go.
This crunchy vegetable is full of gut-friendly insoluble fiber, a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down in the intestines. Insoluble fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to stools and promoting regular bowel movements.
What’s more, it’s rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This is because fiber is the main fuel source for friendly species like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
These bacteria perform important functions like protecting the immune system and producing critical nutrients like vitamins K2 and B12.
Eating more cabbage is an excellent way to keep your digestive system healthy and happy.
IT’S GOOD FOR A HEALTHY 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.
Many studies have found a link between eating foods rich in this pigment and a reduced risk of heart disease.
IT CAN REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE
Cabbage contains electrolyte that the body needs to function properly. One of its main jobs is to help 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.
While both sodium and potassium are important for health, modern diets tend to be too high in sodium and too low in potassium.
Red cabbage is an excellent source of potassium, delivering 12% of the RDI in a 2-cup (178-gram) serving.
Eating more potassium-rich cabbage is a delicious way to lower high blood pressure and may help keep it within a healthy range.
EASY TO ADD TO YOUR DIET
In addition to being super healthy, cabbage is delicious. It can be eaten raw or cooked and added to a wide variety of dishes like salads, soups, stews and slaws.
This versatile veggie can even be fermented and made into sauerkraut.
In addition to being adaptable to many recipes, cabbage is extremely affordable.
No matter how you prepare cabbage, adding this cruciferous vegetable to your plate is a tasty way to benefit your health.