The humble cabbage is a perfect representative of a green leafy vegetable because not only it is green in colour but also a bundle of leaves put together by crafty hands of nature. Cabbage is savoured by all and sundry across the globe as an important part of cultural cuisines, adding it either as an ingredient or an accompaniment.
From Chinese chowmein and US burgers to Mediterranean salads, the cabbage is omnipresent. Besides the variety it presents in terms of taste, the cabbage health benefits are widespread.
Being high on roughage, cabbage is great for any disorder of the tummy. Whether it is constipation or stomach ulcer, the vegetable treats them all naturally. It also prevents various other disorders including headache, intestinal cancer, indigestion and resultant loss of appetite, skin diseases, eczema and ageing which could have originated from lack of fibre.
Isothiocyanates in cabbage are also helpful in proper regulation of gut bacteria which can damage the stomach lining.
Steamed cabbage can offer you better variety of fibre which binds with bile acids in your digestive tracts and throws them out, thus resulting in lowering of cholesterol levels. Steamed cabbage even scores over the effect of a cholesterol-lowering drug and it was found that the vegetable bound 17 percent more bile acids than the drug. Lowering of cholesterol also works well for your cardiovascular health since it reduces the possibility plaque deposits in the arteries.
With vitamin C much more than equal amount of orange, cabbage offers an effective cure for scurvy, which is recognised by symptoms of spongy and bleeding gums, cracked lip corners, very weak immune system and frequent infections. Vitamin C also reduces the levels of free radicals in your body thus preventing ageing and also repairing wear and tear of the body. Being high on antioxidants means cabbage is good in dealing with certain cancers while sulphur in the vegetable helps strengthen the immune system in its fight against infections and delayed healing of wounds and damaged tissues.
Cabbage is a good detoxifier and its vitamin C and sulphur contents help purify the blood by removing free radicals and uric acid which is responsible for arthritis, gout, rheumatism, skin diseases and eczema.
Also being high on iodine, cabbage helps in effective functioning of the brain and the nervous system thus helping in prevention and treatment of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. Iodine also keeps endocrinal glands in good condition. The cabbage health benefits even extend to treatment of varicose veins, leg ulcers and peptic ulcers. While its high in vitamin E content keeps the skin, eye and hair healthy, calcium, magnesium and potassium are very useful for overall health.
Cabbage is a great source of sinigrin, a component found to be of great help in prevention of bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. This is because it is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and glucosinolates all of which are well known villains of cancer.
Also, try to include different types of cabbage in your meal since red cabbage has high concentration phytonutrients than its green siblings.
Red cabbage has four times the amount of polyphenols and eight times the amount of vitamin C than that found in green one.
High levels of anthocyanins in red cabbage mean you can bid good bye to inflammatory compounds which can lead to chronic inflammation and hence give birth to various disorders including cancer, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Glucosinolates in cabbage are responsible for its protection against bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Cabbage can also be a good diet controller. Just finishing your leafy cabbage salad before gorging on to the more sinful food items would not only fill you up and hence check overeating, the health benefits will be far reaching.