Cabbage is a leafy green vegetable crop popular in different parts of the world. This humble leafy vegetable is a nutritional miracle worker and offers a diverse range of health benefits and medicinal uses.
Cabbage is a vegetable with dense leaf heads and belongs to the Brassica Oleracea family. The most commonly consumed cabbage is the smooth leafed firm headed variety. Red cabbages too are popular in different parts of the world and have a huge consumption market in Europe, Germany in particular. Typically a cabbage head weighs around 0.5- 4 kg. This multi-layered leafy vegetable is widely cultivated around the world. China is the largest producer of cabbage in the world producing approximately 33.4 percent of millions of tones. India is the second largest producer of this vegetable producing around 9.0 percent of millions of tones.
Soil condition determines quality and weight of cabbage. Alkaline soil is used to grow majority of green cabbage consumed globally. Acidic or neutral soils produce reddish or purple cabbage. Furthermore, fertilization of soil and sufficient humidity are essential for red cabbage growth. Red cabbage and purple cabbage are found in abundance in China, Northern Europe and regions of US. While both green cabbage and red cabbage have a range of nutrients, the fact that red cabbage has twice as much iron and 10 times more vitamin A than its green counterpart, makes the red leafy head popular with health conscious individuals. Some of the popular cabbage varieties are mentioned below.
Popular Varieties of Cabbage
Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C. Red cabbage has a significant presence of anthocyanins, a class of compounds with antioxidant properties. Cabbage among other cruciferous vegetables is known to minimize the risk of colon cancer. Cabbage is also a fairly good source of vitamin B6 and folate. Research reveals phytochemicals present in cabbage contribute a great deal towards minimizing growth and preventing cancer cells from spreading.
Medicinal Uses of Cabbage
Since ancient times cabbage has been used as a form of medicine and treatment.
Green cabbage is one of the most widely used vegetables in the world. Aside from being inexpensive, this multi-layered leafy veggie has a wide range of health benefits. Cabbage is used as a home remedy for treatment of jaundice, scurvy, arthritis, stomach ulcers, constipation, obesity, migraines, gout, heart diseases, eye disorders and slowing down the aging process. The health benefits of cabbage are discussed in detail in the lines below.
15 Amazing Health Benefits of Cabbage
1. Improves Eye Health
Research reveals the risk of glaucoma, cataract, and macular degenerative diseases is reduced greatly with a diet rich in antioxidants. The presence of complex antioxidant activity found in cabbage is known to promote good eye health. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C that is vital for good eye health.
2. Excellent for Bone Health
Cabbage is a rich source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous among others. The onset of osteoporosis is greatly minimized with intake of essential minerals for strong bones. Furthermore, the presence of vitamin K in cabbage ensures that osteocalcin, a calcium-binding protein forms calcium bonds to regulate osteoclasts where old bone cells make way for new bone cells through tear down.
3. A Natural Way to Detoxify
A natural way to detoxify is by including cabbage in your diet. Cabbage acts as a natural purifier of blood. Regular consumption of this vegetable helps fight harmful free radicals and uric acid levels that are responsible for a string of other conditions such as gout, arthritis, eczema, renal calculi and rheumatism.
4. Improves Skin and Slows down Aging
Cabbage is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. Consumption of cabbage improves skin tone and skin texture. The presence of antioxidants in this vegetable ensure the slowdown of aging process, this is done by prevention and spread of harmful free radicals that do damage to skin tissue thereby causing sagging skin and wrinkles. Cabbage is a good source of sulfur and potassium.
Sulfur plays a pivotal role in drying up oily and acne prone skin thereby preventing acne and acne breakouts. Potassium present in cabbage plays an important role in eliminating toxins and impurities and by doing so improves skin elasticity (texture) and complexion. Signs of premature aging such as dimpled skin, uneven skin tone, and fine lines can be eliminated by regular consumption of cabbage.
5. Promotes Healthy Hair Growth
Cabbage is a healthy source of vitamins and minerals. Cabbage paste mixed with yogurt and a squeeze of lemon can be applied on the scalp. Leave the paste on for 15 minutes before washing clean with an herbal shampoo. You can repeat this procedure two times a week for shiny smooth hair. Furthermore, sulfur present in cabbage is also an important for keratin that protects epithelial cells from damage thereby keeping hair roots healthy. Raw cabbage juice and cucumber juice are a rich source of sulfur and silicon, minerals that play an important role in hair growth and prevention of hair loss.
6. Excellent for Brain Health
If you want to boost your brain health it makes perfect sense to include cabbage in your diet. The presence of Vitamin K plays an important for the metabolism of lipids (sphingolipids) that are in high concentrations in brain cells. Vitamin K plays a vital role in production of myelin sheath surrounding the nerves. This sheath protects nerves from decay and damage. Individuals consuming cabbage regularly are less likely to develop Dementia or Alzheimer’s at a late stage in life.
7. Minimizes the Risk of Cancer
Cruciferous vegetables including cabbage contain glucosinolates, a compound that plays an important role in fighting spread of cancer cells. Cabbage is a source of powerful antioxidants that scavenge on harmful free radicals. The presence of compounds such as sulforaphane, sinigrin and lupeol are known to stimulate enzyme activity and prevent the growth of tumors that can lead to cancer. Consumption of cabbage lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases.
8. Promotes Good Cardiovascular Health
A cabbage soup diet is apt for a healthy heart. Cabbage is an excellent source of potassium which plays an important role in lowering systolic blood pressure. Furthermore, Indole-3 carbinol in cabbage plays a role in liver detoxification and thereby gets rid of harmful toxins and impurities in the body. Intake of potassium helps widen the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood in required body tissues. Eating cabbage is a natural way to good cardiovascular health.
9. Recommended In Weight Loss Diets
Cabbage is a vegetable recommended by dieticians and nutritionists in weight loss diets. Cabbage is packed with mineral and vitamins that are beneficial for good health. Cabbage offers a good amount of dietary fiber that corrects bowel movement. Furthermore, cabbage is low on calories, which is why a number of individuals opt for a variety of cabbage soup diets for weight loss.
10. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The presence of polyphenols in cabbage has anti inflammatory benefits. When oxidative stress combines with chronic inflammation the results can be catastrophic. Cabbage flavonoids have anti inflammatory compounds such as quercitol, pelargonodin, naringenin, kaempferol, purpurogalin, malvidin, betanidin, tetrahydrochalcone, luteolin, artemetin, equol, hydroxyflavone, and butein. Eating cabbage regularly reduces different types of inflammation, allergies, skin irritation and itch.
11. Helps Diabetics control Blood Sugar levels
Cabbage is a vegetable which is high in fiber and low on calories making it a perfect veggie for diabetics. Foods with high GI (Glycemic Index) raise blood glucose levels in blood quickly. Cabbage is a low on GI which means it raises blood glucose levels slowly. Research reveals regular consumption of cabbage reduces blood sugar levels and keeps levels balanced.
12. Excellent For Constipation
Cabbage is a great source of roughage also referred to as dietary fiber. Regular consumption of foods rich in fiber plays a crucial role in correcting bowel movement. The fiber present in cabbage helps in intestine stimulation for enhanced bowel activity. Cabbage is has colon cleansing properties. It boosts levels of chlorine, iodine and sulfur in one’s internal chemistry. Together sulfur and chlorine work relieving clogged intestinal tract. The nutritional value of cabbage acts as a miracle worker for the digestive system. However, excess amounts of cabbage can lead to bloating.
13. Provides Relief and Heals Ulcers
Cabbage juice is used as a home remedy to treat peptic ulcers. Cabbage is a rich source of amino acid glutamine. Glutamine coming from a natural source is superior to antacids used for treating ulcer. Regular consumption of cabbage juice helps repair and nourish the gastrointestinal lining. The presence of compounds such as S-methylmethionine, L-glutamine, gefarnate and glucosinolates heal and ensure protection to delicate mucus membrane lining of stomach and digestive tract.
14. Strengthens the Immune System
Eating cabbage regularly improves immunity. Cabbage is a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins that are essential to fight infections. Individuals with a weakened immune system should include cabbage in their diet because the vegetable is a rich source of sulfur that helps fight and keep infections away. The complex mix of mineral and vitamins in cabbage help boost immunity and offers resistance against conditions such as cold and cough. Additionally, regular consumption of this vegetable helps the process of healing wounds and damaged tissues.
15. Helps Arthritis Conditions
In many cultures cabbage leaves are used as treatment for knee joint pain in osteoarthritis. The combination of vitamins, phytonutrients, anthocyanins and glutamine provide instant relief for knee inflammation among ostheoarthritis sufferers. Bruise large leaves of red cabbage with meat a meat hammer to release cabbage juices through a polutice. Place the cabbage polutice in a foil and warm in an oven. Make sure the polutice is warm and not hot. Remove the cabbage leaf polutice from the foil and place the polutice on the joints where there is pain and swelling. Wrap the polutice with gauze bandage and leave for an hour. You repeat this process everyday to reduce swelling and joint pain.
Cabbage Nutritional Value (Per 100 grams)
Carbohydrates- 5.8 g
Protein- 1.28 g
Fat- 0.1 g
Energy- 103 kj (25 kcal)
Fluoride- 1 ug
(Nutritional Value Source: USDA Nutrition Database)
Warning: If you experience any allergy or allergic reaction to cabbage, stop the home remedial treatment and consult a health practitioner immediately.
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