Amazing Health Benefits of Cabbage
Actually, cabbage belongs to the Brassica genus of vegetables, which consists of broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Cabbage comes in a variety of colors and shapes, including red, purple, white, or green and its leaves can be either wrinkled or smooth. This vegetable has been grown all over the world for thousands of years and can be found in a variety of dishes including, kimchi and coleslaw. Moreover, cabbage is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Here we will discuss the health benefits of cabbage.
It may help keep inflammation in check
Inflammation is not always a bad thing. In fact, your body depends on the inflammatory response to defend from infection or speed up healing. On the other side, chronic inflammation that occurs over a long period of time is linked with many diseases including cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage consist of many different antioxidants that have been shown to decrease chronic inflammation. In fact, many studies have found that eating more cruciferous vegetables decreases certain blood markers of inflammation.
One study consisting of over 1000 Chinese women found that those who ate the highest amounts of cruciferous vegetables had significantly lower levels of inflammation, compared to those who ate the lowest amounts.
Antioxidants such as Sulforaphane, kaempferol found in this remarkable group of plants are likely responsible for their anti-inflammatory effect.
May help to keep your heart healthy
Red cabbage consists of powerful compounds called anthocyanin. They give this tasty vegetable its vibrant purple color. Anthocyanins are plant pigments linked to the flavonoid family. Many researchers have found a link between eating foods rich in this pigment and a decreased risk of heart health.
In a study consisting of 93600 women, researchers observed that those with a greater intake of anthocyanin-rich foods had a much lower risk of a heart attack.
Another analysis of 13 observational studies that consisted of 344,488 people had similar findings. It found that enhancing flavonoid intake by 10mg per day was linked with a 5% lower risk of heart disease. Enhancing your intake of dietary anthocyanin in your diet may reduce the risk of hypertension and coronary artery disease.
Inflammation plays a key role in the development of heart disease, and anthocyanin’s protective effect against likely it is due to their anti-inflammatory abilities. Cabbage consists of more than 36 various kinds of potent anthocyanin, making it an excellent optimal for heart health.
May Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the main risk all over the world for cardiovascular diseases and stroke. High blood pressure affects more than one billion people worldwide. Doctors often advised high blood pressure patients to decrease their salt intake. However, recent indications found that enhancing your dietary potassium is just as important for decreasing blood pressure. Potassium is a significant mineral and electrolyte that the body requires to function properly.
One of its main tasks is to help regulate blood pressure by neutralizing the effects of sodium in the body. Potassium aids excrete excess sodium through urine. It also relaxes blood vessel walls, which decreases blood pressure. While both sodium and potassium are significant for health, modern diets tend to be greater in sodium than potassium.
Red cabbage is an outstanding source of potassium, providing 12% of the RDI in a 2 cup serving. Eating more potassium-dense cabbage is a delicious way to reduce high blood pressure and may aid keep it within a healthy range.
Cabbage is Packed with vitamin C
Vitamin C also called ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that plays several important roles in the human body. Vitamin C is required to make collagen that is the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen gives structure and flexibility to the skin and is necessary for the proper functioning of the bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Moreover, vitamin C helps the body absorb non-heme iron, the type of iron found in plant foods. Additionally, it is a strong antioxidant. In fact, it has been extensively researched for its potential cancer-fighting abilities.
Vitamin C works to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which have been linked with many chronic diseases, including cancer. Evidence found that a diet high in vitamin C-rich foods is linked with a lower risk of certain cancers. In fact, a real inquiry of 21 studies found that the damage of lung cancer reduced by 7% for each daily 100mg enhances in vitamin C intake.
However, this study was limited because it could not determine whether the decreased risk of lung cancer is 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 various cancers, results from controlled studies remain inconsistent. Even though more research is needed to determine vitamin C role in cancer prevention, it’s certain that vitamin C plays a key role in many important functions in the body. Both green and red cabbage is an excellent source of this potent antioxidant, red cabbage consists of about 30% more.
Helps improve digestion
Fiber-rich cabbage is the best source to improve your digestive health. This crispy vegetable is full of gut-friendly insoluble fiber, a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down in the intestines. Insoluble fiber aids keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to stools and enhancing regular bowel movements. Additionally, it is rich in soluble fiber which has been shown to enhance the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This is because fiber is the main food source for gut-friendly bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
These bacteria perform important tasks like defending the immune system and producing serious nutrients like vitamins K2 and B12. Eating more cabbage is a super way to keep your digestive system healthy and happy.
Could help reduce cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is found in every cell of your body. It is a waxy and fat-like substance. Most people think that all cholesterol is bad but it is necessary for the proper functioning of our body. Critical procedures depend on cholesterol such as proper digestion and the formation of hormones and vitamin D.
People having high amounts of cholesterol also tend to have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly when they have enhanced levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Cabbage consists of two substances that have been shown to decrease unhealthy levels of LDL cholesterol.
Soluble fiber in cabbage
Soluble fiber has been found to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol by binding with cholesterol in the gut and keeping it from being absorbed into the blood.
A large study of 67 researchers found that when people ate 2-10 grams of soluble fiber per day, they experienced a small, yet significant, decrease in LDL cholesterol levels of roughly 2.2mg per deciliter. Cabbage is a great source of soluble fiber. Indeed, about 40% of the fiber found in cabbage is soluble.
Cabbage consists of substances called phytosterols. They are plant compounds that are similar in structure to cholesterol, and they decrease LDL cholesterol by hindering the absorption in the digestive system. Enhancing phytosterol intake by 1 gram per day has been found to decrease LDL cholesterol concentrations by as much as 5%.
May Prevent Cancer
Sulforaphane is another potential cancer-fighting compound found in cabbage. Study over the past 30 years has regularly shown that consuming cruciferous vegetables is linked with a lower risk of cancer.
Recently, researchers have been able to identify that the sulfur-containing compound that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste sulforaphane is also what looks to give them their cancer-fighting power.
Researchers are currently testing sulforaphane’s ability to delay or inhibit cancer. Favorable results at the molecular level have been seen with multiple types of cancer, comprising melanoma, esophageal, pancreatic, prostate.
Researchers have found that sulforaphane has the power to prevent the harmful enzyme histone deacetylase, known to be involved in the development of cancer cells. The ability to stop HDAC enzymes could make sulforaphane-containing foods a possibly powerful part of cancer treatment.
Another research, conducted at the University of Missouri, looked at another chemical found in cabbage, parsley, celery, called apigenin, it was found to decrease tumor size when cells make an aggressive form of breast cancer imbedded in rats. Researchers claim that their findings show that apigenin has the ability to be used as a non-toxic treatment for cancer in the future.
Red cabbage consists of the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, the same compound that gives other red and purple fruits and vegetables their energetic color.
Anthocyanin has been found to slow cancer cell production, kill already formed cancer cells, and stop the formation of new tumor growths. It is not known whether these effects will carry over into cancer stoppage or treatment in humans.
Improves Glucose Level
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are an excellent choice for people with diabetes. Cabbage is a non-starchy vegetable that is low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber. The fiber in cabbage keeps blood sugars constant, preventing harmful highs and lows.
Cabbage can be replaced with some refined floor foods to keep your carbohydrate count down. By using cabbage wraps instead of flour tortillas, for instance, you can decline added carbohydrates while improving the micronutrient content of your meal.
Cabbage has a great number of antioxidant and anti-hyperglycemic properties that make it medicine for diabetes. In research done on rats in 2008, cabbage extracts fed to them for 60 days, decreased blood sugar levels and it also facilitated to control of fluctuations and keep the readings in the safe range.
Helps Weight Loss
Cabbage is often suggested for people who want to lose weight healthily. Since the vegetable is loaded with many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, including water and fiber, it is a healthy dietary choice for people looking to eat healthier and shed pounds. It may also be low in calories consisting of only 33 calories in a cup of cooked vegetables.
Given these beneficial traits, the fad ‘cabbage soup diet is often used for those looking to lose weight fast. However, we are conscious that it may not be nutritionally perfect and should be made a part of a balanced healthy diet, not the main constituent.
Supports brain health
Cabbage may be dense in vitamin K, iodine and antioxidants like anthocyanin. These elements can be helpful as building blocks for the protein. But developing research shows that it might do more than keep the structural integrity of the brain and the nervous system. Vitamin K in cabbage develops your defense against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A 2019 study by the University of Rochester, published in the journal Nature Communication, found that cruciferous vegetables like cabbage may aid in decreasing levels of bad tau proteins that are found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also suggested cruciferous vegetables for enhancing memory.
Improves Bone Health
Cabbage is a great source of minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium like all cruciferous vegetables. These three minerals are necessary for the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone weakening.
The National Spine Health Foundation suggests Vitamin-K-dense foods as cabbage to strengthen bones, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles. Moreover, cabbage is packed with Vitamin C that is necessary for the proper functioning of bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Cabbage also acts as a strong antioxidant.
Cabbage is an extremely healthy food. It has an excellent nutrient profile and is particularly high in vitamin A and C. Additionally, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of various cancers, improve digestion and fight against inflammation. Moreover, cabbage makes a tasty and low-cost addition to a number of recipes. With so many possible health benefits, it is easy to see why cabbage justifies sometime in the limelight and some area on your plate.
About the Author
Twigs cafe staff is comprised of editors, writers, food & drink experts, nutritionists, and researchers to create informative and helpful content for health-conscious people.