What is a Cabbage?
Cabbage is the “king” of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which also includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliﬂower, collards, kale, mustard greens, radishes, swedes, turnips, and other common vegetables. The members of this family of vegetables are currently receiving much attention for their impressive anticancer properties. The three major types of cabbage are green, red, and Savoy. The color of green cabbage ranges from pale to dark green, while red cabbage has leaves that are either crimson or purple with white veins running through. Both green and red cabbage have smooth-textured leaves, while the leaves of Savoy cabbage are more rufﬂed and yellowish green in color.
The ﬂavor of Savoy cabbage is more delicate and mild than the characteristic deﬁnite taste and crunchy texture of red or green. Because cabbage’s inner leaves are protected from the sunlight by the surrounding leaves, they are often lighter in color.
The modern-day cabbage developed from wild cabbage brought to Europe from Asia by roving bands of Celtic people around 600 B.C.E. Because cabbage is well adapted to growing in cooler climates, has high yields per acre, and can be stored over the winter in cold cellars, it quickly spread as a food crop throughout northern Europe. The Russian Federation, Poland, China, and Japan are a few of the leading producers of cabbage today.
Cabbage and sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, were introduced into the United States by early German settlers. As a result of this afﬁliation, people of German descent are often referred to as “krauts.”
Types of Cabbage
There are more or less 7 varieties of cabbage, including the following:
- Red cabbage
- Choy sum
- Bok choy
- Savoy cabbage
- Napa cabbage
- Cannonball cabbage
- January king cabbage
Nutritional Highlights of Cabbage
Cabbage is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie food providing an excellent source of many nutrients, especially vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B 6, biotin, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. But perhaps more important than the nutrient content of cabbage is its phytochemical content. In particular, cabbage contains powerful anticancer compounds known as glucosinolates. A 100 gram serving of cooked cabbage provides 35 calories, 2.3 grams of protein, no cholesterol, 0.4 grams of fat, 7.2 grams of carbohydrate, and 3.3 grams of ﬁber.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 half cup of shredded cooked cabbage (75 grams) contains:
- 17 calories
- 4 grams of carbohydrate (including 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of sugar)
- 1 gram of protein
Eating a half-cup of cooked cabbage would provide 30-35 percent of daily vitamin C needs. It also provides:
- 81.5 micrograms of vitamin K
- 11 milligrams of magnesium
- 22 micrograms of folate
- Plus, lesser amounts of vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium, and thiamin.
Cabbage contains the antioxidants choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin as well as the flavonoids kaempferol, quercetin, and apigenin. Red cabbage tends to contain more of these compounds than green cabbage.
Cabbage Is Packed With 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 cabbage 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.
Could Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell in your body. Some people think all cholesterol is bad, but it’s essential for the body’s proper functioning. Critical processes depend on cholesterol, such as proper digestion and the synthesis of hormones and vitamin D. However, people who have high cholesterol also tend to have an increased risk of heart disease, especially when they have elevated levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Cabbage contains two substances that have been shown to decrease unhealthy levels of LDL cholesterol.
Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by binding with cholesterol in the gut and keeping it from being absorbed into the blood. A large analysis of 67 studies showed 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 2.2 mg per deciliter. Cabbage is a good source of soluble fiber. In fact, around 40% of the fiber found in cabbage is soluble.
Cabbage contains substances called phytosterols. They are plant compounds that are structurally similar to cholesterol, and they reduce LDL cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. Increasing phytosterol intake by 1 gram per day has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol concentrations by as much as 5%.
Cabbage Is an Excellent Source of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a collection of fat-soluble vitamins that plays many important roles in the body. These vitamins are divided into two main groups.
- Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone): Found primarily in plant sources.
- Vitamin K2 (menaquinone): Found in animal sources and some fermented foods. It is also produced by bacteria in the large intestine.
- Cabbage is a terrific source of vitamin K1, delivering 85% of the recommended daily amount in a single cup (89 grams).
- Vitamin K1 is a key nutrient that plays many important roles in the body.
- One of its main functions is to act as a cofactor for enzymes that are responsible for clotting the blood.
- Without vitamin K, the blood would lose its ability to clot properly, increasing the risk of excessive bleeding.
Health Benefits of Cabbage
One of the American Cancer Society’s key dietary recommendations to reduce the risk of cancer is to include cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliﬂower, in the diet on a regular basis. The reason for this recommendation? The cabbage family of vegetables contains more phytochemicals with demonstrable anticancer properties than any other vegetable family. Most of these compounds are glucosinolates. Those receiving the most attention are indole-3-carbinol, sulphoraphane, di-indolmethane, and isothio- cyanates.
The anticancer effects of cabbage-family vegetables have been noted in population studies. Consistently, the higher the intake of cabbage family vegetables, the lower the rates of cancer, particularly colon, prostate, lung, and breast cancer. The glucosinolates in cabbage work primarily by increasing antioxidant defense mechanisms, as well as improving the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful chemicals and hormones.
Speciﬁcally, indole-3-carbinole (I3C), has been shown to increase the rate at which oestrogen is broken down through the liver’s detoxiﬁcation pathway by nearly 50 percent. Cabbage has also been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of peptic ulcers.
Dr. Garnett Cheney from the Stanford University School of Medicine and other researchers in the 1950’s clearly demonstrated that fresh cabbage juice is extremely effective in the treatment of peptic ulcers, showing measurable effect usually in less than seven days. The anti-ulcer component of cabbage was initially referred to as “vitamin U” but later identiﬁed as the amino acid glutamine, a critical factor in the growth and regeneration of the cells that line the gastrointestinal tract.
Cabbage acts as a good detoxifier too, meaning that it purifies the blood and removes toxins, primarily free radicals and uric acid which are the main 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 sulfur in it.
Cabbage is known to accumulate a build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves and one of the main components of that is glutamine. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, so consuming it can reduce the effects of many types of inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.
One of the most celebrated health benefits of cabbage is its powerful antioxidant quality. This means that cabbage and other similar vegetables scavenge free radicals from the body, which can be detrimental to overall health and are major contributors to cancer and heart diseases.
It also contains another and glucosinolates that can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that help in the prevention of various cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and colon cancer.
Red cabbage also has a number of anti-cancer compounds, like lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane (glucosinolates derived isothiocyanate), which are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors that lead to cancer. One study, performed primarily on Chinese women, showed a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were regularly added to their diet.
Supports the Digestive Tract
Cabbage is very rich in fiber and glucosinolates, which is the main health benefit of roughage. This helps the body retain water and it maintains the bulkiness of the food as it moves through the bowels. Thus, it is a good remedy for constipation and other problems related to digestion.
Roughage deficiency can be really fatal, but it is one that is commonly overlooked in the maintenance of personal health. A lack of roughage in food can result in constipation, which is the root cause of many other ailments and health hazards such as stomach ulcers, headaches, gastrointestinal cancers, indigestion, and a subsequent loss of appetite. The dangers of roughage deficiency even extend to skin diseases, eczema, premature aging, and hundreds of mild to serious conditions.
Regulates Heart Health & Cholesterol
By binding the bile acids, it helps to lower your total LDL cholesterol levels. Cabbage is also rich in polyphenols, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing blood pressure and preventing platelet build-up.
Protects from Radiation Therapy
Cabbage has a rare compound called 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), which has been shown to prevent the risks associated with radiation therapy. It helps in ensuring that the red and white blood cells and the platelet count remain existent, which is often not the case during radiation therapy. Therefore, DIM is also favored for use during cancer treatment in order to protect healthy tissue.
Due to the high vitamin C content of cabbage, it helps in boosting the immune system and fighting off free radicals.
Skin Care & Vitamin C
As mentioned already, cabbage is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, and sulfur, 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 get by eating cabbage can cause a turn-around in your aging processes, leaving you feeling and looking healthy and young. It also helps in preventing the onset of acne.
Cabbage is frequently recommended for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. Since cabbage is packed with many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it is a healthy dietary option for people to eat and is quite filling since it has high levels of fiber, which add bulk to the bowels. It is also low in calories, amounting to only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage. Therefore, people can go on the popular “cabbage soup” diet, and eat plenty of food to stay healthy, without gaining excess weight!
Cabbage is a rich source of beta-carotene, so many people, particularly as they get older, turn to cabbage for its ability to prevent macular degeneration and promote good eye health and delay cataract formation.
Cabbage being rich in sulfur and silicon helps in preventing dry hair. It also has a high vitamin A content that acts as an antioxidant and promotes hair health and hair growth.
Prevents Prostate Cancer
Beta-carotene has been positively linked to reduced chances of prostate cancer, which is an extra bonus on top of other anti-carcinogenic effects of cabbage!
Improves Brain Health
Let’s not forget that cabbage is a very powerful brain food! The presence of vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage can give a strong boost to mental function and concentration. Vitamin K is essential for the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around nerves. This wrapping is what protects nerves from damage and decay. Therefore, consuming vitamin K can improve your defense against neural degeneration, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Furthermore, the 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.
Cabbage, being rich in iodine, also helps in the proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, along with keeping the glands of the endocrine system in proper condition.
Cabbage, as well as all cruciferous vegetables, are great sources 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.
Regulates 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, so it isn’t being forced in a stress-inducing way through constricted arteries and veins. Overall, cabbage is a great shield against many types of dangerous conditions!
Reduces Muscle Aches
When certain bacteria ferment the sugars in cabbage during the preparation of sauerkraut, lactic acid is released. It isn’t the easiest compound to find in a diet, but it has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and aches, so in some small way, cabbage can help in general pain relief and muscle soreness, depending on how it is prepared.
Cabbage is rich in sulfur, which is a very useful nutrient as it fights infections. A deficiency of sulfur can result in microbial infections and a greatly reduced healing speed. It also reduces the frequency and severity of ulcers.
Cabbage can also be used for the treatment of varicose veins, leg ulcers, and peptic and duodenal ulcers. Basically, this common component of your Chinese dishes could be a miraculous addition to your diet. Don’t be afraid 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.
Uses of Cabbage
Cabbage can be used in various culinary uses and can be incorporated into our daily diet in the following ways:
Salads: Cabbage can be shredded into salads with salt and other spices.
Soups: It can also be boiled into a soup and served hot.
Stews: It can be served raw or steamed into a stew with water and salt.
Cabbage is one such vegetable that can be added to any number of dishes and still be enjoyed just the same with its amazing health benefits.
How to Select and Store Cabbage
Cabbage should be fresh and crisp with no evidence of decay or worm injury. Choose cabbage heads that are ﬁrm and dense with shiny, crisp, colorful leaves free of cracks, bruises, and blemishes. There should be only a few outer loose leaves attached to the stem. If not, it may be an indication of undesirable texture and taste. Avoid buying pre-cut cabbage, either halved or shredded, since once cabbage is cut, it begins to lose its valuable vitamin C content.
Keeping cabbage cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Red and green cabbage will keep this way for about two weeks, while Savoy cabbage will keep for about one week. If you need to store a partial head of cabbage, cover it tightly with cling ﬁlm and refrigerate. Since the vitamin C content of cabbage degrades quickly once it has been cut, you should use the remainder within a couple of days.
Tips for Preparing Cabbage
Even though the inside of a cabbage is usually clean because the outer leaves protect it, you must still wash it before eating. Remove the thick ﬁbrous outer leaves, cut the cabbage into pieces, and then wash under cold running water.
If the cabbage is not organically grown, soak it in cold water with a mild solution of additive- free soap or use a produce wash and rinse thoroughly.
To cut cabbage into smaller pieces, ﬁrst quarter it and remove the core. Cabbage can be cut into slices of varying thickness, grated by hand, or shredded in a food processor. To preserve its vitamin C content, cut and wash the cabbage right before cooking or eating it. Since phytochemicals in the cabbage react with carbon steel and turn the leaves black, use a stainless-steel knife to cut it.
If you notice any signs of worms or insects, which sometimes appear in organically grown cabbage, soak the head in salt water or vinegar water for 15 to 20 minutes ﬁrst.
Quick Serving Ideas for Cabbage
• Raw cabbage can be juiced, or shredded and made into coleslaw or added to salads.
• Use 1/4 cup shredded raw cabbage as a garnish for sandwiches.
• Combine 1 cup each shredded red and white cabbage with 3 to 4 tablespoons soy or rape- seed mayonnaise and seasonings, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and black pep- per, to make coleslaw with an Indian twist.
• Braise 2 cups sliced red cabbage with 1 chopped apple, 1/2 cup red wine, salt, and pepper. This is a child-friendly dish, since the alcohol, but not the ﬂavor or the ﬂavonoids, will evaporate.
• Sauté equal amounts of cabbage and onions in olive oil and serve over cooked buckwheat for a hardy side dish.
• For a twist on the traditional Reuben sandwich (corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, dressing on rye), place grilled tempeh on a slice of whole-grain bread, layer with sauerkraut, top with cheese or “meltable” soy cheese, and then grill for a few minutes until the sandwich is hot and toasty. Top with Russian dressing (mayonnaise-based, with chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup) and enjoy.
Irish Heritage Cabbage
- 2 slices Irish bacon, diced
- 1 medium head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Prep Cook Ready In
5 m 20 m 25 m
- Preheat your oven’s broiler.
- Place cabbage into a large pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain and set aside. Drain cabbage, and drizzle with melted butter.
- Sprinkle with bacon and nutmeg. Transfer to a baking dish.
- Place under your oven’s broiler until the top layer is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Serve with salt, pepper and vinegar as desired.
Negative Effects of Cabbage
Cabbage contains significant quantities of riffinose, an indigestible sugar. This sugar is a type of complex carbohydrate that passes through your intestines undigested and can cause flatulence. Other symptoms associated with flatulence that may result after eating cabbage include belching, abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Green cabbage contains 5.8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, reports Michigan State University. The insoluble fiber in cabbage increases the movement of waste in your digestive tract. Eating too much fiber can contribute to symptoms of diarrhea or block your intestines. Additionally, individuals undergoing cancer treatment may need to avoid eating cabbage, as this vegetable can exacerbate diarrhea often caused by chemotherapy. Consult your treating physician about cabbage consumption if you are undergoing this type of treatment.
Cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K, a vitamin that helps your blood clot. Eating too much cabbage can interfere with blood-thinning medications, but a 2-cup serving of green cabbage should assist in providing the desired amount of vitamin K without inducing negative effects. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for males and 90 micrograms for females, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. One cup of green cabbage contains 53 micrograms of vitamin K, while the same serving of red cabbage contains 34 micrograms. According to the University of Michigan Health System, consuming a consistent quantity of foods high in vitamin K and limiting your vitamin K intake to the recommended daily allowance can assist in preventing harmful interactions. Consult your physician about consuming vitamin K foods if you are taking a blood-thinning medication.
Consuming high quantities of cabbage might cause hypothyroidism, according to Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine deficiency coupled with high consumption of cabbage, such as 1,000 to 1,500 grams per day, can result in a lack of thyroid hormone. Glucosinulates are compounds containing sulfur and nitrogen that occur abundantly in cabbage. Chemical reactions with these compounds may interfere with the production of your thyroid hormone or cause the release of a certain ion that competes with iodine uptake. Your thyroid gland needs iodine to function properly. If there are competing processes limiting iodine quantities, this may contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. However, cabbage consumption independent of iodine deficiency does not increase your risk of hypothyroidism, reports Linus Pauling Institute.
Can Cause Flatulence
Cabbage is rich in dietary fibers which make it very beneficial for our digestive system as these fibers helps in the smooth passage of waste out of the body and also helps in weight management by making our tummy feel fuller faster and for a longer time. However, eating too much cabbage can have a very bad effect on our stomach and can give rise to problems like flatulence. This is because of the presence of the indigestible sugar, raffinose in it.
Raffinose is a complex carbohydrate that passes through our intestines without proper digestion and causes flatulence, and other symbols associated with flatulence like belching, abdominal discomfort, bloating etc.
Increased Risk of Diarrhea
Cabbage is a great source of dietary fibers. In fact, a single cup of green cabbage contains around 5.8 grams of fibers. These fibers are very beneficial for keeping our stomach healthy as it helps in smooth excretion of waste out of the body and at the same time it also helps in weight management by making our stomach feel fuller for a long time.
However, the fibers present in cabbage is of insoluble type and having too much of these fibers could be very bad for our health as they can contribute to the symptoms of diarrhea or block intestines and thus make absorption of nutrients difficult. Because of diarrhea triggering symptoms of cabbage, patients undergoing cancer treatment are advised to avoid cabbage from their diet as it can worsen the condition of diarrhea caused by the chemotherapy.
Can Interfere With Certain Medication
Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that plays a very important role in the blood clotting process. The presence of vitamin K is an advantage of cabbage, but the same vitamin K also makes cabbage unsuitable for individuals that are taking anticoagulants ( substances that prevent coagulation of blood)
As per the University of Maryland Medical Center, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K. A cup of green cabbage contains around 53 micrograms of vitamin K and the same cup of red cabbage contains about 34 micrograms of vitamin K. Eating two cups serving of green cabbage can assist our body in getting enough vitamin K without causing any side effects. Daily recommended dosage of vitamin K is 120 micrograms in male and 80 micrograms in the female. Just by eating two cups of green cabbage you can get around 106 micrograms of vitamin K.
Can Trigger Hypothyroidism
If you are suffering from iodine deficiency then you should be very careful about the consumption of cabbage and should never eat it in excess.As per Linus Pauling Institute, consuming too much cabbage ( like 1000 to 1500 grams per day ) while suffering from a deficiency of iron can cause result in a lack of thyroid hormone and might cause hypothyroidism.
In addition to this, glucosinolates ( compound carrying sulfur and nitrogen) may interfere with the production of thyroid hormone. Thyroid gland for our body needs iodine for proper functioning, and deficiency of iron can worsen the state of this iron deficiency giving rise to hypothyroidism.
An important fact about cabbage is that over consumption of cabbage triggers hypothyroidism only in people with iodine deficiency and not in individuals independent of iodine deficiency.
Usage of Cabbage During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Cabbage is a safe food as long as it is consumed in moderation. Pregnant women must be very cautious about everything they eat and drink, and as far as cabbage is concerned there is not enough information about the safety of eating cabbage.So, it will be better to be on the safe side and go with the words of the doctor.
Applying cabbage on the skin for a short time is safe for nursing mother. In fact, massaging breasts with cabbage leaves several times in a day for a day or two, can provide relief from swelling and pain caused by breastfeeding. However, nursing mother must be careful about eating cabbage even in regular quantity as there are some evidence that even an infrequent consumption ( like once a week) of cabbage by breastfeeding mothers can develop colic in infant babies.
Can Cause Hypoglycemia
Cabbage is very beneficial for people suffering from diabetes as it helps in controlling high blood sugar level because of its low glycemic index. This is a benefit of cabbage but the same benefit can turn into a side effect if cabbage is consumed in excess.Consuming cabbage in a very high quantity as too much of cabbage can lower down our blood sugar level to such a low level that it might cause hypoglycemia.
Interfere With Blood Sugar Control During Surgery
If you have a surgery scheduled, then it will be better to stop eating cabbage, at least, two weeks before surgery. This is because of cabbage can affect the blood sugar levels in our body and this could interfere with the blood sugar control pre and post-surgical process
Cabbage juice is a mildly flavored juice derived from cabbage leaves, which belong to a number of different cultivars of the Brassica oleracea species. Cabbage is widely cultivated around the world for its hearty, nutrient-dense leafy heads, which are popularly used in culinary preparations, from salads and stews to pickled forms and healthy juices.
Cabbage Juice Nutrition Facts
A single glass of cabbage juice can deliver significant amounts of vitamin K, A, E, and C, calcium, iron, potassium, glutamine, phosphorus, iodine, B-family vitamins, phytonutrients, enzymes, and antioxidant compounds. When you choose to juice cabbage, rather than eat it, you will be missing out on the dietary fiber cabbage is rich in. Next time you want to try a simple, inexpensive, and nutrient-rich vegetable juice, prepare your own cabbage juice at home and enjoy its many surprising benefits!
Health Benefits of Cabbage Juice
The impressive health benefits of cabbage juice include detoxifying the body, boosting immunity, weight loss, faster healing of skin issues, balancing hormone function, lowering blood pressure, among others.
Cabbage juice is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C and E, all of which can help improve the health and appearance of your skin. It can flush out free radicals from the surface of the skin and reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and blemishes while giving your skin a healthy glow.
Detoxifies the Body
Famed as a diuretic substance, people have been drinking cabbage juice to get rid of toxins in the body for centuries. Glucosinolates are found in cabbage juice, which can help eliminate many of the toxins, unnecessary hormones and enzymes from the body. It also helps detoxify liver and kidneys.
Cabbage juice is extremely low in calories, coming in at only 18 calories in a glass. However, this juice is also quite nutrient-dense and can help your body feel full. Thus, lowering your risk of snacking between meals and overeating, and making cabbage juice an ideal part of a weight-loss diet.
With the presence of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other immune strengthening minerals, this juice can be a great shield for the immune system. Furthermore, some of the trace active ingredients can counter the release of histamines in the body, which reduces the workload of your immune system.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Numerous studies have found that regular consumption of cabbage juice can help lower your LDL cholesterol levels, which is the “bad” form of fat that can lead to heart issues. By balancing your cholesterol levels, this juice can help with weight loss and improve heart health.
Treats Stomach Disorders
This is what cabbage juice is most famous for, balancing the acidity levels in the stomach and reducing the presence of stomach ulcers. Due to the presence of sulforaphane and other natural enzymes, the mucus lining of your stomach will be strengthened and it will be much harder for peptic ulcers to form. In fact, studies have shown that drinking 4-6 cups of cabbage juice per day can eliminate stomach ulcers in under two weeks.
Improves Brain Function
Research has connected some of the active ingredients in cabbage juice, namely the anthocyanins and vitamin K, to improved brain function and lower depositions of plaque in the neural pathways. In combination with the other antioxidants in this beverage, you can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Balances Hormone Levels
There is a significant amount of iodine found in cabbage, which means that this juice can help regulate and monitor your thyroid gland and hormone production. This is an essential mineral in which many people are deficient, but if you want to reduce your chances of developing hyper/hypothyroidism, this juice is precisely what you need.
There are a number of unique antioxidants in cabbage juice, including sulfuric compounds and isocyanate, both of which can prevent oxidative stress and carcinogens from negatively impacting cells. Research has linked these active ingredients to lower levels of multiple cancers, including colon, stomach, and prostate cancer.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Cabbage juice offers a healthy dose of potassium, which means lower blood pressure due to its function as a vasodilator. This can reduce strain and tension in your blood vessels and arteries, which thereby lowers your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke, while also improving muscle and nervous system function.
Side Effects of Cabbage Juice
There are very few side effects of drinking cabbage juice, although it is important to note that some people experience an increase in gas and bloating, while others report an increase in gut inflammation. Most of these side effects can be readily avoided if you practice moderation.
Flatulence and Bloating: The active ingredients in cabbage juice, namely sulfuric compounds, may interact poorly with the bacteria in your gut, resulting in an increase in gas. This can lead to bloating and discomfort. Try a smaller amount of cabbage juice if you experience this side effect.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: On a similar note, people with IBS have reported that drinking more than the recommended amount of cabbage juice results in a worsening of symptoms, including diarrhea, discomfort, and inflammation of the gut.
Thyroid Function: If you are drinking a significant amount of cabbage juice, perhaps to eliminate a stomach ulcer, there is a chance that you could affect your thyroid gland. While iodine is essential for the production of hormones and the regulation of thyroid, too much of it can be dangerous. If you have hyper/hypothyroidism, speak with your doctor before making this juice a regular part of your diet.
How to Make Cabbage Juice?
You can easily prepare cabbage juice at home and since it is bland in taste, you can try adding some extra fruits, vegetables or spices. Purple/red cabbage tend to be slightly sweeter, making it a better option if you plan to mix the juice with other fruits.
To make cabbage juice, you should use the dense middle of the cabbage head, although you can also throw in a few of the outer leaves. The flavor of cabbage juice is also mild, making it ideal for subtly blending with other vegetable or fruit juices.
- 1 medium-sized green/red cabbage, chopped finely
- 1/2 apple, peeled and cored
- 1 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1 cup of filtered water
- Properly wash and prepare all the ingredients (slice, core, peel, chop)
- Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until the consistency is that of a smooth puree.
- Place cheesecloth over the top of a bowl or container and strain the cabbage mixture through the cheesecloth.
- Press or squeeze the cheesecloth to get all of the remaining juice into the container.
- Garnish with a cabbage leaf, serve chilled, and enjoy!
Cabbage-family vegetables contain goitrogens, compounds that can interfere with thyroid hormone action in certain situations, primarily when iodine levels are low. The goitrogens are largely isothiocyanates, which block the utilization of iodine; however, despite our warning here, there is no evidence that these compounds in cruciferous vegetables interfere with thyroid function to any signiﬁcant degree when dietary iodine levels are adequate.
Furthermore, cooking may help inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables. If large quantities of raw cruciferous vegetables—more than four servings per week——are being consumed, it is a good idea that the diet also contain adequate amounts of iodine. Iodine is found in kelp and other sea- weeds, vegetables grown near the sea, seafood, iodized salt, and food supplements.
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