If you want to have beautiful glowing skin and a sufficiently strong immune system, then be sure to include cabbage in your diet. Cabbage is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which is notorious for its high content of beneficial nutrients. So if you are trying to improve your diet, then cruciferous vegetables should be at the very top of your food list.
Cabbage is a really powerful vegetable
It has been grown for more than 4,000 years. His story began to be written on the shores of the western Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The ancient Egyptians even attributed divine power to him. They used it as a sacrificial gift.
In ancient Greece, it was used as a medicinal plant that strengthened the body and spirit and consumed it as an “immune and anti-stress pill”. It turned out later that it also helps with ulcer diseases.
Ancient healers claimed that cabbage had the power of the moon because it grew in the moonlight. However, modern nutrition science has understood that the power of cabbage is based on its high content of sulfur and vitamin C.
Nutritional profile of cabbage
Half a cup of shredded cabbage (about 75 grams) contains 17 calories , 4 grams of carbohydrates (including 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of sugar) and 1 gram of protein. Half a cup of cooked cabbage will give you 47% of the daily dose of vitamin C . From the same dose of cabbage, your body can get 102% of the daily dose of vitamin K , 8% of manganese, 6% of folic acid and less of vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium and thiamine.
Cabbage also contains antioxidants, choline, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as the flavinoids camphorol, quercetin and apigenin. Red cabbage contains more of these compounds than green cabbage.The Harvard School of Public Health has said that people who regularly consume nutrients from fresh ingredients such as cabbage are less likely to develop a wide range of chronic diseases.
Health Benefits of Cabbage
1. Cabbage is ideal for weight loss
A cup of boiled cabbage has only 33 calories. It is low in fat and high in fiber. If you are trying to lose weight, then cabbage is a food that you must definitely include in your diet. In addition, cabbage promotes excretion and detoxification, which only accelerates weight loss.
2. Contains vitamin C
Vitamin C contained in cabbage promotes the health of the skin, blood vessels, bones and teeth. As an antioxidant, it can eliminate free radicals that damage cell tissues and DNA. Eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as cabbage, can reduce the risk of hypertension, heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis.
Vitamin C spoils quickly when exposed to water, light, heat and air. It is therefore ideal to store the cabbage in a cool and dark place and consume it within three to four days from the date of purchase. The best option is to eat raw cabbage, lightly stewed or stewed.
3. Cabbage contains fiber
Half a cup of boiled cabbage contains 2 grams of fiber, which is 8% of the daily recommended dose. Cabbage contains soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, creating a viscous substance that slows down the movement of food in the digestive system. Thus, the body can absorb the necessary nutrients at rest. At the same time, it inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates from the small intestine into the blood, thus preventing fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This type of fiber also accumulates bile acids and cholesterol in the intestines, reducing stomach acidity.
It absorbs water well, but does not dissolve in it. It softens the stool, thus keeping the contents of the intestines moving. As a result, regular emptying is ideal. Insoluble fiber also flushes the feared carcinogens, bile acids and dangerous cholesterol from the body. According to experts, cabbage is one of the best sources of fiber . A diet that is high in fiber can help prevent cancer, obesity, heart disease, hemorrhoids, constipation, and diverticulosis.
4. Cabbage contains vitamin K
Half a cup of raw or boiled cabbage contains 68% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin K in men and 90% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin K in women. Vitamin K plays an important role in proper blood clotting and helps maintain bone strength.
If your diet lacks vitamin K, you are most likely to develop osteoporosis or excessive bleeding if you are injured. Vitamin K is fat soluble and cannot be absorbed by the intestines without a source of fat. So try eating cabbage with grilled chicken or steak. If you eat raw cabbage, add olive oil and oil-based spices.
Cabbage, like other members of the cruciferous vegetable group, contains a high concentration of glucosinolate compounds . When you chew cabbage, glucosinolates are broken down into indole isithiocyanate compounds.
According to the Nation Cancer Institute, the two compounds can act effectively as antioxidants that could help prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth and migration of tumor cells and killing potential cancer cells. However, the NCI warns that most studies have so far only been performed in animals and that the effect in humans has yet to be confirmed.
6. Protection against chemotherapy
A compound called 3,3´-diindolylmethane (DIM), which is found in cabbage, can protect against the effects of chemotherapy . In a study conducted at the University of Georgetown, rats received a lethal dose of radiation. Some were left untreated and others received daily DIM injections for two weeks. All untreated rats died. More than 50% of rat patients taking DIM remained alive for the next 30 days.
The researchers performed the same experiment on mice with a similar result. The researchers found that mice treated with DIM had higher numbers of red or white blood cells and platelets, which chemotherapy often destroys.
It is well known that DIM has protective effects against cancer, and researchers hope that the use of this substance will serve as a protective shield for healthy tissues in the future during cancer treatment.
7. Cancer prevention
Another compound in cabbage that can fight cancer is sulforaphane . Research over the last 30 years shows that consuming cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of cancer. Recently, researchers have found that these compounds contain sulfur (sulforaphane), which gives these vegetables a certain bitterness, but can also act against cancer.
Another study tested the ability of sulforaphane to delay or prevent cancer. Researchers have seen promising results in many types of cancer, including melanoma, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
According to scientists, sulforaphane has the power to destroy the enzymes harmful histone deacetylase (HDAC), which is known to be involved in the growth of tumor cells.
Furthermore, a component named epigenin was found in cabbage, parsley, celery and other plants, can reduce the size of the tumor in an aggressive form of breast cancer. The researchers say their findings suggest that apigenin has the potential to become a non-toxic form of cancer treatment in the future.
Red cabbage also contains the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin , which gives red and purple fruits its color. Anthocyanins slow down the proliferation of cancer cells and kill established cancer cells, preventing the formation of new tumor growths.
8. Cabbage works against cardiovascular diseases
The anthocyanin compound suppresses inflammation, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. A recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that eating flavonoid-rich foods reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease . Even a small amount of flavonoids can be beneficial. The high content of polyphenols in cabbage can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing the accumulation of platelets and lowering blood pressure.
9. Immunity and digestion
A popular way of preparing cabbage is its fermentation. A popular form of fermented cabbage is sauerkraut or kimchi. Fermented foods are full of probiotics , which are one of the best ingredients we can consume for our immune and digestive systems.
The fiber and water content of cabbage also helps prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. Consumption of appropriate fiber promotes regularity, which is essential for the daily excretion of toxins through bile and faeces.
Recent studies have shown that fiber may even play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation, reducing the risk of related inflammations such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
10. Cabbage for beauty
The high sulfur content beautifies our skin. Cabbage helps break down oily skin and acne. Internal use of sulfur is essential for the production of keratin – protein substances that are needed for healthy hair, nails and skin.
Thanks to the fact that cabbage cleanses the blood and changes the metabolism of cells, it has a rejuvenating effect on the skin and the skin, makes it supple and partially smoothes wrinkles.
Ingredients for a cabbage mask:
- 2-3 cabbage leaves
- 2 teaspoons of rice flour
- a few drops of almond or olive oil
To prepare a cabbage mask:
- Mix the cabbage leaves.
- Mix rice flour and almond oil.
- Apply the mask on the face and let it dry. Then rinse with water.
- If you have very oily skin, you can skip the oil.
11. Cabbage supports the brain
Cabbage is full of vitamin K and anthocyanins, which help with mental function and concentration. These nutrients also prevent nerve damage and improve defense against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These substances are even more abundant in red cabbage than in white.
Cabbage contains acetylcholine which affects how quickly we think about it and how long we can keep information. Low levels of acetylcholine are manifested by frequent forgetting, poor perception of the emotions of others, but also the desire to touch.
The deficiency is also visible on the skin, which is dry and cracked. The appetite is also strange, when a person more or less looks for fatter foods, because fat contains choline, which forms the basic building block of acetylcholine.
Unfortunately, this condition can be very dangerous, mainly due to bad fats, which can clog arteries in the brain and destroy its natural mechanism for acetylcholine production.