Benefits of Cabbage

An Overview

Some people disagree on whether or not certain foods are truly healthy. This isn’t true for cabbage, which many people think of as one of the world’s most nutritious foods. Low in calories and chock full of important vitamins and minerals, cabbage is also versatile enough to be used in a variety of tasty meals, including a wide array of regional specialties.

1. Reduced Breastfeeding Discomfort:

Many new mothers struggle with engorgement or mastitis while breastfeeding. Multiple studies suggest that applying cabbage leaves to your breasts may reduce both pain and breast hardness. This, in turn, could make you more likely to continue breastfeeding despite initial obstacles.

2. Colorectal Cancer Prevention:

Cabbage and related vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts contain high levels of a chemical known as indole-3-carbinol. Scientists believe this chemical may play an important role in preventing several types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

3. Improves Brain And Nervous System Health:

Although it is a little known fact, Vitamin K has an important protective action of the brain and its neurons. Neurons are wrapped in a fatty sheath which improves insulation and facilitates optimal nerve conduction, but can be adversely affected by diet. Vitamin K is important in the production of this outer sheath, which is composed of a specialized type of fat known as sphingolipids. Cabbages, especially the red variety, are also very rich sources of a group of compounds known as anthocyanins.

4. Aids in Detoxification:

Cabbage is beneficial for the body’s natural detoxification process, particularly due to its ample amounts of fiber and sulfur. Toxin buildup in the body is at the root of a number of ailments such as arthritis, skin diseases, rheumatism, and gout. Fiber binds to harmful toxins such as free radicals and uric acid, preventing their absorption in the body and facilitating their elimination out of the body. The glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds, in cabbage aid in breaking down harmful chemicals in the body so that they can be eliminated as waste products.[2]
Moreover, cabbage juice contains the indole-3-carbinol antioxidant, which plays a key role in detoxifying the liver.

5. Cabbage Is Packed With Nutrients:

Cabbage also contains small amounts of other micronutrients, including vitamin A, iron and riboflavin.
As you can see in the list above, it is rich in vitamin B6 and folate, both of which are essential for many important processes in the body, including energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system.
In addition, cabbage is high in fiber and contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenolsand sulfur compounds.
Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have an odd number of electrons, making them unstable. When their levels become too high, they can damage your cells.

6. Reduced Risk of Diabetes:

A diet high in leafy green vegetables like cabbage may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While research agrees that all fruits and vegetables can help prevent diabetes, studies suggest that leafy green vegetables are the most effective.

7. It May Help Keep Inflammation in Check:

Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, your body relies on the inflammatory response to protect against infection or speed up healing. This kind of acute inflammation is a normal response to an injury or infection.
On the other hand, chronic inflammation that occurs over a long period of time is associated with many diseases, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (6).
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain many different antioxidants that have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation. In fact, research has shown that eating more cruciferous vegetables reduces certain blood markers of inflammation.

8. Heals Sprained Ankles:

If you’ve sprained your ankle, cabbage is effective in getting you the much-needed relief. Its anti-inflammatory effect helps reduce the swelling triggered by sprains and broken bones.[14]
Additionally, this inexpensive source of dietary roughage is generously supplied with calcium, magnesium, and potassium that prevent bone degradation as well as vitamins and phytonutrients that support the healing process.

9. Better Brain Health:

Eating just one serving of leafy green vegetables per day can promote brain health and reduce your risk of developing dementia. Research has shown that older adults who eat at least one serving of cabbage or similar vegetables each day have “brain ages” an average of eleven years younger than those who rarely eat any.

10. 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. Collagengives structure and flexibility to the skin and is critical for the proper functioning of the bones, muscles and blood vessels (12).
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.

11. Waist Friendly:

Cabbage is a good vegetable for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way.
One cup of shredded cabbage contains just 22 calories.[3] Thus, you can easily supplement your diet with a good serving of cabbage that will keep you feeling full without the added fear of putting on weight. No wonder, then, that this nutritionally robust source of roughage is a weight watcher’s delight. Also, since cabbage is well endowed with insoluble fiber that can’t be broken down in the intestines, it adds bulk to your stools, helping your stomach empty its contents more effectively.

12. Cures Engorgement of the Breasts:

Dealing with engorgement of the breasts during breastfeeding is nothing less than a nightmare for a mother.
Breast engorgement occurs when your breasts become painfully overstocked with milk. You can use cabbage leaves to reduce the swelling and pain arising from moderate to severe engorgement of the breasts.[13]
The antibiotic and anti-irritant properties of cabbage help reduce tissue congestion by dilating local capillaries and improving the blood flow in the area.
1. Put a few cabbage leaves in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Place a cold cabbage leaf on the engorged breast.
3. When the leaf reaches room temperature, replace it with a new one.
4. Do this a few times daily until the engorgement subsides.

Precautions and Risk Factors

 If you have thyroid problems, avoid eating very large amounts of cabbage. It may, in very large quantities, interfere with the body’s absorption of iodine.
 Some people may have trouble digesting cruciferous vegetables and may experience digestive symptoms. In such cases, eating small portions and cooking the cabbage well may help.
 When buying cabbage, choose one that is heavy for its size. Make sure the leaves are tight and firm.
You can store cabbage in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
 Do not overcook cabbage, as it can lead to a sulfurous odor.

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