The Health Benefits of Cabbage, by Nutritionists
Cabbage isn't likely to win any "hottest vegetable" awards anytime soon, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try it if it's given to you. In fact, it may be beneficial to your diet (and help you break out from a veggie rut).
The vegetable, which comes in red, green, and white varieties, is related to broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, among other vegetables. However, although it has many health advantages (more on that later), Maxine Smith, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic's Center for Human Nutrition, tells Health that you must cook it properly in order to enjoy them.
"You should avoid lengthy cooking techniques and boiling," Smith advises, adding that these methods deplete the nutrients in the food. Instead, opt for faster cooking techniques such as stir-frying or cutting the vegetable and eating it raw in a salad or slaw. If you need more convincing to pick up some cabbage on your next shopping trip, qualified dietitians have weighed in on all the health advantages of cabbage and why you should include it in your diet.
It contains a lot of vitamin C.
Vitamin C isn't only found in oranges; cabbage may also offer a significant quantity of the mineral if you need to supplement your diet. "Cabbage is rich in the antioxidant vitamin C, supplying precisely 70% of the RDA [recommended daily allowances]," says Keri Gans, a New York-based RDN.
It's critical to consume enough vitamin C each day since our bodies don't produce it naturally (so, we must get it from food). According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based foods, the production of collagen to aid wound healing, and the strengthening of your immune system to help protect you from illness (ODS). "The cabbage family has been linked to immunological advantages, so it aids our cells in combating intruders like viruses," Smith explains.
It's a high-fiber food.
Cabbage may help you obtain extra fiber in your diet, whether your doctor suggested it or you just need a little assistance going to the toilet. Two cups of chopped cabbage provide almost 5 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. (MedlinePlus recommends a daily consumption of 25 grams for women aged 19 to 50.)
"Cabbage is high in fiber, which may help relieve constipation, regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and enhance digestive health,
It has the potential to enhance bone health.
Cabbage includes vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and good blood clotting activities in the body. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked cabbage contains approximately 68 micrograms of vitamin K. The ODS advises 120 micrograms per day for adult males and 90 micrograms per day for women as a starting point.
While vitamin K deficiency is uncommon, certain individuals with specific medical disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or ulcerative colitis, may be more susceptible to low vitamin K levels. According to the ODS, too little vitamin D may result in decreased bone strength, an increased chance of developing osteoporosis, and, in rare cases, bruising and bleeding issues.
It's a low-calorie delight.
If you're not trying to lose weight, substituting calorie-dense meals with calorie-dense foods that don't pack as much of a caloric punch may help a lot—and cabbage is a fantastic choice for that. "Cabbage has a low calorie count. "One cup of cooked cabbage has just 34 calories, making it a great weight-loss choice," adds Gans.
Another advantage is that, although many nutritious, nutrient-dense meals may be costly, cabbage is a very low-cost food.
It's beneficial to your cardiovascular system.
You may not think of cabbage as a heart-healthy meal, but it's something you should include in your diet if you're seeking to improve your heart's health.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good choice for those at risk of heart disease.
It may aid in the battle against cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain sulfur-containing molecules called glucosinolates, which are responsible for the bitter taste of many cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates are broken down into chemicals that have been studied for their anti-cancer properties during meal preparation, chewing, and digestion. "Cabbage's anti-cancer properties are attributed to its high glucosinolate concentration. According to Smith, "it has been linked to a lower risk of many kinds of cancer."
Of course, this is encouraging news, but it doesn't imply that eating a lot of cabbage would completely protect you against cancer. Experts believe additional study on the cancer-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables is needed. However, they're still a nutritious complement to any diet, so include them in your meals is always a good idea.