Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that provides a host of beneficial effects when consumed. Scientific research has shown the presence of a chemical that may protect against the harmful effects of radiation. Cabbage also contains sulforaphane that protects you from certain types of cancer. Furthermore, cabbage can be used to treat constipation, stomach ulcers, headache, obesity, kin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cabbage is a round or oval leafy vegetable belonging to the Brassica family. It is made up of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves which are covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is available all round the year and is sure to provide you with a number of nutritional benefits. Cabbage helps to overcome a number of health ailments resulting from deficiencies of Vitamin C, roughage and sulphur. There are hundreds of varieties of cabbage that can be found in different parts of the world. But recent research studies have found red-purple cabbage to be the most beneficial. They are used both in Eastern and Westen cuisines as they are rich in vitamins, iron nd potassium.
Cabbage is filled with essential nutrients that are beneficial for your body. It is low in fat and calories and, thus, can easily be included in your diet plan. This vegetable contains phytochemicals like thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. These are potent anti-oxidants that have a number of beneficial effects on your body. It is also rich in the natural oxidant Vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, Vitamin B1, manganese, folate and copper. It contains essential vitamins like vitamin B-5, Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin K.
Cabbage is rich in Vitamin C that has amazing anti-aging effects and helps you get a healthy and glowing skin. Cabbage juice contains Vitamin A which works with Vitamin D to make your skin clear and healthy. It also protects your skin cells against destruction by ultraviolet rays.
Cabbage leaves contain admium-binding complexes in its leaves and one of its main components is glutamine. Being a strong anti-inflammatory, glutanin helps to reduce the effects of various types of inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever and various skin disorders.
Cabbage is a source of a compound called 3,3- diindolylmethane(DIM) that has the ability to protect you against the harmful effects of radiation therapy. Further research has shown that not only does DIM protects you from cancer but it may also be used as a shield to protect healthy tissues during cancer treatment.
Cabbage is a good source of beta-carotene and, therefore, very good for your eyes. Elderly people are increasingly including cabbage in their diet to protect their eyes against macular degeneration and also to delay the onset of cataracts. In addition, beta-carotene also reduces the chances of prostate cancer.
Consuming cruciferous vegetable like cabbage lowers risk of cancer as it contains sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has the ability to delay or impede various forms of cancer like melanoma, esophageal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Research has shown that sulforaphane has the capability to impede the functioning of the harmful enzyme called histone deacetylase which is involved in the progression of cancer cells. Cabbage contains another chemical called apigenin which helps to reduce the size of the tumor in an aggressive form of breast cancer.
People who want to lose weight can include cabbage in their diet. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients but low in carbohydrates and calories. This allows you to consume a lot of it without worrying about putting on weight. It has dietary fiber which adds bulk to the bowel and prevents unnecessary weight gain.
Give a powerful boost to your mental health and to your power of concentration by including cabbage in your diet as it is rich in Vitamin K and anthocyanins. Vitamin K helps in the production of sphingolipids which is the myelin sheath around nerves and which protects them from damage and decay. Therefore Vitamin K intake improves your defense against neural degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Cabbage, when consumed in a fermented form like sauerkraut and kimchi provides you with a high quantity of probiotics. Probiotics are healthy microbes that help in digestion and also improve your body’s immunity. The enzymes produced on fermentation make it easier for the body to absorb minerals and vitamins. Moreover, the fiber and water content in cabbage help to prevent constipation and to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Cabbage, like other cruciferous vegetables, is a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium. These minerals protect your bones and prevent them from becoming weak and degraded. It also prevents the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone weakening.
Elevated blood pressure increases the risks of heart attack and stroke. Eating cabbage helps to regulate your blood pressure and reduces the risks of any heart disorder. This is because cabbage contains potassium which is a vasodilator and it helps to open up the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable which has quite a number of nutritional benefits and uses. It helps to delay the aging process, reduces high blood pressure, provides a suitable remedy for weight loss and even delays the onset of conditions like osteoporosis. Furthermore, it provides a remedy for constipation and digestion, prevents cancer, reduces inflammation, boosts mental health and concentration, treats scurvy and relives body pain.
Cabbage has a host of beneficial effects but it can have some detrimental effects on certain individuals. People should not opt for a cabbage-only diet for losing weight as they will lose all the benefits acquired once they revert back to their normal diet. People should avoid having products, including cabbage, containing Vitamin K if they are taking blood-thinners. This is because Vitamin K plays a pivotal role in clotting of blood.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact place of origin of cabbage as many plants belong to the family of ‘brassicas’ and they were grown in different parts of the world and modern cabbage descended from them. However, it is believed that in the west, cabbage was cultivated in Europe about 3000 years ago from its wild predecessors that had thick leaves that retained water. In the east, cabbage was cultivated at around 4000 B.C. and was grown in north China. Mesopotamia also knew about cabbages while Egyptians did not cultivate it till the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Cabbage grows best in cool and moist climate and is very hardy to frost. It can be grown in all types of soil ranging from sandy to heavy soils. But small quick growing cabbage varieties grow well in sandy soils while large and late maturing varieties do well in heavy soils. In India, cabbage is mainly grown as Rabi crop during winter but it is also grown as Kharif crop around Nasik in Maharashtra.