Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Impressive health benefits of cabbage

This flower-like vegetable is one of the most impressive among the bunch but is often neglected. Cabbage or lovingly called ‘Pattagobi’  is part of a very impressive vegetable family. His brothers and sisters are broccoli, radish, kale, bok choy and brussel sprouts. 

Cabbage comes in a variety of shapes, textures, sizes and colours. Some types of cabbage have a subtle, delicate flavour, while there are others which pack a peppery punch. The most common type of cabbage is green cabbage. But there are hundreds of other varieties in red, white and purple hues which are equally if not more beneficial and delicious. 

This article uncovers all the wonderful health benefits of cabbage — 

Cabbage is packed with nutrients especially vitamin C and vitamin K — 

Low in calories, with an impressive nutritional profile. What more could we want? Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6 and folate which are essential for many important processes in the body like metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system. Cabbage is also full of antioxidants, fibre and most importantly vitamin C and vitamin K. 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects against heart disease, boosts collagen production, keeps the bones and muscles healthy, it helps your body absorb iron from plant-based foods and even shoos away certain cancers and vision loss. The high vitamin C content is responsible for most of the health benefits cabbage has to offer.  

Vitamin K is another nutrient that is key to optimum functioning. Its main responsibility is to ensure proper blood clotting, which it does fabulously. 

It’s loaded with antioxidants that help keep inflammation in check — 

Cabbage really shines when it comes to a plant chemical called phytonutrients, a cell-protecting force. This plant chemical along with the multitude of antioxidants protect the body and cells from inflammation and damage caused by free radicals. It’s important to make note that inflammation isn’t always a bad thing, acute inflammation is. Our body relies on its inflammatory response to protect itself from infection or speed up healing. Chronic inflammation over a long period of time is concerning and can cause heart disease, arthritis and other serious diseases. The antioxidants found in cabbage are famous for their anti-inflammatory effect and easing of swelling in your tissues. 

Eating cabbage helps detoxify your body —

Cabbage is a vitamin C and a sulphur-rich vegetable. These nutrients are known to flush out toxins from your body and detoxify the liver. 

 

Cabbage is great for your skin —

As I have harped on in the first half of this article, cabbage is full of vitamin C and K which as you might’ve guessed also help protect your skin. The sulphur in cabbage pulls in nutrition and removes waste from the skin cells. Cabbage contains a chest full of different antioxidants that can turn back time and de-age your skin.

 

Cabbage can do wonders for digestion —

If you want to improve your digestive health, look no further, fibre-rich cabbage is here. This crunchy vegetable is full of gut-friendly, insoluble fibre that helps keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to your stool and promoting regular bowel movements. The fibre in cabbage also increases the beneficial bacteria in your gut, produces essential nutrients and protects your immune system.  This is especially true when you eat fermented cabbage in the form of kimchi or sauerkraut. Cabbage also has nutrients that keep the lining of your stomach and intestines strong. 

Cabbage keeps your heart healthy —

Cabbage, especially red cabbage, raises the levels of heart-protecting antioxidants. It also helps lower oxidised LDL, which leads to hardening of the arteries. Since antioxidants ease inflammation, it helps prevent heart disease. Adding cabbage to your diet will positively affect your cardiovascular health.

Cabbage lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels — 

High blood pressure is a gateway for more serious heart related issues like heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Increasing your dietary potassium is important to lower your blood pressure. Eating more potassium-rich cabbage is an effective and delicious way to lower high blood pressure and stabilise it.  People with high cholesterol also have an increased risk of heart disease, especially when they have elevated levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Cabbage contains substances that decrease LDL levels and improve your health.

Cabbage helps keep cancer away — 

Research suggests that cabbage can help prevent certain types of cancer. They believe this stems from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities as well as sulphur substances which all turn into cancer fighters in the body. 

Hangover and headache cure — 

Cabbage has been used as a hangover cure, the high fibre content of cabbage helps absorb the alcohol in your system. The next time you wake up with a hangover, do as the Greeks do, boil some cabbage and drink the juice. Using cabbage leaves as a compress can help relieve a headache or migraine. 

To conclude — 

Cabbage is an exceptionally healthy food, with a phenomenal nutritional profile. It can be added to your diet as salad, a vegetable, a side dish, juice or even kimchi. Cabbage is tasty and inexpensive. It deserves to be spotlighted for its health benefits and added to your plate! 

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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