Cabbage has been a staple ingredient in many cultures because it is inexpensive and easy to grow. Before Jacques Cartier brought it to the Americas, cabbage was popular in the Mediterranean region, as well as areas in Africa and Ireland. Some of our favorite, nutritious vegetables belong to the cabbage family. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi.
It is no coincidence that we are posting an article about cabbage today because February 17th is is National Cabbage Day! We’ll take the chance to celebrate a cruciferous green vegetable any day of the week. According to several studies on cabbage, many of the nutritional properties come from the high sulfur and vitamin C content. At only 33 calories per cup, it’s hard to go wrong with this nutritious vegetable!
Food For Thought
Cabbage contains tons of vitamin K and anthocyanins, both of which help to improve concentration and brain function. Additionally, these nutrients help to inhibit nerve damage, slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Eat red cabbage for a higher concentration of these nutrients.
There have been several studies conducted on women with breast cancer and whether or not cabbage can improve their condition. After consuming cabbage on a daily basis, the research revealed that cabbage may help reduce breast cancer cells. Cabbage contains lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane, all of which help to inhibit tumor growth.
Good For Headaches
This actually has nothing to do with eating cabbage. You can make a warm compress with cabbage leaves and apply it to your forehead or temples to reduce minor headaches. Crush the cabbage leaves, place them in a cloth, and run them under hot water. Apply this to your head and see if the headaches go away.
Beneficial For Thyroid Gland
The thyroid is one of the most important glands in the body. It produces hormones that play a crucial role in the health of your digestive organs and metabolism. Eating cruciferous vegetables like cabbage may interfere with healthy hormone function, but folk medicine explains that placing cabbage leaves on your thyroid gland overnight may neutralize thyroid-disrupting hormones. Since it may be hard to sleep with cabbage leaves on your neck, try leaving them on your neck for long hours when you can relax at home.
Keep Inflammation In Check
An inflammatory response is the body’s response to a foreign invader, and this acute inflammation is beneficial. Chronic inflammation is a completely different story because it is associated with many diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. To avoid chronic inflammation, it is best to consume foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, and cabbage is one of those foods. A study with over 1,000 Chinese women, who ate cruciferous vegetables like cabbage every day, found reduced levels of inflammation compared to those who hardly consumed cruciferous vegetables. The sulforaphane and kaempferol are among many of cabbage’s antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Up your vitamin C & K intake, improve digestion, and maintain heart health by crunching on some cabbage for National Cabbage Day. It’s very easy to add to your diet, so you have no excuse. Toss it in with your salads, use the leaves as raw wraps, chop it up for soups, or stir-fry it with other vegetables. Let us know how you eat cabbage in the comments below.