The health benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cabbage is a leafy vegetable of Brassica family, and is round or oval in shape. It consists of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world, and can be prepared in a number of ways, but most commonly, it is included as either a cooked or raw part of many salads.
Cabbage is beneficial in curing various health ailments and a short list of those researched attributes are listed below:
Deficiency of Vitamin C
Scurvy is a disease commonly characterized by spongy and bleeding gums, cracked lip corners, weakened immune system, frequent infections and cold, premature aging, and depression.
Remedy: Cabbage is an abundant source of Vitamin C. You might be surprised to know that it is actually richer in vitamin C than oranges, which is traditionally considered the “best” source of that vital nutrient. Vitamin C, as one of the best antioxidants, reduces free radicals in your body that are one of the fundamental causes of premature aging. It also helps in repairing the wear and tear on the body through the course of your life. Therefore, cabbage is very helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depression, immune system boosting, and defending against cough and cold. It can also speed up the healing process for wounds and damaged tissues, regulate the proper functioning of the nervous system, and reduce the effects and presence of Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative neural diseases.
Deficiency of Roughage
This is a very serious deficiency but one that is commonly overlooked in the maintenance of personal health. A lack of roughage in food can result in constipation, which is the root cause of many other ailments and health hazards such as stomach ulcers, headaches, gastrointestinal cancers, indigestion and a subsequent loss of appetite. The dangers of roughage deficiency even extend to skin diseases, eczema, premature aging and hundreds of mild to serious conditions.
Remedies: Cabbage is very rich in fiber, the main health benefit of roughage. This helps the body retain water and it maintains the bulkiness of the food as it moves through the bowels. Thus, it is a good remedy for constipation and other digestion-related problems.
Deficiency of Sulphur
Sulphur is a very useful nutrient because it fights infections. A deficiency of sulphur can result in microbial infections and a greatly reduced rate in the healing of wounds.
Remedy: Again, cabbage is rich is sulphur. So, it helps fight infections in wounds and reduces the frequency and severity of ulcers.
Cancer Prevention: Cabbage is a member of the Brassica family, also known as cruciferous vegetables. One of their most important celebrated benefits to health is their powerful antioxidant quality. This means that cabbage and other similar vegetables scavenge free radicals from around the body, which can be very detrimental to overall health and are major contributors to things like cancer and heart disease.
Cabbage also has a number of anti-cancer compounds, like lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane, which are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors, which can lead to cancer. One study, performed primarily on Chinese women, showed a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were regularly added to their diet.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Cabbage is known to accumulate a build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves, and one of the main components of that is glutamine. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, so consuming cabbage can reduce the effects of many type of inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.
Eye Health: Cabbage is a rich source of beta-carotene, so many people, particularly as they get older, turn to cabbage for its ability to prevent macular degeneration and generally promote good eye health and the delay of cataract formation. Beta-carotene has also been positively linked to reduced chances of prostate cancer, which is an extra bonus on top of the other anti-carcinogenic effects of cabbage!
Weight Loss: Cabbage is frequently recommended for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. Since cabbage is packed with so many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it is a healthy dietary option for people to eat a lot of, and it is quite filling, since it has high levels of fiber, which add bulk to the bowels. However, cabbage is extremely low in calories, only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage. Therefore, people can go on the popular “cabbage soup” diet, and eat plenty of food to stay healthy, without gaining excess weight!
Brain Health: Let’s not forget that cabbage is a very powerful brain food! The presence of Vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage can give a strong boost to mental function and concentration. These are primarily found in red cabbage, and vitamin K has been well-researched, although it is often called the “forgotten vitamin”. Vitamin K is essential in the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around around nerves. This wrapping is what protects nerves from damage and decay. Therefore, consuming vitamin K can improve your defense against neural degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Furthermore, the anthocyanins in cabbage are a current area of research, but early indications point to it being a more powerful source of antioxidants than vitamin-C, and red cabbage has even more types of anthocyanins than normal cabbage. It also appears that the nutrient uptake is not limited by anything, and that people can eat as much cabbage as they want, and continue to accumulate antioxidants, which help fight off diseases, reduce chances of cancer, improve the nervous system, and increase brain function.
Bone Health: Cabbage, as well as all cruciferous vegetables, are great sources of minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These three essential minerals are integral in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone weakening.
Blood Pressure: The presence of potassium in cabbage also makes it a wonderful way to protect yourself from elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Potassium is a vasodilator, which means that it opens up the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood, so it isn’t being forced in a stress-inducing way through constricted arteries and veins. Overall, cabbage is a great shield against many types of dangerous conditions!
Skin Care and Premature Aging: As mentioned already, cabbage has a wealth of different antioxidant sources, including vitamin-C, anthocyanins, sulphur, and other smaller sources, since it is a cruciferous vegetable. Antioxidants play a major role in skin health and the general toning and improvement of the body in response to the aging process. Free radicals can be an underlying cause of wrinkles, skin discoloration, spots, and many other conditions. Therefore, the antioxidants you gain by eating cabbage can cause a turn-around in your aging processes, leaving you feeling and looking healthy and young!
Muscle Aches: When certain bacteria ferment the sugars in cabbage, such as during the cooking of sauerkraut, lactic acid is released. It isn’t the easiest compound to find in a diet, but it has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and aches, so in some small way, cabbage can help general pain relief and muscle soreness, depending on how it is prepared.
Detoxification by cabbage
Cabbage acts as a good detoxifier too, meaning that it purifies the blood and removes toxins, primarily free radicals and uric acid which are primary causes of rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, and eczema. This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the high content of vitamin C and sulphur in cabbage.
Other benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage, being rich in iodine, helps in proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, along with keeping the glands of the endocrine system in proper condition. It is good for the brain and is useful in the treatment of neural disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The various other nutrients present in cabbage, such as vitamin-E, keep the skin, eyes and hair healthy. The calcium, magnesium, and potassium found in cabbage is very useful for a wide range of healh benefits. Cabbage can also be used for the treatment of varicose veins, leg ulcers, peptic and duodenal ulcers.
Basically, that very common component of your Chinese dishes could be a miraculous addition to your diet. Don’t be afraid to add cabbage to your daily diet, whether it is in your soup or salad, and that small change will help you live a healthier and longer life.
Cooked cabbage is how most people get it into their diet or system, but the cooking actually causes many of the nutrients to be lost, particularly the high levels of vitamin-C, and the other nutrients will become harder for the body to absorb. The best option is to eat the cabbage raw!