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Health Benefits of Cabbage

Did you know that cabbage contains folate, glucosinolates, and has the ability to lower your cholesterol? A report from The World’s Healthiest Foods describes the many health benefits of cabbage.

Cabbage is part of the cruciferous group of vegetables. Other foods associated with this group include broccoli, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and kale. The report recommends at least 1-1 ½ cups of these veggies 2-3 times per week.

When steamed, cabbage is able to bind in your stomach with bile acids after being consumed. This can help get rid of bile acids and lower your cholesterol.  Interestingly, cabbage is more effective steamed than eaten raw.

Cabbage also contains other properties that can help with your health. For instance:

  • Cabbage has glucosinolates such as sinigrin (found especially in Savoy cabbage), that can help prevent cancer, including prostate cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer.
  • Red cabbage in particular contains large amounts of vitamins C and K.  It also an excellent source of vitamin B6.
  • Red cabbage also contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidants, which also help with cancer prevention.

The report notes that when preparing cabbage, not to boil or microwave it, as these methods destroy many of the healthy nutrients. Instead, steam your cabbage briefly. Lightly steaming it allows you to cook the vegetable, and increase the availability of its anti-cancer properties.

When eating cabbage, don’t worry if it tastes a little bitter. The World’s Healthiest Foods says that’s actually a good thing, as the bitterness comes from the sinigrin. Instead of trying to remove the bitter taste (and the cancer-fighting benefits that comes from the sinigrin) the report advises cooks to incorporate the vegetable into recipes that have many flavors.

Also, it is recommended to let cabbage sit for up to ten minutes after it has been chopped or shredded.  This allows for myrosinase enzymes in the cabbage to activate.

Want to learn more about the health benefits of cabbage? Read the full article here: Cabbage.