Many are confused with cabbage because some think of it as lettuce. However, these vegetables are both belong to the cruciferous family same as broccoli and cauliflower. Cruciferous family is well known for its beneficial nutrients. Health benefits of cabbage are related to the prevention of cancer, protect against radiation, and reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also good for diet management.
There are wide varieties of cabbage and most of them differ in color, shape, and appearance. You can find cabbage in purple, red, and the most common one is green. In terms of appearance, leaves can be smooth or crinkled. Although this vegetable looks different its nutrient content can match with other veggies. Cabbage benefits contain an abundant amount of Vitamin K. In every half-cup cooked of cabbage it contains 81.5 micrograms of Vitamin K.
1. It May Help Keep Inflammation in Check
Part of cabbage nutrition is its potent antioxidant content. The body requires an ample amount of antioxidants to fight against free radicals to reduce chronic inflammation such as diabetes, cancer, and heart problems. Research showed that cabbage can reduce certain markers of inflammation by simply eating a high amount of cabbage. It has antioxidants content like sulforaphane and kaempferol that are responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect that makes cabbage good for you. There is a study conducted in 1000 Chinese women and it showed that those who ate the highest amount of cabbage have lower levels of inflammation compared to those who ate the lowest amounts.
2. Cancer Prevention
Cabbage benefits in decreasing the risk of specific cancer because of its sulforaphane content. It is a compound that gives a bitter taste to cabbage and responsible for its anti-cancer properties. A research study that runs over 30 years found out that eating cabbage, in the long run, can lead to a lower risk of cancer. Sulforaphane content of cabbage can delay or impede cancer cells.
Another research result shows improvement in the molecular level in multiple types of cancers that includes esophageal, melanoma, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. A study conducted at the University of Missouri found a chemical called apigenin mostly found in cabbage, parsley, and celery. Apigenin can decrease the tumor size of cells from an aggressive form of breast cancer implanted in rats.
3. Improves Heart Health
It contains anthocyanins commonly found in red cabbage that suppress inflammation that may lead to cardiovascular disease that makes cabbage good for you. It also has flavonoids that can lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and even small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods in the diet are beneficial for heart health. One of the cabbage benefits contains a high number of polyphenol that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through a decrease in blood pressure. However, medical professionals encouraged more researches to get enough data to support this claim.
4. Improves Immunity and Digestion
The health benefits of cabbage are its rich source of fiber and a high amount of water content that is important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and prevent constipation. Cabbage is a well-known ingredient of fermented products like kimchi and sauerkraut. Fermented foods are filled with probiotics that are best for the immune and digestive systems. It contains healthy microbes that generate an acidic environment to preserve and develop the flavor of food. The enzymes from fermented foods make vitamins and minerals easier to absorb. A research study showed that foods high in fiber play an essential role in maintaining and regulating the immune system. It can also decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
5. Cabbage as Rich Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the essential micronutrients that the body needs. It plays an important role as an immune booster and source of energy. It is vital in forming and maintaining healthy bones, skin, and blood vessels. Cabbage nutrition is loaded with a high amount of vitamin C. There is research that recommends a diet high in vitamin C content that can lower the risk of certain cancers. Another 21 studies conducted and based on the analysis the risk of having lung cancer decreased by 7% for each daily intake of 100-mg of vitamin c.