Healing Power of Cabbage
Cabbage is heads above all other Vegetables
We’ve all heard about the common cabbage, but do we know about the amazing healing power of cabbage and that it’s also one of the most widely grown vegetables available to us on our planet. Cabbage comes in many shapes and sizes. While the green variety is familiar to most of us, there are a few other species belonging to this member of the cruciferous family, such as the red cabbage, the Chinese cabbage, and the Savoy cabbage. And if you think that the common cabbage is a poor man’s food, you should think again. Cabbage is rich in so many ways and the health benefits are numerous.
Besides simply eating cabbage, raw, steamed or boiled, a hot compress made from cabbage leaves placed directly on your tummy can help ease stomach upsets, and a cold cabbage compress can also relieve breast tenderness for women when a chilled cabbage compress is placed inside your bra.
However, cabbage has a lot more health benefits than you might realise. It’s a rich food source, we simply shouldn’t ignore. Like the cousins of the cruciferous family, cabbage is rich in antioxidants and contains two very important cancer-fighting chemical compounds. One of is called Indole-3-Carbinol, which is especially effective against breast cancer. The other compound is called Sulforaphane, which has been found to step up the production of tumour preventing enzymes in the body.
If you’re looking for more breast cancer-fighting benefits, try replacing your usual cabbage with Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage. The compound in Bok Choy called brassinin helps prevent breast tumours. And Sulforaphane is particularly praised in its battle against colon cancer because it stimulates the production of an enzyme called glutathione in the colon, which scientists say sweeps toxins out of your body before they have a chance to damage the delicate cells that line the intestinal wall.
The Healing Power of Cabbage
By eating any kind of cabbage on a regular basis has the potential to lower your risk of cancer. And to get the best possible protection, you can’t do better than the Savoy Cabbage. While this particular member contains Indole-3-Carbinol and Sulforaphane, it has other tongue-twisting phytonutrients called Beta-Sitosterol, Pheophytin-A, Nonacosanone and nonacosane, powerful contenders against potential cancer-causing agents. Bok Choy and Savoy cabbage are super sources of Beta-Carotene, a nutrient that other cabbages don’t have in abundance. High blood levels of Beta-Carotene are directly related to helping lower heart attack incidences as well as certain types of cancers and cataracts.
Not only are Bok Choy and Savoy cabbage high in Beta-Carotene, they’re a good source of vitamin C, which has shown to help reduce blood pressure, fight heart disease and boost the immune system. A half-cup serving of raw Bok Choy provides you with 16 milligrammes of vitamin C, 27 percent of the daily value. And the same amount of Savoy cabbage gives you 11 milligrammes, 18 percent of the daily value.
Both Bok Choy and Savoy cabbage are also great sources of folate. A half cup of either vegetable will provide you with about 35 micrograms, that’s 9 percent of the daily value. Your body uses folate for normal tissue growth. Folate is known to help protect against cancer, heart disease, and birth defects. Women are particularly at high risk of folate deficiency, especially when taking birth control pills.
Antioxidant Protection in Cabbage
Cabbage has a lot of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E as well as Beta-Carotene to help ward off disease by mopping up the harmful oxygen molecules called free radicals that naturally accumulate in our bodies. Free radicals cause a great deal of damage to our healthy tissues, making changes that can lead to heart disease, prostate, breast and colon cancers as well as other serious conditions.
For the layman, don’t concern yourself too much with all the science that lies within these cabbages. All you really need to concern yourself with is the fact that, no matter what your friends and family may think, eating any kind of cabbage is going to make your health a whole lot better and you’ll be richly rewarded with what was once thought a poor man’s diet, now rich in so many other ways.
Getting the most out of your Cabbage
There’s a need to keep a cool head when it boils down to eating cabbage because to preserve the compounds at its maximum level, cabbage is always best eaten raw. You can mix raw cabbage with a green salad of your choice or as a coleslaw by simply mixing cabbage with grated carrots. By boiling cabbage you’ll end up removing about half of the valuable indoles, so say the experts.
To get all the health benefits associated with the healing power of cabbage, why not explore all the different varieties. This way you can enjoy cabbage several times a week without getting bored. Red, Green, and Savoy cabbage, along with Bok Choy are all extremely high in protective compounds. You can enjoy all these cabbages in coleslaw, wrapped with your favourite filling or in slow-cooked soup.
Stocking up with fresh cabbage is not a problem at all because a whole head of cabbage will keep for up to two weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, making it easier to eat a little bit at a time without you having to worry about the produce getting spoiled. Cabbage is inexpensive, versatile, always readily available and easy to prepare. If you’re boiling cabbage and worried about the smell it can sometimes produce, simply add a celery stalk as this will help neutralise the odour. You can also make a tasty stir fry in a wok using grated cabbage along with a few other vegetable ingredients.
Bok Choy with Mushroom Recipe
- 1 Pound of Bok Choy
- 4 Large Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1 Teaspoon of Avocado Oil
- 2 Teaspoons of A-Grade Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Dark Sesame Oil
- 2 Teaspoons of packed light Brown Sugar
Trim the Bok Choy and cut the leaves from the stems. Wash thoroughly in cold water, then thinly slice both the stems and leaves.
If you are using dried Shiitake mushrooms, remove and discard the stems, then soak the caps in water until they become soft. Next, cut the heads into narrow slices.
Over a medium heat, warm the avocado oil in a wok or skillet. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Add the Bok Choy stems and continue to stir-fry for another minute. Next, add the Bok Choy leaves and stir for half a minute. Add the soy sauce, sesame sauce, and brown sugar. Stir fry for one or two minutes, or just before the Bok Choy has wilted. Serve hot and enjoy.
Red Cabbage and Kohlrabi Slaw Recipe
- 3 Cups of Shredded Red Cabbage
- 1 Medium Kohlrabi, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
- 1 Tablespoon of Honey
- 1 Tablespoon of brown Mustard Seeds
- 1/4 Cup of Cider Vinegar
- 1/8 Teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt (Recommended)
Place the cabbage and kohlrabi into a medium bowl and toss to mix. Whisk together the mustard seeds, vinegar, honey and salt in a small bowl. Pour this over the cabbage and kohlrabi and toss to combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes, tossing once or twice. This will allow the flavours to blend. You can also refrigerate for up to eight hours before tossing and then serving.