A member of the food family traditionally known as cruciferous vegetables and is related to kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts
Cabbage has a round shape and is composed of superimposed leaf layers. There are three major types of cabbage: green, red, and Savoy. The color of green cabbage ranges from pale to dark green. Both green and red cabbage have smooth-textured leaves. Red cabbage has leaves that are either crimson or purple with white veins running through it.
The leaves of Savoy cabbage are more ruffled and yellowish-green in color. Red and green cabbage have a more defined taste and crunchy texture as compared to Savoy cabbage’s more delicate nature.
* An excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C. A very good source of fiber, manganese, and folate.
* A good source of molybdenum, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1), and calcium.
* A surprising amount of one particular omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. There is actually far more ALA in 100 calories of cabbage than there is in 100 calories of salmon!
* Raw cabbage has cholesterol-lowering ability, but not as much as steamed cabbage, which binds more easily to bile acids, making it easier to excrete them.
* An especially good source of sinigrin which is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
* The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness: (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.
* Red cabbage has added nutritional benefits of a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols which act as dietary antioxidants, as an anti-inflammatory, and their potentially protective, preventative, and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases.
* Cabbage juice is long-established in helping heal stomach ulcers (called peptic ulcers)
* Cabbage contains a variety of nutrients of potential benefit to our stomach and intestinal linings
Tips for Use:
* Steaming is a better cooking method than microwaving if you want to maximize the health benefits of glucosinolates found in cabbage. That’s because two minutes of microwaving destroys the same amount of myrosinase enzymes as seven minutes of steaming, and you need those myrosinase enzymes to help convert cabbage’s glucosinolates into cancer-preventive compounds.
* Since phytonutrients in the cabbage react with carbon steel and turn the leaves black, use a stainless steel knife to cut.
* At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups.
*Keeping cabbage cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Red and green cabbage will keep this way for about 2 weeks while Savoy cabbage will keep for about 1 week.
If you need to store a partial head of cabbage, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Since the vitamin C content of cabbage starts to quickly degrade once it has been cut, you should use the remainder within a couple of days.
Cabbage has a long history of use both as a food and a medicine. It is thought that wild cabbage was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. It was grown in Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations that held it in high regard as a general panacea capable of treating a host of health conditions.
Cultivation of cabbage spread across northern Europe into Germany, Poland and Russia. The Italians are credited with developing the Savoy cabbage. Sauerkraut, a dish made from fermented cabbage, has a colorful legacy. Dutch sailors consumed it during extended exploration voyages to prevent scurvy. Early German settlers introduced cabbage and the traditional sauerkraut recipe into the United States.