The humble cabbage may not seem like a superfood in itself, but its health benefits are numerous. Despite its incredible nutritious value, the value of the cabbage is often overlooked.
The cabbage looks similar to lettuce, but it belongs to the Brassica genus of vegetables, along with broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Cabbage is one of the most commonly found vegetables in the world. It is a leafy vegetable packed with minerals and nutrients.
Additionally, cabbage is super versatile to cook. You can put it in coleslaw, sauerkraut, kimchi, rolls, etc. You will find a variety of delicious recipes across different countries and cultures.
The health benefits of cabbage are innumerable, from protecting against skin diseases, heart diseases, to improving digestion and brain function, etc., cabbage benefits are incredible. Cabbages come in a variety of shapes and colors, including green, red, purple, and white. Its leaves can be either crinkled in texture or smooth.
In today’s article, we have highlighted all the amazing health benefits of cabbage and why you should eat more of it. Read on to know more!
First things first, let’s discuss the nutrients present in cabbage. Cabbage is an impressive source of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. As per the USDA, it also contains various vitamins like Vitamin C, folate, thiamine, and niacin. Besides, cabbages are also high in antioxidants such as flavonoids, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, and last but not least, choline.
Caloric value of cabbages
As per reports published by the USDA, 100 grams of raw cabbage contains only 25 calories. Thus, it is popular among those trying to lose weight and those looking for low-calorie food options. Besides, cooking the vegetable can lower its calorific value slightly. 100 grams of cooked cabbage contains only about 23 calories. This makes it a great option for caloric-deficit diets and meal plans.
7 incredible health benefits of cabbage
As we said, cabbage benefits are numerous. Some of the most amazing benefits of cabbage are:
- Aids in digestion
If you want to improve your digestive and gut health, cabbage benefits will keep you in check. The crunchy and leafy vegetable is loaded with gut-friendly insoluble fiber, that is, a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down in the intestines. Insoluble fiber present in cabbage helps the digestive system stay healthy by adding bulk to stool and thus, encouraging regular bowel movements.
Besides, it is also rich in soluble fiber which increases beneficial bacteria in the gut. This fiber is the primary fuel source for good bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. These species protect the immune system and produce critical vitamins like B12 and K2.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
According to reports published in Clinical Phytoscience, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli have anti-inflammatory properties. This is one of the most common health benefits of cabbage. Cabbage contains sulforaphane, which is a compound whose main function is to reduce inflammation.
Cabbage also accumulates the build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves. One of the main components being glutamine, which is a strong inflammatory agent that reduces inflammation as well as serves important functions like irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and protects against various skin disorders.
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- Skin care functions
If you thought that the impressive health benefits of cabbage were only limited to gut health, you should think again. One of the best-known cabbage benefits is the effect that it has on your skin. According to the New Wellness Encyclopedia, cruciferous vegetables (especially cabbage) are rich in all kinds of vitamins essential to skin health.
One and a half cups of uncooked red cabbage is enough to meet your daily recommended vitamin C requirement. The high content of Vitamin C promotes healthy skin health by promoting photoprotection, wound healing, treats dry skin, and prevents wrinkles.
Therefore, one and a half cups of red cabbage is all you need to get clear and glowing skin!
- Will keep your heart healthy
Among all the amazing cabbage benefits, cabbage can also aid in heart health. Red cabbage contains powerful super compounds like anthocyanins. This is what adds color to cabbages.
Anthocyanins are plant-compounds that belong to the flavonoid antioxidant family. Research has found a link between eating foods rich in anthocyanins and a reduced risk of heart disease. A study was conducted including 93, 600 respondents, the researchers found out that those with a higher intake of anthocyanin-rich foods, had a lower risk of developing heart complications.
Thus, the increased consumption of cabbage can promote heart health by reducing blood pressure and the risk of coronary artery disease. Cabbages contain about 36 different kinds of potent anthocyanins, making them a great choice for heart health.
- Prevents cataract
Yet another great health benefit of cabbage is that it can prevent cataracts. Cabbages are rich in beta-carotene, which helps in preventing macular degeneration while promoting good eye health and delaying cataract formation.
This is one of the primary reasons why most old people turn to cabbages to improve their eye health and vision.
- Improves brain health
One of the most overlooked health benefits of cabbage is that it works wonders for your brain health. Cabbage is rich in iodine, folate, anthocyanins, and vitamin K. These compounds are essential for the building blocks in the brain. But cabbages can do much more than maintain the structural integrity of the brain and the nervous system. They can also prevent Alzheimer’s, and improve memory.
- Aids in weight loss
As we mentioned, cabbages are very low in calories and are packed with essential nutrients, fiber and water. This makes it a healthy dietary option for those trying to lose weight. It only contains about 33 calories in a cup of the cooked vegetable. However, keep in mind that it is not nutritionally complete or enough by itself, and should be made a part of a balanced, and healthy diet.
These were all the health benefits of cabbage. Worry not, as all these facts are backed by scientific evidence! Cabbages are great for you and your body!