[veggie photo]

Cabbage

The cabbage is king of the cruciferous family. Other vegetables that have developed (or evolved) from the early strains of cabbage include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi. Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that is available in various shades of green, as well as red or purple varieties. Most varieties have smooth leaves, but some types have ruffled, textured leaves. The most popular varieties are green, red, savoy and chinese. Cabbage is usually shredded into salads or used as an ingredient in stews, soups or baked dishes.

Key Ingredients of Cabbage

Per Serving: 250 shredded, raw green cabbage, 74g
Per Serving: 1 cup, chopped green cabbage, 89g

Why Eat Cabbage?

Scientists at the World Cancer Research Fund reviewed 206 human studies and found convincing evidence that diets high in cruciferous vegetables lower risks of many forms of cancer Like all other fruits and vegetables, cabbage is low in calories, high in complex carbohydrates, contain no cholesterol and almost no fat. The antioxidants in cabbage make it an ideal vegetable. Although not quite as nutritious as other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage consumption outranks them. Red cabbage contains almost twice the vitamin C as green cabbage, while green cabbage contains twice the amount of folic acid as red. Savoy cabbage is a very good source of beta-carotene.

Antioxidants

Cabbage is rich in antioxidant nutrients, which play an important role in health maintenance. They neutralize harmful chemicals called "free-radicals" that cause cell damage in the body. Antioxidants have been strongly linked to the protection from numerous diseases, heart disease to cancer, eye disease to regulation of the immune system.

In addition, cabbage contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that are a large class of natural plant pigments. They exhibit strong antioxidant properties and may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and some types of cancer.

About 40% of the carotenoids we eat are converted to vitamin A; the rest function as antioxidants. Beta-carotene is especially effective in this regard. Bioflavonoids- Glucosinates are phytochemicals in cabbage, and may help to explain the widely recognized scientific evidence indicating that populations consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and especially cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, have a reduced risk of developing several types of cancers.

Vitamin C

Cabbage is good source of vitamin C, which is necessary to make and maintain collagen, the connective tissue that holds the body and organs in place. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps gums healthy, resist infection, aids in the absorption of iron and many other vital functions. It is associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Folate

Berries are a source of folate. Folate is a water-soluble B group vitamin. Because the body doesn't keep excess amounts of the water-soluble vitamins in reserve, the body must replenish them daily. Folate plays a crucial role in every body function that requires cell division. This helps explain the importance in fetal development. Prior and during pregnancy, folate helps prevent neurological defects, such as spina bifida, in the fetus. All women of childbearing age need to have a regular source of folate.

The many tasks of folate include making blood cells, building muscles, healing wound and producing chemicals that keep the brain and nervous system functioning properly. Folate is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. High folate content is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Dietary Fibre

Cabbage contains dietary fibre. Considerable evidence has shown the advantages of a diet of high fibre. Dietary fibre consists of remnants of edible plant cells that resist digestion and absorption in the stomach and small intestines of humans.

There are two different types of fibre. Both types are needed in a healthy diet. Insoluble fibre is “bowel friendly” because it helps maintain regularity. Insoluble fibre is found in fruits and vegetables like cabbage, especially the skins. Soluble fibre is “heart friendly”. It may help lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risks associated with diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels. All foods that contain fibre contain some of each type. Recent research has shown that dietary fibre contained in fruits and vegetables is also important for keeping the bowel working normally and helps protect bowel cells from cancer-causing damage.

Potassium

Cabbage is a source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps to regulate the body's balance of fluid. It is essential for many metabolic processes and is instrumental in the transmission of nerve impulses, proper muscle function, and maintaining normal blood pressure.

Vitamin K

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K , which ends up in the liver and forms the ingredients for blood clotting. Blood coagulation is not the only important function of Vitamin K, it is also necessary for the formation of new bone material and healthy bone structure.

Manganese

Cabbage is a source of manganese, a trace mineral that plays an important role in the formation of bone and connective tissue in the body and plays a role in healing wounds.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body. Cabbage is a source of magnesium, needed for the formation of protein and bone, making new cells, activating B vitamins and blood clotting.

Tip for cooking cabbage!

Cooked cabbage has been wrongfully accused of smelling-up kitchens and hallways everywhere. But don't blame the cabbage - blame the cook. The notorious odor problem is a result of over cooking. Cabbage contains isothiocynates that break down into smelly sulfur compounds during cooking. The reaction is even stronger in aluminum pans. The longer the cabbage is cooked the more smelly the compounds become. Cook just until tender and use stainless steel pots and pans.