Being told to eat your veggies doesn’t sound pleasant to a lot of people. The term “cruciferous vegetables” might not make your mouth water immediately, as this family of veggies includes kale, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Despite some of these vegetables being less popular, they are some of the healthiest plants you can eat.
Savoy cabbage, white cabbage and red cabbage are three of the main varieties of this leafy vegetable that is found in briny, pickled dishes from around the world such as coleslaw, kimchi, or sauerkraut. Raw cabbage is extremely healthy on its own, but the enzymes and probiotics formed in pickled dishes such as kimchi can help improve the function of your digestive system. If you aren’t into fermented vegetables, sautéed cabbage can sometimes make this crunchy, leafy vegetable more approachable than merely eating it raw.
Providing vitamin C, improving heart health, boosting your immune system function, and even promoting digestive health all make eating cabbage one of the simplest, cheapest, and best things you can do for your overall health.
How Does Cabbage Help Your Body?
By this point, many people are familiar with antioxidants, the polyphenols that help defend your body against the oxidative stresses of free radicals. Anthocyanins are one family of these flavonoid compounds found in abundance in dark-colored fruits and vegetables such as beets, kale, and onions. This is one area where red cabbage pulls away from its green counterparts, with red varieties having higher levels of flavonoids than the savoy or white versions.
Going beyond the headline benefits of antioxidants is a compound known as sulforaphane. Research has shown that this chemical, found in abundance in cabbage, may have a significant role to play in cancer prevention. Research has shown that sulforaphane has been effective at slowing or reversing certain types of cancer in laboratory tests.
- vitamin A
- vitamin K
- dietary fiber
- vitamin b6
Health Benefits of Cabbage
Eating cabbage is often part of many weight loss plans. Dietitians love this nutrient dense, low-calorie food that is low in carbohydrates and high in many different vitamins and minerals. The list of benefits from eating cabbage can seem nearly endless, both for preventing specific medical conditions and promoting general wellness, but your complete path to health will take more than chowing down on some sauerkraut.
One way that cabbage helps protect your entire body is the anti-inflammatory properties it provides. Many of the chronic diseases that plague us in modern society such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer have all been linked to chronic inflammation. Since inflammation can affect the entire body, eating foods like cabbage can help provide benefits in many areas of overall health.
Some benefits of cabbage can be more specific to one of the body’s systems. Your digestive system needs to maintain the proper balance of moisture and dietary fiber to help the food you are digesting move through your digestive tract. Many Americans do not receive enough fiber in their diets, which can lead to reduced gut motility as you age. If your fiber levels are particularly low, you may be susceptible to constipation. While this may not be immediately life-threatening, it can certainly be uncomfortable, and could lead to further digestive problems.
Another area of your health where cabbage consumption can have profound benefits is in helping to lower your risk of heart disease. Eating cabbage has been shown to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood sugar levels, and lowering blood pressure.
What are the Disadvantages of Cabbage?
No food is universally good, and even an impossibly healthy food like cabbage can have a downside. The high levels of vitamin K in cabbage can help your body process calcium, but there can be negative side effects if you are on blood thinners. After suffering from certain kinds of heart disease, many people take drugs to prevent clotting, and suddenly changing the amount of vitamin K in your diet can cause problems.
Cooking with Cabbage
For the home chef, sliding cabbage into slaws or adding it to a stir-fry can be great ways to sneak a little extra nutrition into a dish. For those who are more fond of veggies, cabbage can even stand out as the main flavor in soups, and of course it can always be added to salads for a little color and crunch.
In larger-scale food production, cabbage has many applications. Beyond simply adding a little punch to the nutrition facts of a dish, including cabbage in a recipe can help add some texture or color to a dish while avoiding the need to use artificial coloring agents. This can be extremely helpful as consumers become increasingly wary of long ingredient lists on the food they buy.
Silva offers three different varieties of cabbage in our long list of products. These are available in a variety of cut sizes and powders to suit your needs. As with many of our other products, we also offer custom cut sizes to meet your specific requirements.
Custom cut sizes and a wide variety of products are just two ways Silva offers you the flexibility and dependability you need to bring new and exciting products to market, as well as ensure that your customers will continue to enjoy the consistency they want in the products they already know and love. If you are ready to learn more about how our process and insistence on quality can help transform your products, request a sample of our products today.