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Benefits of Cabbage
11. Cabbage Caution
Those with thyroid problems should avoid eating large amounts of cabbage. It interfere with the bodys absorption of iodine, needed by the thyroid gland. This applies to all cruciferousvegetables. The vegetable is a storehouse of phytochemicals like thiocyanates, indole3carbinol, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates. These compounds are powerful antioxidants and known to help protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers and help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
12. Health Benefits
Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) antiinflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.
13. AntioxidantRelated Health Benefits
Cabbage ranked in our WHFoods rating system as an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of manganese. But in terms of antioxidants in the newer, phytonutrient category, cabbage is impressive, even among cruciferous vegetables. Polyphenols rank at the top of the list for phytonutrient antioxidants in cabbage. In fact, one group of researchers has described polyphenols as the primary factor in cabbages overall antioxidant capacity. Even white cabbage (a very lightlycolored form of green cabbage and the most commonly eaten variety of cabbage in the U.S.) provides about 50 milligrams of polyphenols in a halfcup serving. Red cabbage is even more unique among the cruciferous vegetables in providing about 30 milligrams of the red pigment polyphenols called anthocyanins in each half cup.
14. Glucosinolates and Cancer Prevention
Given the roles of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation as risk factors for cancer, the antioxidant and antiinflammatory richness of cabbage would provide anticancer health benefits without the addition of cabbages glucosinolates. But glucosinolates are cabbages trump card with regard to anticancer benefits. The glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
15. Digestive Tract Support
Longestablished in health research is the role of cabbage juice in helping heal stomach ulcers (called peptic ulcers), but more recent studies on cabbage have looked at the overall health benefits of this food for the stomach and digestive tract as a whole. Presentday studies make it clear that cabbage contains a variety of nutrients of potential benefit to our stomach and intestinal linings. These nutrients include glucosinolates (and the antiinflammatory isothiocyanates or ITCs made from them), antioxidant polyphenols, and the amino acidlike substance called glutamine. In the case of ITCs, digestive tract benefits include proper regulation of bacterial populations of Helicobacter pylori inside the stomach. These bacteria are normal stomach inhabitants, but their populations can become too large and they can latch onto the stomach lining in an undesirable way. The ITCs made from cabbages glucosinolates can lower the risk of these unwanted stomach events.
16. Cardiovascular Support
Cabbage to provide your cardiovascular system with valuable support in the form of cholesterol reduction. Researchers understand exactly how this process takes place. Your liver uses cholesterol as a basic building block to produce bile acids. Bile acids are specialized molecules that aid in the digestion and absorption of fat through a process called emulsification. These molecules are typically stored in fluid form in your gall bladder, and when you eat a fatcontaining meal, they get released into the intestine where they help ready the fat for interaction with enzymes and eventual absorption up into the body. When you eat cabbage, fiberrelated nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of your body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, your liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon your existing supply of cholesterol, and as a result, your cholesterol level drops down. Cabbage provides you with this cholesterollowering benefit whether it is raw or cooked.
17. How to Select
Choose cabbage heads that are firm and dense with shiny, crisp, colorful leaves free of cracks, bruises, and blemishes. Severe damage to the outer leaves is suggestive of worm damage or decay that may reside in the inner core as well. There should be only a few outer loose leaves attached to the stem. If not, it may be an indication of undesirable texture and taste. Avoid buying precut cabbage, either halved or shredded, since once cabbage is cut, it begins to lose its valuable vitamin C content.
18. Tips for Preparing Cabbage
Cabbage is usually clean since the outer leaves protect it, you still may want to clean it. Remove the thick fibrous outer leaves and cut the cabbage into pieces and then wash under running water. If you notice any signs of worms or insects, which sometimes appears in cabbage, soak the head in salt water or vinegar water for 1520 minutes first. To preserve its vitamin C content, cut and wash the cabbage right before cooking or eating it. Since phytonutrients in the cabbage react with carbon steel and turn the leaves black, use a stainless steel knife to cut.
19. The Healthiest Way of Cooking Cabbage
From all of the cooking methods we tried when cooking cabbage, our favorite is Healthy Saut
20. Individual Concerns
Cabbage is sometimes referred to as a goitrogenic food. Yet, contrary to popular belief, according to the latest studies, foods themselves
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