DID YOU KNOW THAT the humble and readily-available cabbage is a superfood? The cabbage is a leafy vegetable of Brassica family, and is round or oval in shape. It consists of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It can be prepared in a number of ways, but most commonly, it is included as either a cooked or raw part of many salads.
The health benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, cancer, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. (see below about Alzheimer’s and Red Cabbage).
Here’s an easy Cabbage Soup recipe anyone can whip up in a jiffy.
Easy Cabbage Soup
5 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Sweet Soy Sauce
Half of a cabbage head, coarsely chopped
5 tomatoes, seeds removed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil into a stock pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic.
Cook and stir until the onion is transluscent. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add 5 cups of water and soy sauce. Bring soup to a boil. Throw in the cabbage and tomatoes.
Simmer soup until the cabbage wilts. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat and add
salt and pepper to taste.
3 Benefits of Cabbage
1. Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage.
2. Researchers now realize that different types of cabbage (red, green, and Savoy) contain different patterns of glucosinolates. This new knowledge means that your broadest health benefits from cabbage are likely to come from inclusion of all varieties in your diet.
3. Cabbage in general—but also Savoy cabbage in particular—turns out to be an especially good source of sinigrin. Sinigrin is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research. The sinigrin in cabbage can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate, or AITC. This isothiocyanate compound has shown unique cancer preventive properties with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
In one recent study, short-cooked and raw cabbage were the only types of cabbage to show cancer-preventive benefits—long-cooked cabbage failed to demonstrate measurable benefits.
Red Cabbage and Alzheimer’s: In a Cornell University study, red cabbage was seen to reduce the build-up of certain plaques in the brain that could cause Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. More support is gathering for the build-up of plaque from amyloid deposits in causing Alzheimer’s. The deposits are associated with an increase in brain cell damage and death from oxidative stress. It is against the oxidative stress that the red cabbage polyphenols appear to offer protection.