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Incorporating Cabbage into a Nutrient-Dense Diet.

Cabbage, a versatile and nutrient-rich vegetable, is an excellent addition to a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, cabbage offers numerous health benefits and can be incorporated into various dishes.

Incorporating Cabbage into a Nutrient-Dense Diet.
Incorporating Cabbage into a Nutrient-Dense Diet.

Nutritional composition of cabbage.

According to the US National Nutrient Database, 1 half cup of chopped cooked cabbage (75 grams) contains:

  • 17 calories

  • Four grams of carbohydrates (which contain 2 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber)

  • One gram of protein

Eating half a cup of cooked cabbage will provide 30-35% of your daily vitamin C needs and:

  • 81.5 microgram of vitamin K

  • 11 milligrams of magnesium

  • 22 microgram of folate

  • In addition, the amount of vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium and thiamin but less.

Furthermore, cabbage is rich in fiber and contains potent antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds. When comparing the colors of cabbage, experts have observed that red cabbage contains more of these compounds compared to green cabbage. Antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with an unpaired electron, making them unstable. When these free radicals are present in excess and are unstable, they can damage your cells.

As you can see from the list above, cabbage contains vitamin B6 and folate, both of which are essential for many important processes in the body, such as energy metabolism and normal nerve function. Cabbage is particularly rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can protect against heart disease, certain types of cancer, and reduce visual impairment.

What are the benefits of eating cabbage?

Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cabbage offers a wide range of health benefits for all of ages

What are the benefits of eating cabbage?
What are the benefits of eating cabbage?

Prevent Cancer:

Limiting the development of cancer cells is an impressive benefit of cabbage. A bowl (cup) of finely chopped purple cabbage (100g) contains over 85% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for the body. This amount is equivalent to the vitamin C content in a small orange.

Vitamin C has been proven to be a powerful antioxidant. It has the ability to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Vitamin C is also essential for collagen synthesis, which helps maintain the strong structure of the skin, muscles, bones, and blood vessels. Additionally, it aids in the body's absorption of nonheme iron*.

(*) Note: Non-heme iron is the form of iron found in plant-based foods.

Heart health:

Maintaining heart health is crucial for overall well-being, and cabbage can contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system. It contains compounds that help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. The fiber content in cabbage also aids in maintaining healthy blood vessels and promoting proper blood circulation.

In addition, the specific benefits of cabbage related to heart health include:

  • Reducing the risk of heart disease: According to a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, consuming foods rich in anthocyanins can lower the risk of heart disease. The study, conducted over 18 years with a sample of 93,600 women aged 25 to 42, showed a significant decrease in the risk of heart disease.

  • Decreasing the risk of coronary artery disease: Increasing anthocyanin intake through diet can also lower the risk of developing coronary artery disease and inhibit the progression of more severe conditions. Cabbage contains over 36 different types of anthocyanins, making it a priority food for individuals with heart disease and for promoting heart health.

  • Reducing cholesterol absorption: Various studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cabbage in reducing LDL cholesterol levels. This is due to the 40% soluble fiber content present in cabbage. Additionally, phytosterols in cabbage help lower LDL cholesterol levels by inhibiting cholesterol absorption in the digestive system.

By incorporating cabbage into your diet, you can reap these heart-healthy benefits and support the well-being of your cardiovascular system.

Effect of cabbage on blood pressure.

Currently, over one billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure. This is also a leading cause of increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

One of the reasons cabbage can be beneficial for blood pressure is its high potassium content. Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in balancing sodium levels in the body. Sodium is known to increase blood pressure, while potassium helps counteract its effects. By increasing potassium intake through foods like cabbage, you can help maintain a healthy sodium-potassium balance, thereby promoting normal blood pressure levels.

Cabbage also contains nitrates, which are compounds that have been associated with blood pressure regulation. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, a molecule that helps relax and widen blood vessels. This dilation of blood vessels reduces resistance to blood flow, resulting in lower blood pressure. Including cabbage in your diet can provide a natural source of nitrates and contribute to improved cardiovascular health.

Effect of cabbage on blood pressure

What effect does cabbage have on the digestive system?

A healthy digestive system is essential for overall well-being and optimal nutrient absorption. Cabbage, a nutritious vegetable widely used in various cuisines, offers several benefits for digestive health. Cabbage contains several properties that can positively impact the digestive system. From its high fiber content to its potential as a natural source of probiotics, cabbage can contribute to maintaining a healthy digestive tract. The fiber content in cabbage promotes regularity by improving bowel movements. Regular consumption of cabbage can help prevent constipation and ensure that waste moves smoothly through the digestive system. This can alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of digestive issues like hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.

Eating more cabbage can help reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation can be linked to many diseases such as heart disease, rheumatic pain, and inflammatory bowel disease. Cruciferous greens, such as cabbage, are high in various antioxidants such as sulforaphane and kaempferol, which have the potential to reduce diseases associated with chronic inflammation.

Some note when using cabbage.

Cabbage is possibily safe for most people when applied to the skin, for short periods of time. Some people report pain and burning sensation when applying cabbage to the skin, but this is not common. Cabbage is absolutely safe when applied to the skin for short periods of time while breastfeeding. Applying cabbage leaves to your breasts to reduce swelling and pain caused by breastfeeding is safe when done several times a day for a day or two. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if cabbage extracts are safe to take by mouth while breastfeeding. Therefore, mothers should only use cabbage as food.

Cabbage may affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. If using cabbage, you should monitor your blood sugar carefully for early signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Some note when using cabbage.
Some note when using cabbage.
Incorporating cabbage into your diet can provide numerous health benefits. From its rich nutrient profile and support for digestive health to its potential in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, enhancing heart and brain health, and improving skin and bone health, cabbage proves to be a valuable addition to a well-rounded diet. Embrace the power of cabbage and enjoy the advantages it offers for your overall health and well-being.

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