Updated: Jun 16
I’m a surprising lover of cabbage. Growing up, I did not eat it much and, honestly, until a few months ago, I did not eat much of it as an adult either. That all changed when I made a delicious salad using simple ingredients - shredded cabbage, diced apple, extra virgin olive oil and lemon (full recipe below). Seriously, this is a delicious salad and everyone I have made it for agrees.
My New Super Food
Cabbage is a powerhouse in the nutrition world and while most people think cabbage is boring, it is anything but! Cabbage is full of antioxidants called phytonutrients, it is high in fiber, and it is rich in Vitamin K and contains more Vitamin C than oranges.
Here are some of the benefits of including cabbage in your diet weekly:
Reduces Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
The phytonutrients in cabbage have been shown to reduce the risk of breast, colon and prostrate cancer.1
A new study mentioned today in USA Today has stated that the risk of colon cancer is double among millenials and Genx due to many factors including poor diet. Eating cabbage a few times a week can suppress polyp growth, a precursor to colon cancer.2
Improves Digestion and lowers your Cholesterol levels
Cabbage is a good source of fiber which can help feed the good bacteria in the colon as well as form healthy stool.
The fiber can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood by binding and escorting cholesterol out of the body.3
Improves Bone Strength and Protects against Alzheimer’s Disease
The high level of Vitamin K can help build bones (boosting osteoblast activity).
Vitamin K as also been shown to provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.4
Note: If you take a blood thinner medication like Warfarin, please speak with your doctor about limiting the amount of Vitamin K containing foods like cabbage as Vitamin K may interfere with the blood thinners action. 5
Ultimate Ulcer Healer
But most impressive to me is the incredible healing properties of cabbage juice. These properties are so powerful, that cabbage juice has been used to cure stomach ulcers.
There are many studies that have looked at cabbage juice in this capacity. The rule of thumb is 1 cup of cabbage juice a day for 10 days to heal an ulcer.6
To top it all off, cabbage is affordable and in abundance this time of year. To start enjoying cabbage more in your diet, try this easy, economical cabbage salad that will provide you with all these health benefits and more. Food really is medicine!
For tips on storage, preparation and other recipes for cabbage, check out thekitchen.com.
Oh! And don’t forget to let me know how you like it in the comments below!
Crisp Cabbage Salad
1 small head or ½ of a large head of green or red cabbage, chopped
1 Granny smith apple, diced
2 Tbsp of Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp of lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Handful of sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds
Combine cabbage and apple in a bowl.
Pour olive oil and lemon juice over and toss to combine.
Add salt and pepper, to taste.
When serving, top with a handful of seeds.
A good variation on this is to use orange juice in place of lemon juice and add orange segments.
Note: If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you should limit your consumption of raw cabbage and other members of the brassica family due to potential impact on thyroid function (goitrogen) by blocking iodine metabolism.7 Some sources indicate that cooking any brassicas will reduce the goitrogen levels. Lightly sautéing the crisp apple salad will still provide you with many of the protective nutrients.
1. Anubhuti Sh, Ashok Sh, Prashant Y, Dhiraj S. Isothiocyanates in Brassica: Potential Anti Cancer Agents. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(9):4507-4510.
2. Wu QJ, Yang Y, Vogtmann E, et al. Cruciferous vegetables intake and the risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Ann Oncol. 2013;24(4):1079-87.
3. Bacchetti T, Tullii D, Masciangelo S, et al. Effect of black and red cabbage on plasma carotenoid levels, lipid profile and oxidized low density lipoprotein. Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 8, May 2014, pages 128-137.
4. Grimm MO, Mett J, Hartmann T. The Impact of Vitamin E and Other Fat-Soluble Vitamins on Alzheimer´s Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(11)
5. Harkness, R, Bratman, S. The Natural Pharmacist Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions Bible, Prima Publishing; 2000.
6. Available at: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=19. Accessed February 27, 2017.
7. Felker P, Bunch R, Leung AM. Concentrations of thiocyanate and goitrin in human plasma, their precursor concentrations in brassica vegetables, and associated potential risk for hypothyroidism. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(4):248-58.