We've heard about the familiar cabbage but do we know about the health benefits of cabbage and that it's also one of the most widely grown vegetables available to us on the planet. Cabbage comes in many shapes and sizes. While the green variety is familiar to most of us, a few other species also belong to this member of the cruciferous family, such as the Napa cabbage, the Red cabbage, the Chinese cabbage and the Savoy cabbage.
There's also a Milk cabbage, a Kohl cabbage and a few others too. And if you think that the ordinary cabbage is a poor man's food, you should think again. Cabbage is rich in so many ways, and their healing powers are numerous.
Besides merely eating cabbage, raw, steamed or boiled, a hot compress made from cabbage leaves placed directly on your tummy, can help ease stomach upsets. And a cold cabbage compress can also relieve breast tenderness for women when a chilled cabbage compress placed inside your bra.
However, cabbage has a lot more health benefits than you might realise. It's an abundant food source. And we shouldn't ignore it either. Like the cousins of the cruciferous family, cabbage is rich in antioxidants and contains two vital cancer-fighting chemical compounds. One is called Indole-3-Carbinol, which is especially effective against breast cancer. The other chemistry is called Sulforaphane, which is known to step up the production of tumour preventing enzymes in the body.
If you're looking for more breast cancer-fighting benefits, try replacing your usual cabbage with Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage. The compound in Bok Choy known as brassinin helps prevent breast tumours. And Sulforaphane is particularly praised in its battle against colon cancer because it stimulates the production of an enzyme called glutathione in the colon, which helps sweep toxins out of your body before they have a chance to damage the delicate cells that line your intestinal wall.
Cabbage has a lot of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E as well as Beta Carotene to help ward off disease by mopping up the harmful oxygen molecules called free radicals that naturally accumulate in our bodies. Free radicals cause a great deal of damage to our healthy tissues, making changes that can lead to heart disease, prostate, breast and colon cancers as well as other severe conditions.
For the layman, don't concern yourself too much with all the science that lies within these cabbages. All you need to concern yourself with is the fact that no matter what your friends and family may think, eating any cabbage variety is going to make your health a whole lot better. And you'll be richly rewarded with what was once considered a poor man's diet, and now rich in so many other ways.
There's a need to keep a cool head when it boils down to eating cabbage because to preserve the compounds at its maximum level; cabbage is always best eaten raw. You can mix fresh cabbage with a green salad of your choice or as a coleslaw by simply mixing cabbage with grated carrots. By boiling cabbage you'll end up removing about half of the valuable indoles, so say the experts.
To get all the health benefits associated with the healing power of cabbage, why not explore all the different varieties. This way you can enjoy cabbage several times a week without getting bored. Red, Green, and Savoy cabbage, along with Bok Choy are all extremely high in protective compounds. You can enjoy all these cabbages in coleslaw, wrapped with your favourite filling or in a slow-cooked soup.
Stocking up with fresh cabbage is not a problem at all because a whole head of cabbage will keep for up to two weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. It will make it easier to eat a little bit at a time without you having to worry about the product getting spoiled. Cabbage is inexpensive, versatile, always readily available and easy to prepare. If you're boiling cabbage and concerned about the smell, it sometimes produces, add a celery stalk into the mix as this will help neutralise the odour. You can also make a tasty stir fry in a wok using grated cabbage along with a few other vegetable ingredients.
Trim the Bok Choy and cut the leaves from the stems. Wash thoroughly in cold water, then thinly slice both the stems and leaves.
If you are using dried Shiitake mushrooms, remove and discard the stems, then soak the caps in water until they become soft. Next, cut the heads into narrow slices.
Over medium heat, warm the avocado oil in a wok or skillet. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for two to three minutes. Add the Bok Choy stems and continue to stir fry for another minute. Next, add the Bok Choy leaves and stir for half a minute. Add the soy sauce, sesame sauce and brown sugar. Then simply stir-fry for one or two minutes, or just before the Bok Choy has wilted. Serve hot and enjoy.
Place the cabbage and kohlrabi into a medium bowl and toss to mix. Whisk together the mustard seeds, vinegar, honey and salt in a small bowl. Pour this over the cabbage and kohlrabi and toss to combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes, tossing once or twice. This will allow the flavours to blend. You can also refrigerate for up to eight hours before tossing and serving.
Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for a general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.