Rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-cancer molecules, cabbages are the ideal vegetables to improve heart, eye and bone health. Here are the properties and benefits of green cabbage.
Green cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is a winter vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family together with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, a source of numerous nutrients, in particular fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium and potassium. The various types of cabbage are classified according to the leaves, buds, inflorescences and stems.
- Leaves: cabbage, black or green cabbage and savoy cabbage
- Buds: Brussels sprouts
- Inflorescences: cauliflower, broccoli and Roman cabbage
- Stems: kohlrabi.
The properties of cabbage are numerous, many of which are attributable to the presence of particular substances, which we will see specifically shortly.
Cabbage: calories and nutritional values
Green cabbage is low in carbohydrates and calories (25Kcal / 100 gr), has a good amount of fiber and, for being a vegetable, it contains a fair amount of protein. It is also a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Among the minerals potassium, phosphorus and calcium stand out.
Furthermore, as well as other types of cabbage, it is one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant essential for many vital functions such as the synthesis of collagen (the most abundant structural protein in our body), the absorption of iron and the support to the immune system. It also contains a lot of vitamin K, a very important nutrient for blood clotting and bone health.
Furthermore, green cabbage, like all the other members of the cruciferous family, contains sulforaphane, a vegetable compound with anti-tumor action, and indole-3-carbinol, a vegetable compound present almost exclusively in cruciferous plants which, like sulforaphane, has a anti-tumor action.
Finally, green cabbage, like all green leafy vegetables, is particularly rich in antioxidants and flavonoids such as beta-carotene, quercetin and kemferol. The function of antioxidants is to help counteract the oxidative damage caused by free radicals in our body, responsible for aging and many diseases including cancer and inflammatory diseases.
Nutritional values per 100g of cabbage:
- Waterfall: 92.18 g
- kcal: 25
- Proteins: 1.28 g
- Fat: 0.1 g
- of which saturated: 0.034 g
- Carbohydrates: 5.8 g
- of which sugars: 3.2 g
- Fibers: 2.5 g
- Soccer: 40 mg
- Potassium: 170 mg
- C vitamin: 36.6 mg
- Vitamin K: 75 µg
- Glycemic index: 10
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Green cabbage: health benefits
The elements we have just seen give the cabbage useful properties to support health on several fronts. In short, cabbage helps reduce cholesterol, facilitates digestion, has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect, promotes bone health and strengthens the immune system, but not only. Let’s see in detail all the benefits of this food.
✓ Reduces cholesterol
Green cabbage contains a good amount of bile acid sequestrants, substances which, by binding the bile acids of the digestive system and preventing their reabsorption, are able to lower cholesterol levels, consequently reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the ability to bind bile acids is enhanced if the cabbage is prepared by steaming.
✓ Anti-inflammatory properties
Cabbage is a food rich in glutamine, known to be an anti-inflammatory agent whose regular intake helps reduce inflammation, joint pain and skin diseases.
✓ Facilitates digestion
Kale is high in fiber and water, both of which are essential for preventing constipation and promoting regularity and health of the digestive tract.
✓ Reduces the risk of anemia
Thanks to the presence of vitamin C, the consumption of cabbage is perfect for increasing the absorption of iron from the digestive tract and reducing the risk of incurring anemia.
✓ Cancer prevention
Green cabbage, like all crucifers, is rich in compounds with anti-tumor activity including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. A study showed that supplementing these compounds in the diet may be useful in the treatment of papilloma virus infections, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.
✓ Strengthens the immune defenses
A popular way of consuming cabbage is in fermented form such as sauerkraut can be. Rich in probiotics, fermented foods are essential for improving the immune system as well as the digestive system.
✓ Promotes bone health
Low vitamin K intake is associated with a higher risk of bone fractures. Adequate consumption of vitamin K (of which cabbage is rich) is important for good health as it acts as a bone matrix protein modifier, improves calcium absorption and reduces urinary excretion of calcium.
How much cabbage to eat
Cabbage belongs to the vegetable family and, as such, one serving is equivalent to about 200 grams, equivalent to half a plate. In a healthy and balanced diet, it is recommended to consume 2 or 3 portions of vegetables per day, therefore, when it is in season (in winter), it is also possible to consume a portion of cabbage per day, possibly alternating or combined with others. seasonal vegetables. This amount is already sufficient to provide our body with all the benefits we have seen above.
Green cabbage: how to use it in the kitchen
Cabbage can be eaten in numerous ways: raw, steamed, boiled, fermented, roasted, sauteed, or stuffed.
It is advisable to buy fresh cabbage with compact and spotless inflorescences. To keep the cabbage fresh even after purchase, it is advisable to clean it, dry it with a cotton cloth and store it in the refrigerator tightly closed in a special food bag. Here are some suggestions for increasing the amount of cabbage in your diet:
- Roast the chopped cabbage leaves with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of black pepper and a chopped head of garlic;
- Cabbage can also be added to a fresh green salad;
- A simple soup can be enriched in taste and nutritional properties with a few cabbage leaves;
- Cabbage chips: cut the cabbage leaves into slices and, after covering a baking sheet with parchment paper, steam the cabbage leaves with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake at 200 ° C for 10 minutes (they must be nice and crunchy!);
- In smoothies: a very interesting recipe to integrate cabbage into your smoothies is composed of the union of cabbage leaves (a handful), a few leaves of fresh mint, 1 orange, the juice of 1 lime and a piece of grated ginger.
Cabbage: contraindications and potential negative effects
Although it has numerous benefits, the consumption of cabbage is not without contraindications. Let’s see in detail in cases where it is better to pay attention to the consumption of this vegetable.
- Fluidification of the blood: if you are taking anticoagulants it is important to evaluate with your doctor the amount of cabbage (and other foods containing vitamin K) to be integrated in your diet as it plays an important role in blood clotting;
- Thyroid Problems: Cabbage contains goitrogens, antinutrients that interfere with iodine metabolism and can inhibit thyroid activity.