You might think of cabbage, called Patta Gobhi in Hindi, as a dull, bland vegetable that’s only good for bulking up salads or soups. But did you know that cabbage has some unexpected health benefits? This cruciferous vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse and has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
However, cabbage also has some potential side effects, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before adding it to your diet. Keep reading to learn more about the nutrition facts, health benefits, and side effects of eating cabbage!
The Lesser Known nutritional facts of eating cabbage
Cabbage is a leafy green, red, or white vegetable with a crisp texture and a slightly sweet flavour. It is a Brassica (cruciferous) family member, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. But did you know that cabbage is a super healthy food?
- Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins C and K and a good source of fibre.
- It also contains phytochemicals and plant compounds that help to protect the body against disease.
- Cabbage is a nutrient-dense food, meaning that it is packed with vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
One cup of chopped cabbage (approximately 89 grams) contains:
- 1.1 grams of protein
- 2.2 grams of fibre
- 32.6 milligrams of Vitamin C
- 67.6 micrograms of Vitamin K
- 4.45 micrograms of Vitamin A
- 0.13 milligrams of Vitamin E
- 38.3 micrograms of folate
- 0.4 milligrams of Iron
- 151.30 milligrams of Sodium
- 0.142 milligrams of Manganese
- 0.036 milligrams of Riboflavin
- 0.054 milligrams of Thiamin
Cabbage is also a good source of antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids. Both help in providing the body with several health benefits.
But that’s not all! Cabbage also has some unknown nutritional benefits. Read on to learn more about cabbage benefits!
Health Benefits of Eating Cabbage
While most people are familiar with the nutritional facts of eating cabbage, some unexpected health benefits are worth noting. These include:
Cabbage is a rich fiber source, which helps keep things moving along your digestive tract. Cabbage is also a good water source, which helps keep your digestive system hydrated. Regularly eating cabbage can help prevent constipation and keep your digestion running smoothly.
Boosts immune system
Cabbage is a good source of vitamins C and K, essential for a strong immune system. The Vitamin C in cabbage helps fight infection, while Vitamin K helps with blood clotting.
Lowers the risk of heart ailments
Cabbage is a good source of fibre, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. Cabbage is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect your heart from damage.
Fights and reduces inflammation
Cabbage leaves are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like sulforaphane and lupeol. These compounds help reduce inflammatory enzyme activity, making them a potent weapon against inflammation.
In one study, patients with arthritis who ate cabbage daily for two weeks experienced a significant reduction in inflammation and joint pain.
Promotes weight loss
Cabbage is not only a low-calorie food but also contains a compound called sinigrin that has been shown to boost weight loss.
In one study, people who ate a sinigrin-rich diet lost more weight and body fat than those who didn’t. Cabbage also contains compounds that help to break down fats, making it an ideal food for weight loss.
Reducing the risk of certain cancers
Cabbage is packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals that have been shown to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells, protecting against several cancers, including colon, breast, and ovarian cancer.
Improves brain health
Cabbage is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K, which is essential for cognitive function. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help to protect the brain from damage.
Cabbage is also a good source of folic acid, essential to prevent congenital disabilities of the brain and spine.
Improves your skin health
Cabbage is rich in vitamins A and C, essential for healthy skin. Vitamin A helps to protect the skin from sun damage, while Vitamin C helps to promote collagen production, which helps to keep the skin looking young and healthy.
Different Types of Cabbage
There are many types of cabbage, each with its unique flavour and nutrient profile. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of cabbage and their nutritional benefits.
This is the most common type of cabbage. It has tightly packed, light green leaves and a mild, slightly sweet flavour. Green cabbage contains sulforaphane, a compound shown to have cancer-preventing properties. These are often used in salads, slaws, or as cooked vegetables.
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This type of cabbage has crinkly, dark green leaves. It has a milder flavour than other types of cabbage. Savoy cabbage contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients for eye health. These are often used in salads or as garnish.
As the name suggests, red cabbage has deep purple leaves. It has a slightly sweet and sour flavour. Red cabbage contains anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that can help to protect against cancer.
Red cabbage is often used in salads, coleslaws, or as a garnish. Red cabbage is a great addition to any meal, and thanks to this link, you can have red cabbage delivered right to your doorstep.
Also known as Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage has long, white stalks and dark green leaves. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavour and is often used in Asian dishes. It is a good source of vitamins C, K, calcium and fibre. Napa cabbage has been shown to help reduce inflammation. These are often used in soups and stews.
Brussels sprouts are small, round, green vegetables that are part of the cabbage family. They have a nutty, slightly bitter flavour and can be eaten boiled, steamed, roasted, or raw.
Brussels sprouts can improve heart health, digestion, and cognitive function, and prevent cancer.
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Potential side-effects of overeating cabbage
Cabbage is a healthy vegetable to add to your diet, but it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects before you overeat it.
Here are some possible side-effects of overeating cabbage:
Flatulence: Cabbage contains a lot of raffinose, an indigestible sugar. This sugar is a complex carbohydrate that passes undigested through your intestines and can cause flatulence.
Digestive issues: Cabbage is a very fibrous vegetable, and overeating can lead to digestive problems like bloating, discomfort, constipation, and diarrhoea.
Pollakiuria: Cabbage is also a diuretic, so overeating can make one urinate more frequently.
Allergies and reactions: Cabbage allergies are uncommon, but they do exist. Hives, vomiting, dizziness, and tongue swelling are common food allergy symptoms. Anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction, can occur in severe cases.
Other side effects of excessive cabbage consumption include intestinal spasms, abdominal cramps, harmful blood clots, and hypothyroidism.
One may experience some of these side effects due to excessive cabbage consumption, so it is best to cut back on the amount of cabbage and enjoy a balanced diet.
How To Clean Cabbage Properly?
Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that is a healthy addition to any meal. But before you can enjoy cabbage, you need to clean it properly. Here’s how:
- Remove any damaged or wilted leaves.
- Rinse the cabbage under running water.
- Cut the cabbage into pieces and place them in a colander.
- Rinse the cabbage again, using a gentle back-and-forth motion to remove any dirt or debris.
- Place the cabbage in a clean bowl or container.
- Cover the cabbage and refrigerate until ready to use.
How to Prepare Cabbage Recipes?
After thoroughly cleaning the cabbage, begin preparing it as follows:
- Cut the cabbage into the desired shape. You’ll want to slice the cabbage into thin strips for most recipes.
- At this point, you’re ready to start cooking! If you’re looking for a simple way to enjoy cabbage, try sautéing it with olive oil and garlic.
- You can add cabbage to your favourite soup or stew recipe for something more hearty.
No matter how you prepare it, cabbage is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that makes a great addition to any meal.
The bottom line
So, there you have it. Cabbage is a bit of an underrated treasure. It doesn’t have the fanfare of other so-called “superfoods.” But that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with nutrients and health benefits.
Cabbage is a nutritious veggie that offers a host of several health benefits. However, it is also important to be aware of the potential downsides, so eat it in moderation.
- Lauche, R., Gräf, N., Cramer, H., Al-Abtah, J., Dobos, G., & Saha, F. J. (2016). Efficacy of Cabbage Leaf Wraps in the Treatment of Symptomatic Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Clinical journal of pain, 32(11), 961–971. https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000352
- Truong, T. T. P., & Koyama, T. (2020). Glucosinolate Sinigrin Improves Insulin Resistance to Suppress Glutathione Consumption in Type 2 Diabetic Mice. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism, 11(10), 1–10. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/glucosinolate-sinigrin-improves-insulin-resistance-to-suppress-glutathione-consumption-in-type-2-diabetic-mice.pdf
- Wang, H., Khor, T. O., Shu, L., Su, Z. Y., Fuentes, F., Lee, J. H., & Kong, A. N. (2012). Plants vs. cancer: a review on natural phytochemicals in preventing and treating cancers and their druggability. Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry, 12(10), 1281–1305. https://doi.org/10.2174/187152012803833026
- Boyera, N., Galey, I., & Bernard, B. A. (1998). Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. International journal of cosmetic science, 20(3), 151–158. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.171747.x