Cabbage is one overlooked vegetable, but it has a lot of impressive health benefits and nutritional quality. It belongs to the class of kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.
It has many shapes and colors like white, green, red, and purple and the leaves can either be smooth or crinkled.
Due to the nutritional benefits of this vegetable, it is used in making a lot of meals including fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut which are very rich sources of probiotics.
In this post, we will be taking a look at 8 health benefits of cabbage.
8 Health Benefits of Cabbage
As we said, cabbage is a very nutritious vegetable but many are unaware of it. 89 grams of raw green cabbage which make up a cup of cabbage contains:
3% of your daily requirement of magnesium, 22 calories, 4% of your daily requirement of potassium and calcium, 1 gram of protein, 6% of your daily requirement of vitamin B6, 85% of your daily requirement of vitamin K, 7% of your daily requirement of manganese, 54% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, and 10% of your daily requirement of folate.
It also contains trace amounts of vital nutrients like riboflavin, vitamin A, and iron. It is also high in fiber and powerful antioxidants like sulfur compounds and polyphenols.
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All these nutrients contained in cabbage have very important roles the play in the body. A deficiency in one of these can lead to health problems and complications.
The antioxidants fight inflammation and free radicals which can damage your cells and body.
2. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that has a lot of important and critical roles to play in your body. 89 grams of cabbage, which is approximately 2 cups of raw green cabbage gives you 85% of your daily requirement of vitamin K.
The main function of vitamin K is that it acts as a cofactor for enzymes that take part in blood clotting. A deficiency in vitamin K leads to the inability of your blood to clot.
This can lead to blood loss in cases of accidents or big injuries. The individual can die of excessive bleeding.
Cabbage contains many important and powerful antioxidants that help keep the process of inflammation in check and under control. Your body triggers an inflammatory response when it is infected or wants to speed up healing.
This process is not bad especially when it is for a short time. This is called acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the dangerous type and it happens for a long time.
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Chronic inflammation triggers many diseases like heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic diseases.
Cabbage contains antioxidants that can control and reduce chronic inflammation. It does this by reducing certain proteins that are blood markers for inflammation.
Kaempferol and Sulforaphane are some of the antioxidants present in cabbage that help fight and control chronic inflammation.
4. Skin Health
Cabbage is rich in indole-3-carbonile, this is a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies your liver and skin. This gives your skin a clear complexion and beautiful glow.
It treats skin blemishes and a dull appearance. It also fights aging because it is rich in vitamin C which the body uses in making collagen. It protects your skin from damage caused by UV light, the presence of vitamin A in cabbage ensures this effect.
It gives you a flawless skin, prevents acne, and improve your complexion.
5. Storehouse of Vitamin C
Cabbage is very rich in vitamin C. This water-soluble vitamin has a lot of important functions in the body, from boosting the immune system down to skin health.
Your body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein which protects your skin and makes it youthful and elastic. The more collagen you have, the more healthy, youthful, and glowing your skin will be.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It gives your skin flexibility and structure. Cabbage is also very important for your bone health. This vegetable makes your bones strong and ensures their optimum functioning.
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It also boosts the functions of the muscles and blood vessels. It also help your body absorb non-herm iron, the type of iron found in plant foods.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that keeps your body healthy, fortifies your immune system, and fight cancer. It protects your body from free radicals which causes various chronic diseases.
6. Hair Health
Cabbage is beneficial for your hair due to its rich content of sulfur. It is rich in vitamin A and this nutrient stimulates hair growth. It nourishes your hair, it gives it a smooth feel and a healthy appearance.
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It fights hair loss and acts as a natural conditioner for dry hair. Increase your intake of cabbage to boost your hair health. you can drink cabbage juice and also use it to rinse your hair.
The fiber-rich nature of this humble vegetable help boost healthy digestion and prevent digestive problems. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
This soluble fiber is gut-friendly, it serves as food for the healthy bacteria in your gut which makes up 80% of your immune system. This help to increase the population of probiotics in your gut.
Apart from boosting the immune system, these friendly bacteria help in the synthesis of important nutrients like vitamins B12 and K2.
This insoluble fiber also protects your digestive system and boosts its functions, it makes your stool bulky thereby, fighting constipation and ensuring regular movement of the bowels.
8. Blood Pressure
More than one billion people in the world are suffering from high blood pressure. This is one of the greatest risks for heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases.
Cabbage is rich in potassium and this mineral help reduce high blood pressure.
Hypertension patients are advised by doctors to reduce their intake of salt but recent studies have provided evidence showing that increased levels of potassium in the body help bring down high blood pressure.
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Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium. It eliminates excess sodium through your urine, it also dilates and relaxes your blood vessels so that blood can flow freely.
Modern diets are very high in sodium and low in potassium, so one of the ways to increase your intake of potassium is to eat cabbage regularly.
Red cabbage contains the highest level of potassium, 2 cups of raw red cabbage, which is about 178 grams, gives you 12% of your daily requirement of potassium.