Cabbage has long been known as a healthy low-calorie vegetable – anyone who remembers the infamous Cabbage Soup Diet can attest to that. While it is true that this tasty veggie is definitely low calorie (just 44 calories per cup), that is the least of its many benefits. To date, hundreds of studies have proven the efficacy of cabbage in regard to cancer prevention, and even treatment.
There are several other health benefits from cabbage, including the fact that it is chock-full of vital nutrients, powerful antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Cabbage: One of the ultimate cancer fighting foods
According to Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, cabbage is a powerful cancer fighter. “Eating cabbage more than once a week cut men’s colon cancer odds by 66 percent,” he said. “Cabbage also stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses, and is a good blood purifier.”
According to Oregon State University, epidemiological studies continue to provide evidence that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are linked with lower risks of cancer. Taking on a large role in this cancer-fighting lineup is cabbage, which is packed with known anti-cancer antioxidants and glucosinolates.
Cabbage: The go-to vegetable for anti-inflammatory benefits
While all types of cabbage contains large amounts of polyphenols, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, red cabbage is especially known for the anti-inflammatory anthocyanins it contains.
In a 2014 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of cabbage phytochemicals was investigated. Their conclusions were very promising: “The results suggest that these varieties of cabbage heads could contribute as sources of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory related to the prevention of chronic diseases associated to oxidative stress, such as in cancer and coronary artery disease.”
It is clear that cabbage – whether green or red – has tremendous health benefits that simply cannot be overlooked. Include it in your diet as often as possible, knowing you are enjoying one of the healthiest foods on this planet! There are endless ways to cook and enjoy cabbage, and just serving them lightly steamed is delicious all on its own. If you are looking for more variety, you can find some of the best and healthiest recipes for cabbage on the Health.com website, which features 23 yummy ways to enjoy it!