Cabbage the Big Powerfood Full of Health Benefits

Eat cabbage if you want the health benefits of beautiful glowing skin, and an immune system powerful enough to fight off just about anything, don’t forget this highly nutritious but common vegetable.

Cabbage is a powerful superfood. Ancient healers thought it contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight. Modern nutritional science understands its power comes from its high sulfur and vitamin C content. Either way, it’s worth adding to your weekly diet.

8 Health Benefits of Cabbage

  1. Cabbage is ideal for weight loss because it has only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage, is high in fiber and is low fat.
  2. It is brain food! It is full of Vitamin K and anthocyanins that help with mental function and concentration. These nutrients also prevent nerve damage improving your defense against  Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.  Red cabbage has the highest amount of vitamin K in it.
  3. It is high in sulfur, the beautifying mineral. It helps dry up oily and acne skin. Internally sulfur is essential for keratin, a protein substance necessary for healthy hair, nails, and skin.
  4. Cabbage helps detoxify the blood. The high content of vitamin C and sulphur in cabbage removes toxins (free radicals and uric acid); which are the main causes of arthritis, skin diseases, rheumatism, and gout.
  5. It has well-known cancer preventative compounds (lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane) known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. A Study on women showed a reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were added to their diet.
  6. It helps keep blood pressure from getting high. The high potassium content helps by opening up blood vessels, easing the flow of blood.
  7. Cabbage is Helpful for Headaches:  a warm compress made with cabbage leaves can help relieve the pain of a headache. Crush cabbage leaves, place in a cloth and apply on the forehead.  Also, drink raw cabbage juice 1-2 oz. (25-50ml) daily for chronic headaches.
  8. Hangovers from heavy drinking were reduced by using cabbage, since Roman times.

So there you go lots of cabbage health benefits for you.

Please Note:
If you have an under-active thyroid gland cabbage might make this condition worse so best to not eat it.
For a nursing mother, evidence suggests that your baby can develop colic even if you only eat cabbage once a week.
Cabbage may disturb blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Stop eating cabbage for 2 weeks before surgery because cabbage may interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.

cabbage health benefits

Cabbage Nutrition

Cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. It also has phytonutrients which is said to prevent cancer. Cabbage will not only help you lose weight it will also strengthen your immune system for it contains vitamin C. The natural red pigments of red cabbage is said to lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production. 

  • Excellent source of minerals, vitamin A, C, and B vitamins.
  • It is 90% water which makes it low in calories.
  • Cabbage is low in fat.
  • For women, cabbage is a great source of iron and calcium.
  • Cabbage has 6-8 times the vitamin C content of an orange.
  • One of the least expensive vegetables per pound for nutritional content.

If you want to lose weight in a natural way, why not try to have low-calorie vegetables and fruits? Cabbage is not only sweet and affordable, but it is also low in calories. It is good for weight loss because of its water content. Below is a chart showing calories in cabbage, protein, carbs and fats.

VegetableMeasureProtCarbFatPtsCals
Cabbage, raw1 cup, chopped(89.0 g)1.15.20.1022.3
1 cup, shredded (89.0 g)0.94.10.1017.5
1 head, large (about 7″ dia)(89.0 g)1672.41.26312
1 leaf, large(89.0 g)0.41.9008.3
1 head, medium (about 5-3/4″ dia)(89.0 g)11.652.70.94227
1 leaf, medium(89.0 g)0.31.3005.8
1 head, small (about 4-1/2″ dia) (89.0 g)9.141.40.73178.5
1 leaf (89.0 g)0.20.9003.8

 

“Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

Cabbage Trivia

  • Some children’s legends say babies come from ‘Cabbage Patches’.
  • Cabbage is considered Russia’s national food. Russians eat about seven times as much cabbage as the average North American.
  • Chinese scrolls from 1000 BC declare white cabbage as a cure for baldness in men.
  • “It will make you feel as if you had not eaten and you can drink as much as you like.”  Said Cato, a Roman who lived till he was 80, ate it before and after meals.
  • Babe Ruth used to wear a cabbage leaf under his hat during games which he would switch out for a fresh leaf halfway through each game.
  • See the world’s biggest cabbage in the video below.

“‘Marmaduke’ claimed the title of king of the cabbages Friday night at the 19th annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off at the Alaska State Fair. At nearly 118 pounds, the washing-machine-size vegetable grown by Steve Hubacek of Wasilla topped this year’s closest competitor by 4 pounds. ‘Marmaduke’ claimed the title of king of the cabbages Friday night at the 19th annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off at the Alaska State Fair. At nearly 118 pounds, the washing-machine-size vegetable grown by Steve Hubacek of Wasilla topped this year’s closest competitor by 4 pounds.” ~ Anchorage Daily News

Cabbage History

  • Cabbage is one of the oldest known vegetables.
  • Cabbage dates back to 4,000 B.C. in Shensi province in China.
  • Around 600 B.C. the Celts brought cabbage to Europe from Asia.
  • In 1536 French navigator Jacques Cartier brought cabbage to the Americas.
  • In  Captain Cook’s famous first voyage, (17 century) many of the crew members were saved from gangrene when the ship’s doctor made poultices of cabbage to apply to their wounds.
cabbage health benefits
Red and Green Cabbage

Types of cabbage

There are many different types of cabbages with different tastes and uses. Mostly we think of green and red cabbage but there are more types.

They include green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, bok choy, and Brussel sprouts.

Green Cabbage: the most common variety; is pale green in colour with tightly compacted leaves.

red cabbageRed Cabbage: this dark purple-red cabbage is similar in taste to the green cabbage but with coarser leaves. Red cabbage has almost 3,000 times more anthocyanins (an antioxidant) as green cabbage

Bok Choy: A Chinese cabbage with dark green leaves and white stems. It has the highest beta carotene and vitamin A content. (see right)Bok choy stems are white and watery-crisp, while the leaves are deep green and very tender. The flavor of bok choy reminds us of baby spinach or swiss chard, and we love it in stir-fries, brothy soups, and steamed mixed vegetable dishes.

savoy cabbageSavoy Cabbage: is round and green-yellow in colour, with crinkled leaves and is less compact than the green cabbage. Their flavor is mild and earthy, and the leaves are tender even when raw. It is good sliced thinly in soups and stir-fries. When you buy it should be crisp – not wilted!

nappa cabbage chinese 450Napa  Cabbage:  also called Chinese or celery cabbage.  Napa cabbage doesn’t look like head cabbages. It has long light green leaves that flower off of thick, white stalks.  It has a lovely mild flavor with a peppery kick that is delicious in salads or stir-frys.

brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts:  They don’t just look like tiny cabbages, they are! If you find them sold on the stalk,  know that they will keep for several weeks if chilled. If you’ve already decided you don’t like Brussels sprouts, it’s probably because at some point in your life someone served you somewhere their tasty, nutty, sweet flavor was boiled away. When you learn how to cook them properly, you may find them totally yummy! Learn how here: 5 Reasons To Love Brussels Sprouts and 7 Tips To Make Them Taste Better

warm winter crunchy salad

Delicious Cabbage Recipes to Get the Health Benefits

Cabbage Walnut Salad – This cabbage walnut salad is so filling and delicious. Also, it is high in nutrients with a variety of vegetables and nuts in it which makes it very good for you too. The walnuts, pine nuts, and sesame seeds add a good vegan protein to it.

Warm Winter Crunchy Salad – In the winter salads are not as appealing; we gravitate towards warm foods. Still some raw foods filled with enzymes and nutrients are good for us.  I tend to stay away from the leafy vegetables during this time.This has all the grounding warming foods suitable for winter rather than cooling lettuces.

 Borscht Soup with a Difference Is Delicious– Borscht is the best way to get healthy superfood beets filled with beta-carotene and minerals into our diet. And it has lots of cabbage in it too. It is quick to cook, easy to vary, and enjoyed by everyone, even children.

Check out this cabbage beauty treatment:

Cabbage Face Mask – Cabbage helps dry up oily and acne skin. Internally sulfur is essential for keratin, a protein substance necessary for healthy hair, nails, and skin.

Learn How to Cook and Combine with Cabbage:

Cabbage is such great Powerfood that I use it in some of my 2-5-30 Healthy Diets, such as Winter 2-5-30 Healthy Diet.

100+ Superfoods

Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.

READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.

Diana Herrington

Diana has been writing about natural health and wellness for over 20 years. Having used foods to heal her own body, she now shares her wisdom with others.

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