Cabbage benefits a lot for your health. It has an outstanding nutrient profile and is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion, and combat inflammation. Here we are going to discuss the benefits of cabbage, its nutrition, and its side effects.
Benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable that can boost your body’s natural defenses against disease. Here are some areas where cabbage is especially helpful.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Cabbage is a good source of fiber and potassium, two key nutrients for heart health. While fiber helps bring down cholesterol levels, potassium lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, cabbage is a good source of the B vitamin, folate. Higher intakes of folate are linked to a lower risk of stroke and heart attack.
Supports Brain Health
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables to help maintain strong cognitive function with age. Memory and alertness levels can be improved with good nutrition. The nutrients in cabbage help optimize blood flow to the brain. Cabbage is beneficial for people of all ages who want to stay sharp.
May Lower Cancer Risk
Cabbage also contains anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest that getting three to five weekly servings of cruciferous veggies (such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens) protects against several types of cancer. Prostate, lung, breast, and colon cancer risks are reduced, likely due to compounds in cruciferous veggies that activate enzymes in the liver and bind carcinogens.
The color of red or purple cabbage is due to a high content of polyphenols, including anthocyanins. These antioxidants work throughout the body to prevent oxidative damage associated with a host of health issues, including blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration. Cabbage is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, forms of vitamin A that are known to accumulate in the retina and be especially helpful for warding off vision damage.
Improves Glucose Control
For people with diabetes, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are an excellent choice. Cabbage is a nonstarchy veggie that’s low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. The fiber in cabbage keeps blood sugars stable, preventing dangerous highs and lows.
Cabbage can be substituted for some refined-flour foods to keep your carb count down. By using cabbage wraps instead of flour tortillas, for instance, you can reduce added carbs while boosting the micronutrient content of your meal.
With a mere 33 calories per cup, cabbage is high in fiber and contains zero fat. Cabbage is frequently recommended to people who want to lose weight since it is packed with so many nutrients and its high fiber content makes it quite filling.
Cabbage can also be used to help lower your cholesterol. Its fiber and nutrients bind with bile acids in the intestine and pass out in the stool, rather than being absorbed into the blood. Eating it steamed gives it more cholesterol-lowering power.
Cabbage is an excellent source of the ever-so-important vitamin C, crucial for maintaining a strong immune system.
It has been known for years that consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower cancer risk. The sulfur-containing compound, sulforaphane, which gives these vegetables their bitter taste, is also what specifically gives them their cancer-fighting power. Sulforaphane has been shown to inhibit the progression of cancer cells. Anthocyanins, the powerful antioxidants that give red cabbage its vibrant color, have been shown to slow the formation and even kill already-formed cancer cells.
Inflammation causes unnecessary pain and discomfort and can also lead to a host of other diseases and ailments. Glutamine, an amino acid found in cabbage, is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, helping to reduce joint pain, arthritis, and ease allergies. Cabbage is considered one of the top 10 best food sources of glutamine.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Researchers have identified nearly twenty different flavonoids and fifteen different phenols in cabbage, all of which demonstrate antioxidant activity. These antioxidant nutrients play a role in decreasing your risk of several cardiovascular diseases. Cabbage also contains the beneficial minerals calcium and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure.
Cabbage has been historically known to heal ulcers due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that drinking cabbage juice is very effective in preventing ulcers.
Antioxidants play a major role in the health of your skin. Free radicals are an underlying cause of wrinkles, skin discoloration, and other conditions. Cabbage contains a wealth of different antioxidants that can turn around the aging process of your skin.
Cabbage has been used for relief from hangovers since Roman times. It is thought to clear the body of congeners, by-products of the fermentation process. In addition, the high fiber content of cabbage helps to absorb the alcohol acetaldehyde. The next time you wake up after having had a few too many, do as the Ancient Greeks did and boil up some cabbage and save the juice for drinking.
Try relieving a headache or migraine by making a compress out of cabbage leaves. Crush a few of the inner leaves to make a paste, then place the paste in a cloth, and apply to your forehead until dry. Or try drinking raw cabbage juice (1-2 oz) to bring some relief.
89g Cabbage Nutrition
- Calories: 22
- Fat: 0.1g
- Sodium: 16mg
- Carbohydrates: 5.2g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Sugars: 2.9g
- Protein: 1.1g
- Potassium: 151mg
- Folate: 38.3mcg
- Vitamin K: 67.6mcg
A cup of raw cabbage has just over 5 grams of carbohydrates, with about 50% coming from fiber and 50% from natural sugars. Cabbage has a very low glycemic index of 10.
Cabbage is basically a fat-free food. There is less than one gram in a single one-cup serving.
There’s 1 gram of protein in a cup of raw cabbage. Cabbage is not a significant protein source.
Vitamins and Minerals
Cabbage is a good source of potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Cabbage also provides some calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Cabbage is a low-calorie food, providing just 22 calories per cup, chopped.
Side-Effects of Cabbage
Cabbage has a host of beneficial effects but it can have some detrimental effects on certain individuals. People should not opt for a cabbage-only diet for losing weight as they will lose all the benefits acquired once they revert back to their normal diet. People should avoid having products, including cabbage, containing Vitamin K if they are taking blood thinners. This is because Vitamin K plays a pivotal role in the clotting of blood.
Cabbage contains significant quantities of raffinose, an indigestible sugar. This sugar is a type of complex carbohydrate that passes through your intestines undigested and can cause flatulence. Other symptoms associated with flatulence that may result after eating cabbage include belching, abdominal discomfort, and bloating.
Green cabbage contains 5.8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, reports Michigan State University. The insoluble fiber in cabbage increases the movement of waste in your digestive tract. Eating too much fiber can contribute to symptoms of diarrhea or block your intestines. Additionally, individuals undergoing cancer treatment may need to avoid eating cabbage, as this vegetable can exacerbate diarrhea often caused by chemotherapy. Consult your treating physician about cabbage consumption if you are undergoing this type of treatment.
Cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K, a vitamin that helps your blood clot. Eating too much cabbage can interfere with blood-thinning medications, but a 2-cup serving of green cabbage should assist in providing the desired amount of vitamin K without inducing negative effects. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for males and 90 micrograms for females, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. One cup of green cabbage contains 53 micrograms of vitamin K, while the same serving of red cabbage contains 34 micrograms. According to the University of Michigan Health System, consuming a consistent quantity of foods high in vitamin K and limiting your vitamin K intake to the recommended daily allowance can assist in preventing harmful interactions. Consult your physician about consuming vitamin K foods if you are taking a blood-thinning medication.
Consuming high quantities of cabbage might cause hypothyroidism, according to Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine deficiency coupled with high consumption of cabbage, such as 1,000 to 1,500 grams per day, can result in a lack of thyroid hormone. Glucosinolates are compounds containing sulfur and nitrogen that occur abundantly in cabbage. Chemical reactions with these compounds may interfere with the production of your thyroid hormone or cause the release of a certain ion that competes with iodine uptake. Your thyroid gland needs iodine to function properly. If there are competing processes limiting iodine quantities, this may contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. However, cabbage consumption independent of iodine deficiency does not increase your risk of hypothyroidism, reports Linus Pauling Institute.
Iodine Deficiency And Thyroid Problems
Having too much cabbage could interfere with the normal functioning of your thyroid. This is because it doesn’t allow iodine uptake by the thyroid to proceed normally. Taken over an extended period of time in large amounts, it may result in an iodine deficiency, and you might even develop hypothyroidism or goiter. Occasionally eating some is fine, though. Just don’t overdo it, especially if you’re also eating other foods like kale, cauliflower, spinach, pine nuts, mustard green, turnips, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or millet, which can also disrupt thyroid function.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
When it comes to helping regulate blood sugar levels, cabbage can be as much a friend as a foe. While it has the ability to lower blood glucose levels, consuming large amounts steadily can cause sugar levels to dip too low. This could potentially cause hypoglycemia if you aren’t careful. This is the very reason why you should stay off it in the lead-up to any surgery – it could throw off the regulation of your blood sugar post-operation and during recovery.
Colic In Your Breastfed Baby
Remember how cabbage causes gas build-up and flatulence in adults? If you’re a breastfeeding mother, research shows that your diet could have an impact on the baby too. In general, it is suggested that you stay off any foods that cause colic in the baby. Have you been eating a lot of cabbage of late? That could well be the reason for your baby’s colic.
Interaction With Anticoagulants
Cabbage contains 38.2 µg of vitamin K, a natural aid to clotting. Because anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs work to prevent coagulation, vitamin K could counter their effect or change their effectiveness. This is why you should speak to your doctor about how much cabbage you can safely consume without it affecting your medication’s efficacy.
What does cabbage do to your body?
Cabbage, especially red cabbage, seems to raise levels of beta-carotene, lutein, and other heart-protective antioxidants. It also helps lower something called “oxidized” LDL, which is linked to hardening of the arteries. And since it eases inflammation, it can help prevent heart disease.
What happens if I eat cabbage everyday?
It has an outstanding nutrient profile and is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation.
Does cabbage burn belly fat?
Cabbage is a healthful low-calorie vegetable that can be added to your daily diet when trying to shed a few pounds. Proponents of the cabbage soup diet claim it help you lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in just one week.
Does cabbage help weight loss?
There are only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage, and it is low in fat and high in fiber. Cabbage also helps keep skin looking health, toned, blemish-free and glowing; it's rich in antioxidants (including vitamin C and beta-carotene).