wholesome health advice

C is for cabbage

Why EAT cabbage?

….because this diverse vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse serving up:

~more vitamin C than oranges

~more ALA (alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3) than salmon

~valuable cholesterol-lowering capabilities

~potential healing of peptic ulcers

~strong anti-cancer benefits

~well-documented anti-inflammatory compounds

Ranked as one of the healthiest vegetables, cabbage has antioxidant, antibiotic, and antiviral characteristics.  From the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) prospective, it supports chi circulation, clears heat, tonifies stomach, lungs and large intestine, plus mildly stimulates liver out of stagnation.

This vegetable helps treat constipation, poor circulation, depression and irritability.  The juice, due to an abundance of glutamine (amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties), is a healing remedy for ulcers and abdominal spasms/pain.  Historically, cabbage was food and medicine.  Romans used it as hangover cure; they and the Greeks thought it a general panacea for a multiple of health conditions; and Dutch sailors used it to prevent scurvy during long voyages.

Cabbage and its family, Brassica, have phyto-nutrients that ward off carcinogens (substances capable of causing cancer); they also inhibit cancer formation, detoxify carcinogens, and protect against cancers of the stomach and colon.

Its macro and micro nutrients are noteworthy too.  Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C, A, and K; plus it’s a very good source of folate, fiber, manganese and B6.  This veggie also supplies B1, potassium, tryptophan and calcium.

Cabbage is globally cultivated and eaten in many countries like sauerkraut in northern Europe and kimchi in Korea.  These fermented dishes preserved food and provided nourishment for centuries.  Plus, with a tight, dense head, cabbage had/has storage capabilities in root cellars.  Today, in refrigerators, it lasts up to two months.

Though this veggie is 90 percent water and has only 15 calories per cup, it is pack with nutrients.  Eat it raw, thinly sliced in salads or in slaw.  Use it in soups; make wraps with it; sauté or steam it to capture all its benefits.  Try not to overcook it, as it produces strong odor and flavor.

Red Cabbage Slaw

1 head red cabbage

1 pound carrots

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons of salt

1 Tablespoon of chili powder

Option: add one bunch of parsley

Quarter and core cabbage, then thinly slice either by hand or food processor.  Peel and grate carrots.  Chop parsley.  Toss all ingredients.  Let stand one hour.  Serve as garnish, side dish or as salad.

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”  Mark Twain

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