The cabbage or Brassica oleracea is a green or purple plant that is closely related to other crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. The smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages are the most common multi-layered vegetable. The biennial plant may have originated in Europe, where it was a favorite vegetable in the European cuisine of the Middle Ages. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that the world production of cabbage in 2011 was almost 69 million metric tons. Nearly half of these crops were grown in China. This popular plant possesses many nutritional benefits.
Here are seven health benefits of cabbage.
1. Cabbage contains significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Cabbage is known to accumulate binding complexes in its leaves that use glutamine. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory amino acid that can contribute to reducing the effects of many types of inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and a variety of skin disorders.
A study published in Research in Pharmaceutical Science suggests that chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanolic extracts in cabbage has anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Cabbage could help decrease the risk of cancer.
Cabbage is known as a cruciferous vegetable. These plants are known for their antioxidant quality and quantity. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Too much oxidation of individual particles can be damaging to the body. A study from Oregon State University suggests that some women showed a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were regularly added to their diet.
3. Cabbage can help aid your digestive health.
Research studies like one published in the journal of California Research have suggested that cabbage juice could help the stomach heal from peptic ulcers. Also, cabbage provides nutrients, such as glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, polyphenols, and glutamine to improve the stomach and intestinal linings. Isothiocyanates can help the stomach by regulating the bacterial population of Helicobacter pylori.
4. Cabbage can help keep your vision sharp.
Cabbage is a rich source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene could be converted into vitamin A, thus promoting better eye health by helping prevent early stages of macular degeneration and cataract formation.
5. Cabbage can help keep your brain efficient.
Cabbage is loaded with vitamin K and the antioxidant anthocyanin. These properties are found primarily in red cabbage. Vitamin K is essential for the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around nerves. Anthocyanins may possess painkiller effects along with neuroprotective and anti-inﬂammatory activities.
6. Cabbage may help strengthen your bones.
Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, found in cabbage, are essential minerals in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone deterioration.
7. Cabbage can help the body protect itself against dangerous heavy metals.
Research from the University of Lodz suggested that anthocyanin-rich extract from red cabbage leaves possesses protective actions against heavy metal toxicity.