Cabbage (comprising several cultivars of Brassica oleracea) is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. It belongs to the “cole crops” or brassicas, meaning it is closely related to broccoli and cauliflower; Brussels sprouts; and Savoy cabbage.

There are more or less 7 types of cabbage, including the following:

-Red cabbage 

-Choy sum

-Bok choy

-Savoy cabbage 

-Napa cabbage 

-Cannonball cabbage 

-January king cabbage 

Health benefits of cabbage are as follows.

-Antioxidant agent. The antioxidants in this vegetable come from Vitamin C and flavonoids, such as quercetin, and apigenin. Red cabbage is particularly potent, as it is full of anthocyanins. Antioxidants can reduce inflammation, be protective against certain cancers, and enhance brain function.

-Speeds up healing. Cabbage is rich in sulfur, which is a very useful nutrient as it fights infections. It also reduces the frequency and severity of ulcers.

-Anti-inflammatory agent. They contain sulforaphane, which is a compound that reduces inflammation. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory agent that helps to reduce inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.

-Improves bone. It is a great source of minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These three essential minerals are essential in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone weakening.

-Regulates blood pressure. This anthocyanin-rich vegetable helps lower blood pressure levels and prevents heart diseases. The presence of potassium also makes way to protect from elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

-Supports brain health. Cabbage is rich in iodine, vitamin K, and antioxidants like anthocyanins. These elements are beneficial as building blocks for the brain. It can do far more than maintain the structural integrity of the brain and the nervous system.

-Prevents cataract. It is a rich source of beta-carotene and its ability to prevent macular degeneration, promote good eye health and delay cataract formation.

-Skin care and vitamin C. Cabbage of all kinds is rich in vitamin C. The high quantity of vitamin C promotes skin health. It provides photoprotection, reduces wrinkling, helps in wound healing, and dry skin.

-Weight loss. Since this vegetable is packed with many helpful minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, including water and fiber, it is a healthy dietary option for people looking to eat healthier and shedding pounds. It is low in calories but in this aspect it should be made part of a balanced, healthy diet, not the main component.

-Protects from radiation therapy. Cabbage has a rare compound called 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), which has been shown to counteract some of the negative effects associated with radiation therapy as it helps in ensuring that the white and red blood cells and the platelet count remain existent, which is often not the case during radiation therapy.

-Improves heart health. Cabbage is rich in polyphenols, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing blood pressure and preventing platelet build-up.

-Supports the digestive tract. Rich in glucosinolates and fiber, cabbage helps the body retain water and it helps bulk up the bowel movements and treat constipation.

-Anticancer properties. The glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage can help prevent various cancers including prostate cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, and colon cancer. Red cabbage specifically has a number of anti-cancer compounds like lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane (glucosinolates derived isothiocyanate), which are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors that lead to cancer.

Side effects. 

-Sulfur-rich food such as cabbage can cause bloating and flatulence.

-Some people may be allergic to cabbage.

-Eating this vegetable is not recommended for people with hypothyroidism.

-Consult your doctor if you are scheduled for surgery as some vegetables with high vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners.

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