• An excellent source of vitamin C
• Low in calories and high in fiber.
• May help prevent colon cancer and malignancies stimulated by estrogen.
• Can cause bloating and flatulence.
• Gives off strong, somewhat unpleasant sulfurous odor when cooked.
• Coleslaw can be high in calories; sauerkraut is loaded with salt.
Although cabbage is not quite as nutritious as broccoli, brussels sprouts,
and cauliflower, it does outrank these plant relatives in consumption. In
fact, in some parts of the world, cabbage consumption is on a par with that
of potatoes. Very high in fiber and very low in calories (a cup of chopped,
raw green cabbage contains a meager 20 calories ), the lowly cabbage is a
rich source of vitamin C (with 33 mg per cup). Red cabbage contains almost
twice as much vitamin C as the green cabbage, while the green variety
contains twice as much folate as the red; both red and green cabbages
contribute potassium and fiber. Savoy cabbage is a good source of beta
Cabbage is rich in cancer-fighting compounds
Cabbages are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables, a family
associated with numerous health benefits. It has long been known that people
who eat large amounts of cabbage enjoy a low rate of colon cancer. This
protective effect is assumed to come from bioflavonoids, indoles,
monoterpenes, and other plant chemicals that inhibit tumor growth and
protect cells against damage from free radicals, those unstable molecules
released when the body uses oxygen. Some o thee chemicals also peed up the
body's metabolism of estrogen, which may explain why women whose diets
provide ample amounts of cabbage and related vegetables have a reduced
incidence of breast cancer. This chemical action may also protect against
cancers of the uterus and ovaries. Of particular interest
inindole-3-carbinol, a cabbage component that in animal studies had reduced
the risk of cancer. Still, advice to take this compound in pill form, as
advocated by some supplement manufacturers, would appear to be premature.
Cabbage can be served raw – as coleslaw, cooked, or pickled into sauerkaraut.
Commercial coleslaw is high in calories (about 200 per cup) because it has
large amounts of mayonnaise. You can reduce calories by suing low-fat
yogurt, vinegar, and oil. Sauerkaraut is soaked in salt brine and then
fermented; to lower the sodium content, rinse it before heating. Sulfites
are often used to preserve cabbage color; asthma sufferers or anyone
allergic to sulfites should check package labels.
Steaming and stir-frying preserves most nutrients. Don't use aluminum
cookware, which causes a chemical reaction that discolors the vegetable and
alters its flavor.