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7 Health Benefits of Cabbage, Can Prevent Cancer and Lower Blood Pressure


You are certainly familiar with cabbage. This round vegetable with greenish-white leaves in layers is not only of one type. Cabbage has several kinds with different characteristics.



Nutritional Content in Cabbage


Maybe you are more familiar with finding cabbage in a plate of fresh vegetables. However, a vegetable that has the Latin name Brassica Oleracea Var. Capitata L. is also delicious to be processed into stir fry or mixed with a bowl of vegetable soup.

Not to be outdone by other types of vegetables, cabbage provides a myriad of important nutrients for the body. It is proven that in 100 grams (gr) of cabbage, there are 51 calories (cal) of energy, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of protein, and 3.4 grams of fiber.

While a number of minerals in cabbage include 100 milligrams (mg) of calcium, 50 mg of phosphorus, 3.4 mg of iron, 50 mg of sodium and 100 mg of potassium. With various vitamins such as 0.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B1, 0.1 mg of vitamin B2, and 16 mg of vitamin C which also complement the nutrients in cabbage.

What Kinds Of Cabbage Are On The Market?


If you usually find cabbage with a round shape and a greenish white color, did you know that there are other types of cabbage with their own characteristics?

Yes, not just one type, here are the various types of cabbage or cabbage on the market:

1. Green cabbage

Cabbage with a white or pale green color is one of the most commonly sold varieties on the market. You can easily find this one variety of cabbage in vegetable vendors, traditional markets, to well-known supermarkets. On closer inspection, the outer leaves covering the cabbage are usually pale green, while the inside is slightly white when opened.

Before cooking or eating them raw, these outermost cabbage leaves are usually removed first as they are often dirty and slightly wilted. Raw cabbage has a crunchy texture when bitten, and will soften with a sweet taste after processing.

2. Purple cabbage

Similar to green cabbage, cabbage with a purple or reddish color also has layered leaves that are round in shape. The most obvious difference is of course the color of this cabbage.

But not only that, the texture of purple cabbage is usually tougher so that it will be crunchier when bitten and contribute more vitamin C than green cabbage.

Because the color is quite striking, sometimes the color of purple cabbage can mix with other vegetables when processed together.

3. Savoy cabbage

At first glance, savoy cabbage has a shape not much different from green and purple cabbage. However, when you look closely, this cabbage variety has a more wrinkled texture with a wider outer leaf layer for wrapping.

It is characterized by its texture and shape, which makes it taste softer when eaten and the layers of leaves are arranged irregularly compared to other types of cabbage. Usually, cabbage savoy is often used as salad preparations with other types of vegetables.

4. Napa cabbage

What is the name you usually use when you refer to this vegetable? Most people will probably answer chicory. Not many people know that this vegetable is included in one of the cabbage varieties considering the leafy arrangement which is also layered.

The slight difference is that this type of cabbage is not round but oval-shaped with a whitish green leaf color. Kol napa can actually be eaten raw or boiled as fresh vegetables, but most people prefer to eat it by sautéing it.

Health Benefits of Cabbage


Apart from being delicious and easy to prepare, cabbage offers various health benefits that are a pity to miss.

1. Smooth digestion system

There is no need to doubt, various types of vegetables are good sources of fiber to support the work of the digestive system. But make no mistake. Of the 2 types of fiber available, cabbage is classified as insoluble fiber because it does not combine with water in the body, so it travels through the digestive system.

Therefore, water-insoluble fiber generally works better in the intestines at digesting food, according to research published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Water insoluble fiber can also help smooth the movement of feces in the intestines, to prevent constipation or difficulty defecating.

 

2. Maintain heart function

Apart from serving as a reddish purple cabbage color, the powerful content of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins is also believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is also proven by a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study states that increasing the intake of foods containing anthocyanins has been shown to reduce blood pressure as well as the risk of coronary artery disease. In fact, the high content of polyphenol compounds in cabbage is also believed to maintain heart function by preventing lowering blood pressure and preventing platelet buildup.

3. Prevent cancer

The high content of vitamin C in cabbage not only helps to meet daily needs, it also functions to protect the body from free radical attacks that trigger various diseases, including cancer.

Not only that, the sulforaphane compounds in cabbage are thought to have the potential to ward off cancer. Quoting from the Medical News Today page, sulforaphane compounds were found to have a positive effect in inhibiting the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), which is known to be involved in the development of cancer cells in the body.

That is why researchers are still testing the ability of sulforaphane compounds to delay or inhibit the development of these cancer cells.

4. Lowering blood pressure

Increased blood pressure is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Apart from being recommended to reduce or even avoid foods that contain lots of salt, eating more potassium sources is also considered important to help control blood pressure.

The reason is, potassium will help to remove excess salt (sodium) in the body through urine, as well as relax tension on the walls of blood vessels. As a result, high blood pressure will decrease gradually.

Actually, various types of cabbage are equally able to control the body's blood pressure. However, purple cabbage varieties actually contain the highest amount of potassium than other types of cabbage.

5. Helps lose weight

Not only can it prevent heart disease and lower bad cholesterol levels, cabbage is also able to help you lose weight. The content of vitamins, minerals, water, fiber, and other important nutrients in cabbage can help you lose weight, and is a healthy food choice for someone who is on a diet program. In addition, cabbage is also low in calories, which is about 33 calories per cup, so it will not cause significant weight gain if you eat it.

6. Prevent cataracts

Well, here it is one of the biggest benefits of cabbage for health, which is able to prevent cataracts. Cabbage is a good source of beta-carotene, so it can support eye health, especially in older people and reduce the risk of diseases commonly experienced by the elderly, such as cataract formation and macular degeneration.

7. Supports brain health and prevents Alzheimer's

Besides being able to prevent cataracts, cabbage is also able to support brain health and prevent Alzheimer's. The content of vitamin K and anthocyanins in cabbage can improve brain function and mental concentration. Vitamin K plays an important role in the production of sphingolipid, the milein sheath that is around nerve cells, so it can protect the damage and decay of nerves.

In addition, eating foods that are high in vitamin K, such as cabbage, can increase your defense against degenerative neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's, ataxia, Parkinson's, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

8. Increase energy and immunity

Cabbage is a vegetable that is rich in benefits, because besides being able to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cataracts, cabbage is also able to increase energy and immunity. Cabbage is high in B vitamins, including vitamins B1 and B6, which are energy boosting vitamins. In addition, the high content of vitamin C in cabbage can increase immunity, through its role as an antioxidant, in fighting free radicals.

So, those are the eight health benefits of cabbage, which turns out to provide many extraordinary benefits for the health of our bodies. Want to try consuming it regularly? If you have certain medical conditions and want to consume cabbage as a daily meal, there is nothing wrong with consulting your doctor first.

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