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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calories >>  Cabbage

Calories In Cabbage

Cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetables family and is closely related to collard greens, broccoli and kale. It is a round shaped vegetable with layers of superimposed leafs. Cruciferous vegetables are known for the nourishment they provide. Cabbage is inexpensive and lends itself to a variety of dishes. It is, therefore, a dietary staple in many regions across the world.

Cabbage is grown so widely that it is available at any time of the year.

Nutrition And Calories In Cabbage

One cup of cabbage contains just 15 calories. The other nutrients in cabbage include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese and fiber. Cabbage is also a valuable source of vitamin B6, thiamin, potassium and calcium.

Health Benefits Of Cabbage

The different health benefits of cabbage include;

  • Health experts maintain that cabbage is beneficial in preventing cancer because it contains the chemical, sinigrin which is known to destroy cancerous cells which develop in the bladder, prostate and colon. Cabbage also protects the cells from damage by free radicals since it is packed with antioxidants. You can avail of these benefits of cabbage by eating it raw or slightly cooked. An inadequate intake of antioxidants can affect the oxygen metabolism in the body, thereby leading to a condition known as oxidative stress which can elevate the risk of various types of cancer.
  • Cabbage is rich in fiber which helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. It also promotes proper elimination of cholesterol from the body by binding to the bile acids.
  • Cabbage contains anthocyanins which help to prevent inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
  • The high fiber content in cabbage promotes good digestive health. It helps to maintain healthy levels of the ‘good’ bacteria in the colon. It also encourages proper bowel movements and thus helps to prevent constipation.
  • Cabbage contains substantial quantities of vitamin C and hence is beneficial for the immune system. Vitamin C boosts the immune response and helps the body fight against various infections and diseases.
  • The iodine in cabbage is beneficial for good health of the nervous system. Red cabbage, in particular, is rich in iodine and is known to reduce the risk of diseases that affect the brain.
  • Cabbage juice is known to help in the healing of stomach ulcers.

Buying And Storing Cabbage

When buying cabbage, look for ones that have crisp, fresh leaves without any bruises or discoloration. Damaged outer leaves may be indicative of decay or worms in the inner core. Only some of the outer leaves should be attached to the stem, otherwise the cabbage may taste harsh. It is best not to buy shredded or cut cabbage since this leads to loss of vitamin C.

To retain the vitamin C content, cabbage must be kept cold. Place the entire cabbage head in a re-sealable plastic bag and place it in the crisper of the refrigerator. Green and red cabbage stored in this manner will keep for about two weeks. If you need to store a part of the cabbage head for later use, make sure to wrap it tightly with plastic film and place in the refrigerator. Try to use cut cabbage in a couple of days since the vitamin C content reduces quickly.

Preparing Cabbage

First remove the thick outer leaves, cut the cabbage into pieces and rinse under running water.

The inside portion of the cabbage is usually clean since it is protected by the outer leaves. However, it is still advisable to clean it. You will need to first remove the crunchy outer layer of leaves, then slice it and rinse under water. In case there are signs of insects or worms, soak the cabbage head in a solution of water and salt for about 20 minutes. To enable the cabbage to keep most of its vitamin C, cut and rinse it just before preparing or eating. Use a stainless steel knife to cut cabbage since the phytonutrients in the vegetable react with carbon steel and cause the leaves to become black. To chop cabbage, first cut it into quarters and then remove the core. You can cut the cabbage into any size you prefer. You can also use a hand grater or a food processor to shred the leaves.

Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable; however it should not be used as a cure for cancer or a solution to prevent cancer from developing. It should also not be considered a treatment for Alzheimer’s. It is necessary to avail of medical treatment for such conditions. Cabbage does encourage healthy digestion and prevents constipation, but some people may be sensitive to it. Cabbage supplies many nutrients to the body, but it contains low levels of carbohydrates and protein. Therefore people who begin weight loss diets which incorporate only cabbage soup may experience side effects such as headache, weakness or dizziness. Breastfeeding mothers are sometimes recommended to avoid eating cabbage in usual amounts since some infants may develop colic.

Submitted on January 16, 2014