Cabbage is densely packed with nutrients, including vital minerals and vitamins. It contains four major antioxidants.
These are choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and quercetin. Choline can improve memory and fight inflammation. It can also prevent neural tube defects in pregnant women.
Beta-carotene protects human DNA from the ill effects of smoking. Lutein can prevent age-related macular degeneration while quercetin fights harmful bacteria and combats disease.
No matter the variety, the benefits are similar. Below are five health benefits of cabbage:
1. Improve skin health
Cabbage is rich in vitamin C. This nutrient boosts the production of collagen, a structural protein that helps with skin formation and wound healing.
As per mice studies, red cabbage may also have a role in preventing skin cancer.
2. Help with weight loss
Fruits and vegetables containing fibre (including cabbage) can help with weight loss. Some individuals also believe in a particular weight loss diet made of cabbages, called the cabbage soup diet.
This diet involves the intake of large amounts of cabbage soup for seven days. You may also consume certain other fruits and veggies, brown rice, chicken, and beef.
3. Promote vision health
The lutein in cabbage contributes to vision health. Lutein (along with another antioxidant called zeaxanthin) protects the retina and the lens against the ultraviolet light. Cabbage also contains trace amounts of zeaxanthin.
Cabbage also contains vitamin C, another nutrient that aids vision. It may regenerate vitamin E inside the eye, which is an antioxidant important for vision health.
4. Enhances digestive health
Kimchi, another fermented food prepared from cabbage, can promote digestive health. It is rich in probiotics and promotes digestive health in ways similar to yoghurt and other dairy products. Kimchi prevents constipation and also promotes colorectal health.
Cabbage is also rich in both insoluble and soluble fibres. The former adds bulk to stools and promotes regularity. The latter promotes gut-friendly bacteria.
5. Fight inflammation
Though inflammation by itself is not bad, chronic inflammation is. Cruciferous veggies, like cabbage, fight chronic inflammation.
In a study, women who had the highest intake of cruciferous vegetables displayed the lowest levels of inflammation. The study partly links the intake of such vegetables to reduced inflammation. This can be attributed to an antioxidant called sulforaphane present in cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane may also slow down cartilage damage in joints.