5 Great Reasons to Eat Cabbage

5 Great Reasons to Eat Cabbage

Cabbage is the iconic veggie of St. Patrick’s Day, to be savored and enjoyed — with or without corned beef. Here are five very good reasons to pick up a head (or two!).

1. Help Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cabbage is part of the cruciferous veggie family, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. According to a 2012 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Urology, people who ate more vegetables from the cabbage family were found to have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Additional studies have also found that eating foods from the cruciferous group may reduce the risk of stomach, mouth, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

2. Boost Your Vitamin C
One cup of chopped cabbage has over 50% of the daily recommended dose of this antioxidant, which may help decrease inflammation and prevent damage to the body’s cells. Vitamin C also plays a role in maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails.

3. Reduce Inflammation
Red cabbage contains powerful anthocyanins, antioxidants that are also found in berries, cherries and acai. Studies have found that anthocyanins may help reduce inflammation as well as keep the heart and brain in tip-top shape.

4. Get Your Fiber On
Most people don’t come close to getting the recommended 20 to 38 grams of fiber each day. Consuming enough fiber has plenty of benefits: It can help lower cholesterol, keep the digestive tract in working order and help keep hunger at bay. (One cup of shredded cabbage has 9% of the recommended daily amount of fiber.)

5. Eat Something Sooo Tasty!
Enjoy popular varieties of cabbage like green, red, Savoy and Napa — either raw, cooked or preserved (hello, sauerkraut!). With so many health benefits, plus a delicious natural flavor, cabbage is a superfood that merits a place in any healthy eating plan.

Cabbage Recipes to Try:

Green Cabbage: Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup (above, from Food Network Magazine)

Green Cabbage: Breaded Pork Chops with Apple-Cabbage Slaw

Red Cabbage: Shaved Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Salad

Red cabbage: Braised Cabbage

Napa cabbage: Spicy Chicken Satay with Shredded Cabbage

Savoy cabbage: Bobby Flay’s Minestrone

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day. See Toby’s full bio »

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