9. Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a nutritious and delicious vegetable that has become very popular throughout the world for a number of reasons.  Also known as purple cabbage or red kraut, it is a member of the Brassicaceae family and can be found throughout Northern Europe, America, and parts of China.   It is most often used in salads, but it can also be cooked and served as a side dish to certain meat dishes.

One of the main reasons why red cabbage is such a popular vegetable addition to meals is its impressive nutrient profile and the wealth of phyto-chemicals, antioxidants including polyphenols and sulfur compounds, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  These essential components include thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, dietary fibre, and the B vitamins. Its organic compounds are almost too many to list, but its high antioxidants content like anthocyanins and indoles are extremely valuable for human health.

According to a FRAP analysis, red cabbage provides up to 2.2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).   That’s more than four times the amount of antioxidants in regular cooked cabbage.   This is because red cabbage contains anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that give red cabbage its colour.  Anthocyanins are also found in strawberries and raspberries.  Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain many different antioxidants that have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation.

Red cabbage is a wealth of vitamins, but none is as important as vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is an important antioxidant and is a massive element of our immune system.  It stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which form the first line of defence for the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin C is important in the formation of collagen, which keeps our bodies and cells connected and solid.  Interestingly, the way red cabbage is prepared can also affect its antioxidant levels.   Boiling and stir-frying red cabbage may boost its antioxidant profile, while steaming red cabbage may reduce its antioxidant content by almost 35%.  

Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6 and folate, both of which are essential for many important processes in the body, including energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system.

If you want to improve your digestive health, fibre-rich cabbage is the way to go.  This crunchy vegetable is full of gut-friendly insoluble fibre, a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down in the intestines. Insoluble fibre helps keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to stools and promoting regular bowel movements.

The high levels of vitamin A are not only good for your skin, but also for your eyes. Vitamin A helps keep the eyesight healthy and prevents macular degeneration and cataract formation.  It can also be converted into beta-carotene, which is very important for maintaining eye health as you age.

Cabbage has a Vitamin K1 content is a key nutrient that plays many important roles in the body.

The high concentrations of certain essential minerals make red cabbage one of the best vegetables to eat to ensure healthy bone growth and development.  Like other vegetables in the Brassicaceae family, red cabbage is rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, and other important minerals that contribute to bone growth and mineral density that protects against osteoporosis, arthritis, and various other types of inflammation.


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  1. Idris Dhezhe Reply

    Hi T,
    My girlfriend is a SC patient. Recently she gets into crises very often. I always feel bad that I’m not able to do anything when she’s begging for help to stop the pain. Is there something I can always do to help her whenever she’s in pain ?

    • admin Reply

      Hello Idris,

      There is nothing that you or anyone can do to remove the pain of SC crisis. The best you can do is be there with her to comfort her, not forgetting that because the pain is so much she might snap at you.
      Wishing you and your girlfriend well.

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