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Cabbage, a Natural Medicine for Cancer and Diabetes
The beautiful, lowly cabbage. It’s a close relative to several other leafy green veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli, and it has a lengthy history as both a vital food as well as medicine. The Ancient Greeks would often prescribe cabbage juice to treat mushroom poisoning or constipation. The Ancient Egyptians ate cabbage before meals to keep themselves from becoming overly intoxicated when drinking wine. Even the British brought cabbages to those in the trenches of World War 1, to use the leaves as bandages and heal treat trench foot.
The humble cabbage has been used throughout history as a medicine due to its very dense concentration of nutrients. Cabbage has almost the same nutritional profile as broccoli, and is proven to treat many of the same health conditions its darker green cousin does.
Sautéing cabbage is a great way to help it retain the most nutrients, however steaming and boiling is also acceptable. Eating them raw, such as in salads or on sandwiches, is perhaps the best way. However, it’s important to note that, regardless of how you choose to eat them, cabbages must be organic in nature. Cabbage heads are not protected by any sort of shell or skin, so they get completely exposed to herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. Also, cabbages are famous for being susceptible to mineral deficiencies that come from poor soil. Organic farms have a tendency to have the healthiest soil, which will make for the most nutritious, not to mention, tasty cabbages.
Cabbage is a very powerful veggie; so much so that ancient healers claimed it must have contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight. Modern science knows that its power comes from its high vitamin C and sulfur content. But no matter how you look at it, cabbage is a true super food that’s worth adding to your weekly diet.
Take a look at the 10 health benefits of cabbage.
1. Super rich in disease and cancer fighting compounds
All cabbages, including white cabbage, the one most commonly eaten in the USA, contain high levels of polyphenols and glucosinolates, which have disease fighting compounds. Cabbage is an important aspect to overall health as they are good sources of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which are related to the prevention of chronic diseases that are caused by oxidative stress, such as artery disease and cancer; this according to a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2013.
Although all cabbages were tested and found to be good sources of antioxidants, the red cabbage contained the most. Chinese, green, and Savoy cabbages had the most anti-inflammatory properties (read about other antioxidant rich foods). It’s a good idea, then, to vary the types of cabbage in our diet in order to maximize all the health benefits.
2. Great for weight loss
Cabbage is perhaps the perfect food when it comes to those who are looking to drop pounds. It’s extremely low in calories and carb’s, has no fat, and is low on the glycemic index. Cabbage is also very high in fiber, so you will feel fuller, longer. Cabbage great tastes and can be incorporated into almost any dish such as stews, soups, sandwiches, salads, and a multitude of cooked dishes. Find out 10 rules of losing weight.
3. Good for the skin
Although all vegetables are good for the skin but cabbage is perhaps the best. Cabbage can help dry up acne and oily skin. Cabbage is high in sulfur and internally, sulfur is vital for the production of keratin, a protein that is necessary to have that beautiful hair, skin, and nails.
4. Great detoxifier
The high sulfur level and vitamin C in cabbage helps remove toxins such as free radicals and uric acid, which are the main causes behind gout, rheumatism, skin disease, and arthritis.
5. Fights tumors
Cabbages stimulate enzyme activity that actually inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors. One study showed that women had a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cabbage were included in their diets. This is probably due to the known anti-cancer compounds sulforaphane, lupeol, and sinigrin.
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6. Anti-diabetic benefits
In studies done in 2008, diabetic rats were fed red cabbage for 60 days. Afterwards, it was discovered that all the rats has lower blood glucose levels, lost weight, and had restored renal function. The research findings were published in the Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Scientists believe that it’s the antioxidant and anti-hyperglycemic properties which help with diabetes. Cabbage is also a great source of fiber, which is well known to help prevent diabetes as it slows the body’s absorption of sugar.
7. Improves Blood Pressure
Cabbage contains high levels of potassium, which opens up the blood vessels in the body, easing the blood flow and lowering the overall blood pressure.
8. Headache reducer
Making a warm compress made from cabbage leaves can reduce the pain of a headache. Or, if you suffer from chronic headaches, drink 2 ounces of raw cabbage juice daily.
9. Disease fighting vitamins
Just half a cup of green cabbage has 47 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 102 percent of vitamin K, as well as some others. Antioxidants are vital to support the immune system in its ability to fight pathogens as well as combat the signs of aging, and vitamin C is loaded with antioxidants. Vitamin K aids in the clotting of blood and healthy bones.
Although all leafy green veggies have these two important vitamins, some have more than others. Brussels sprouts and broccoli have the most vitamin C. Kale and spinach have loads of vitamin K. Cabbage contains good amounts of both of these vitamins.
10. Help with digestion problems
Compounds found in cabbages actually strengthen stomach muscles, which can help your body resist acid attacks. Europeans often drink one cup of cabbage juice daily for symptoms of stomach ulcers and heartburn. Studies prove that this actually works. After consuming cabbage juice for 10 days, subjects with stomach ulcers had significant healing.
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