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Wednesday, August 1, 2012


The health benefits of cabbage are recorded and researched but when you first hear the word cabbage, you think of a burger joint and cole slaw, the sweet sour cabbage of a Polish wedding or Hungarian cabbage rolls. You don't automatically think of a health food. Cabbage somehow doesn't have the same romance of more exotic foods like flaxseed and the acai berry.

It is, however, a very healthy food. Just like other members of the crucifer family, such as broccoli and cauliflower, cabbage is a preventative of cancer. Many different studies show that eating these vegetables, whose flowers look like a cross, decreases the potential for colo-rectal cancer and bladder cancer by significant amounts.

Cabbage, while not as colorful as an orange, is also a good source of vitamin C. In fact, it has even more vitamin C than it's cheerful orange counterpart. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which reduces the free radicals in the body. It does this by giving up an electron so that the free radical doesn't take it from the cell and change the chemical components. By blocking free radicals from damaging the body, it helps fight a number of diseases. The vitamin C also strengthens the immune system, helps depression, aids in healing wounds and ulcers and has a beneficial effect on the immune system. There is some evidence that it might actually help Alzheimer's disease, too. Of course, a lack of vitamin C is a disease known as scurvy. Scurvy causes lips to crack and gum damage. It weakens the immune system and allows opportunistic diseases to overpower the body.

Cabbage also contains sulfur. When you have adequate sulfur in your diet, your body gets a boost to fight infection and heal wounds more rapidly. Sulfur is a mineral and the third most abundant mineral in the body but people often overlooked its importance, even though it helps perform such diverse roles as regulating blood sugar, reducing aches and pains and of course helping to heal wounds. The sulfur helps treat fungal infections too. Of course, foods high in sulfur also have their downside. They often give you embarrassing gas.

Cabbage contains vitamin A so it helps your skin and eyes. It also has phytonutrients that aid your body in the production of enzymes that detoxify your system. The iodine in cabbage helps muscle development. It also helps maintain skin vigor with it's high vitamin D.

Red cabbage contains anthocyanin, a very powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant helps the brain cells protect brain cells. The lactic acid in the cabbage is good for the colon and acts as a disinfectant. It also gives the body a source of energy and reduces muscle soreness.

Cabbage juice is good for treating ulcers in the stomach and gastritis. The addition of cabbage juice to the diet also helps people with other problems such as asthma, headaches and bronchitis. It also contains a high amount of vitamin B, which is a boost to the metabolism as well as helping to maintain the nerves. Of course, since cabbage boosts metabolism, it's a huge benefit for those trying to lose weight.

If that weren't enough, cabbage helps to eliminate both free radicals as mentioned before, but also uric acid that builds in the system. Both of these are the main causes of diseases such as gout, rheumatism, arthritis, skin disease, renal calculi and pigment consuming eczema. It seems that this lowly vegetable should receive more recognition for all the things it helps the body to do. However, it may take years and a lot of attitude changing for people to recognize the health benefits of cabbage.

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