Cabbage: Nutritious, Delicious Cancer-Fighter

Cabbage has been revered for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties and versatility in food preparation, but what has really added to cabbage’s credit in the last decade is its potential as a cancer-fighting food.

Cabbage is a low-calorie food rolling in antioxidant polyphenols and vitamin C, along with the important clotting agent vitamin K, but this is just the beginning.

Cabbage is part of the Brassica or Cruciferous family of vegetables (Kale, broccoli, collards, etc.) All vegetables in this group contain glucosinolates, which may block the growth of certain types of cancers, and boost the ability of cells to to repair DNA. Cabbage has also been used to treat stomach ulcers and other cases of imbalance within the digestive system.

So you can see why including this delicious veggie in your weekly salads, soups and stir-fries is a great idea.

In one cup of chopped and steamed cabbage (33 calories) you receive 91% of your daily recommendation of vitamin K, over 50% of your vitamin C, and around 14% of your fiber needs.

It is also a good source of manganese, B6 (pyridoxine), folate, omega 3 fatty acids, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), calcium, potassium, vitamin A, tryptophan, protein (over 3 grams) and magnesium.

Worried you might get bored with steamed cabbage? Don’t be – There are a million ways to prepare and enjoy this vegetable. You can see some of our favorite recipes here! And don’t be fooled by the common green cabbage; there are plenty of varieties to choose from.

A Cabbage for Every Occasion

Each type of cabbage has its own unique flavor and nutrient profile, but all contain cancer-fighting glucosinolates and good levels of vitamin C and K.

1. Green Cabbage

This is the most common variety. Pale in color and with tight leaves, it is great for slaws, salads and stir-fries.
Varieties include: Grenadier, Charmant, and January King.

2. Savoy (Curly Cabbage)

Savoy cabbage has looser, crinkled leaves. It is a great addition to your regular green salad, or as the wrapping for a raw burrito.
Varieties: Salarite, Savonarch, Promasa and Wivoy.

3. Napa (Chinese Cabbage)

This popular variety has light green, narrow, crinkled leaves. The leaves are more delicate than those of its green cousin, so they cook much more quickly. It is delicious in salads, curries or just very lightly steamed.

4. Bok Choy

Bok Choy has dark green leaves and white stems and a much different shape than the cabbage you may be used to. Wonderful both raw and cooked, the stems have a sweet flavor when fresh. Other varities: Michihli, Pe-Tsai, Tai-sai, Lei-choi and Pakchoi.

5. Red Cabbage

More purple than red, you can use red cabbage in pretty much the same way as the common green variety, and it has a higher lever of protective phytonutrients then its green counterpart. Other varieties of red cabbage: Meteor, Red Rodan, Ruby Ball and Scarlet O’Hara.

6. Brussels Sprouts

Yes, Brussels Sprouts are a variety of cabbage, albeit a tiny one. Perfect for a light steam with a savory sauce. Don’t let their bad reputation among children deter you — they are delish!

Aramé & Cabbage Salad*
serves 4

2 cups dry aramé
4 cups water
2 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
sea salt or substitute, to taste
1 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. tahini, mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. onion powder

1. Rinse aramé and soak in water for at least 15 minutes. Rinse and drain all water.
2. Place soaked aramé in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and serve.

Optional ~ Add 1/4 sweet onion or scallion, diced.

Don’t miss our post on Incredibly Delicious cabbage recipes!

* This recipe (including the photograph) has been reproduced from Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm by Gentle World, which includes over 500 recipes and all sorts of tips to help make the transition to veganism easy and delicious.

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© Gentle World 2024. Gentle World is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, helping to build a more peaceful society by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition. EIN: 59-1999433