Monday, December 13, 2010

Veggie of the Week: Cabbage

Cabbage, one of the oldest vegetables, continues to be a dietary staple and an inexpensive food. It is easy to grow, tolerates the cold, and keeps well. Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Selection: Look for solid, heavy heads of cabbage. Avoid cabbage that has discolored veins or worm damage. Do not buy precut cabbage, the leaves may have already lost their vitamin C. Look for stems that are healthy looking, closely trimmed, and are not dry or split.

Storage: Keep cabbage cold. This helps it retain its vitamin C content. Place the whole head of cabbage in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Once the head has been cut, place the remainder in plastic bags and place in the refrigerator. Try to use the remaining cabbage in the next day or two

Preparation: Do not wash cabbage until you are ready to use it. Avoid slicing or shredding cabbage in advance. This will cause it to lose some of its vitamin C content. If you must prepare it an hour or more in advance before cooking, place it in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and refrigerate.

Varieties: There are at least a hundred different types of cabbage grown throughout the world, but the most common types are the Three types of cabbages, green, purple and white. Cabbage can be steamed, boiled, braised, microwaved, stuffed, or stir-fried.

Benefits of cabbage:
There are a no. of health benefits in consuming raw cabbage from healing infections, treating damaged tissue due to the wound, proved effectively in healing Alzheimer’s disease, cure ulcers, prevent cancer, regularize cholesterol levels, relief from arthritis and much more.
- Cabbage has high content of antioxidants, but green cabbage has the most nutrients. Cabbage is rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, fiber, manganese, foliate thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, protein and magnesium.
- Antioxidants are beneficial to all skin types; it deep cleans, purifies the blood and helps reduce acne. Boil cabbage, the boiled water or cabbage juice has an anti aging effects; it stimulates tired looking complexions. Some evidence indicates these purple pigments might protect our brains as we age. This daily vegetable has so many benefits with no side effects at all.
- Cabbage strengthens the immune system; defeats the effects of aging, and increases vitality. Cabbage contains unique nutrients good for the stomach and digestive tract. Cabbage (especially the purple variety) is an excellent source of vitamin C, is low in calories (16 calories per 1/2 cups cooked cabbage) and is high in fiber. This vegetable helps to lose weight; its juice helps heal peptic ulcers. Drinking a quart of cabbage juice per day helps relief many symptoms. Cabbage cleans the digestive apparatus; helps those suffering from constipation and it cleans the colon.
- The dark pigments with the purplish tones, is a type of plant compound that has the potential for disease-fighting benefits, helps repair body’s cellular levels, it also helps with functions of the body’s nervous system and reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
- Consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, is known to reduce the risk of a number of cancers, especially lung, colon, breast, ovarian and bladder cancer, have a much lower risk for prostate cancer and also provides significant cardiovascular benefits.
- Cabbage is effective in curing joint pains and arthritis. This includes both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sources: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, http://healthmad.com

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