Vegetables are one of the essentials of your healthy diet, especially leafy green vegetables including lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and kale. Most of the time it is difficult to have them in your diet, especially for non-vegetarians. For you, there is another option to take them as salads. Leafy greens like green cabbage contain many healthy nutrients that are needed for your body. Furthermore, these nutrients have health benefits as well as help you in protecting from certain health conditions like heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. That is why you need to consume them as part of your healthy diet.
Green cabbage; the most common green leafy vegetable
Green leafy vegetables; When it comes to a completely balanced diet, green leafy vegetables are one of the healthy foods you should take. They are rich in many nutrients and fiber and low in fats and calories. Some of these vegetables you can take in raw form or some need cooking. In your healthy diet, you can take these green vegetables which include; kale, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, and beet greens.
Green cabbage and its nutritional value
Cabbage comes under a family of cruciferous vegetables which include, kale, broccoli, lettuce, etc. And cabbage comes in different shapes and colors including green, red, and purple. Some people may confuse the leaves of lettuce and cabbage as it seems quite similar. Both of them have smooth and crinkled leaves. Green cabbage is packed with nutrients and it is very low in calories. Which is one of the factors of being a healthy option. Moreover, cabbage is full of nutrients and is a good source of various vitamins and minerals.
If you take 1 cup (89 grams) of raw green cabbage, it contains; 
- Calories: 22
- Protein: 1.1g
- Fat: 0.1g
- Sodium: 16mg
- Carbohydrates: 5.2g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Sugars: 2.9g
- Potassium: 151mg
- Folate: 38.3mcg
- Vitamin K: 67.6mcg
- Vitamin C: 32.6mg
From the above nutritional value, you can see that green cabbage is a low-calorie, nearly fat-free food and is a good source of potassium, folate, and vitamin K. It provides you with fiber but is not a rich source of protein.
What are the several health benefits of green cabbage?
Most of the studies show that consuming fruits and vegetables can be helpful for your overall health. Also, they help in reducing the risk of many severe health conditions. If you increase the consumption of green cabbage it will help you reduce the risk of health problems like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and others. Let’s see some more health benefits that you can get from green cabbage, and they are:
- Improves your digestion
Cabbage contains plant sterols and insoluble fiber that helps in keeping your digestive system healthy and promotes regular bowel movements. It also provides you with good bacteria in your gut that protect your immune system and produce essential nutrients. Also, because of fiber, you have a feeling of fullness due to which you eat less which leads to healthy weight loss.
- Fights inflammation
Cabbage contains naturally occurring antioxidants and anthocyanins that might help in reducing your inflammation. Also, chronic inflammation which is a long-term swelling is associated with certain diseases like heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and others. Moreover, some studies show that the intake of cabbage can help in reducing chronic inflammation.
- Protects your heart
The antioxidants and anthocyanins found in cabbage can help your heart more than inflammation. Also, cabbage is low in calories which helps in maintaining your cholesterol levels and leads to a healthy heart. Many studies show that if you eat foods that are rich in anthocyanins it can reduce the risk of heart disease. It is found that cabbage has 36 different kinds of anthocyanins which make it a good option if you want to improve your cardiovascular health.
- Lowers your blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart disease and stroke. Cabbage contains potassium which is one of the essential minerals for the proper functioning of your body. It helps in excreting the excess sodium through urine. Also, it helps in relaxing your blood vessels which may lead to lowering your blood pressure. Therefore, consume potassium-rich foods if you want to lower your blood pressure.
- Lowers your cholesterol levels
Too much LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) “bad” cholesterol can cause heart problems because of the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Cabbage contains two substances which include soluble fiber and phytosterols. These substances help in lowering your LDL “bad” cholesterol level and improve your health.
- Supports brain health
The nutrients that are present in cabbage help in blood circulation to your brain. If you eat one serving of cabbage a day it can be helpful for your brain and reduces the risk of developing dementia. Some studies show that cabbage is beneficial for every age group but it is more helpful for older adults. Because it can maintain your memory and support your brain functions properly.
- Prevent cancer
Cabbage contains phytochemicals, antioxidants, and plant compounds like glucosinolates which help in protecting against cancer. These chemicals break down in the digestion process into substances and fight your cancer cells and clear these cancer cells from your body. These chemicals play a very important role in preventing certain cancers including colorectal cancer.
- Manage diabetes
If you have diabetes, cabbage is one of the better choices for you. This is due to its high fiber content and the presence of glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are phytochemicals that reduce stress and inflammation and lead to a reduced risk of diabetes. Also, the fiber in cabbage keeps your blood sugar stable and prevents you from raising the level of blood sugar.
- Improves bone health and healthy blood clotting
Cabbage is a good source of vitamin K and if you are deficient in this vitamin you may increase the risk of bone-related conditions like osteoporosis. Also, your blood would not be able to clot properly. Therefore, consume cabbage for keeping your bones healthy and your healthy blood clotting.
How can you add cabbage to your diet?
Following are the tips you can use for adding cabbage to your diet;
- Use cabbage leaves as wraps to reduce your carbs intake.
- Use shredded cabbage in your green salad.
- Add a cup of chopped cabbage after ending the cooking of your stew.
- Blend cabbage with yogurt into your smoothies.
- Add cabbage to your chicken sandwiches and top with grilled fish.
Is cabbage juice healthy?
Cabbage juice provides you with several health benefits, the same as raw cabbage. And juice is a great source if you want to get high amounts of nutrients and antioxidants. Because it is an easy form to consume them. However, if you are taking certain medications you need to confirm with your doctor before adding cabbage juice to your diet. Moreover, if you want to drink cabbage juice try to take it in a moderate amount. Because an extra dose of nutrients can cause you to be unhealthy which is not good for your health. Also, if you juiced the cabbage it does not taste good. For this reason, you can combine it with other juices like apple or carrot to mild the taste.
Consider these things before eating cabbage
- High intake might affect the thyroid: cabbage contains substances known as goitrogens. These substances affect your thyroid gland which tends to stop iodine transport to the thyroid. Therefore, it is better to take it in a moderate amount.
- Certain nutrients can interact with medications: cabbage is a good source of vitamin K which can react with medications such as blood thinners which includes warfarin. Therefore, if you are taking blood thinners, it is best to avoid cabbage or talk to your doctor before adding cabbage to your diet.
- Causes abdominal discomfort in some people: some of you may experience discomfort in your abdomen from eating cabbage. As it is a common gas-producing vegetable. Due to the high in carbs like fructans, it may affect you if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and you find difficulty in digesting it.
As cabbage is packed with several nutrients that you need in a healthy diet. These nutrients include various vitamins and minerals. Nutrients are the essentials that your body needs for proper functioning and also help in reducing certain health conditions. After eating cabbage you are provided with these nutrients which give you many health benefits, improve digestion, manage high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc. However, despite these health benefits, it has some side effects as well. Therefore, before adding cabbage to your diet, you need to consider these potential side effects or talk to your doctor about them.
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