The Health Benefits of Red Cabbage

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Red cabbage – also known as purple cabbage or red kraut – is a kind of cage with purple or dark red leaves. The coloring of the leaves, caused by anthocyanins – will depend on the acidity of the soil. In acidic soil, the cabbage will turn a purple color but in alkaline soil, the cabbage turns green or yellow.

Just like green or yellow-green cabbage, red cabbage is packed with essential nutrients, including protein, minerals and fiber. And in today’s post, we are listing down the amazing health benefits of red cabbage:

Strengthens the Immune System

Red cabbage is a great source of vitamin C. In fact, red cabbage rivals citrus fruits in ascorbic acid content. Just a cup of chopped red cabbage satisfies 56% of your RDA of vitamin C. This vitamin works like an antioxidant. It protects the body from oxidative stress. It repairs damaged cells and accelerates cell turnover. Vitamin C also promotes the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that keeps the skin healthy and strengthens the connective tissues. It also protects from inflammation, while promoting immunity to infections. This nutrient strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells. White blood cells safeguard the body from invading viruses and bacteria.

Boosts Eye Health

Apart from vitamin C, red cabbage is also loaded with vitamin A. In fact, this vegetable contains three types of vitamin A: beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene is converted into retinol by the body. Retinol keeps the vision clear. This nutrient nourishes the cells that allow the eyes to detect light and convert it into nerve impulses. On the other hand, lutein and zeaxanthin work as antioxidants for the eyes. It protects the retina from age-related macular degeneration. A cup of red cabbage will satisfy 33% of your RDA of vitamin A.

Prevents Blood Clots

Red cabbage is packed with vitamin K. This nutrient “thins out” the blood, preventing dangerous blood clots. Blood clots cause a range of chronic, often-fatal conditions like stroke, heart attack, and thrombosis. Vitamin K also improves bone health by regulating bone mineralization. According to a research published in the “Food and Nutrition Research” journal, being deficient in this vitamin could lead to osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Just a cup of chopped red cabbage is enough to satisfy 28% of your RDA of vitamin K!

Protects from Cancer

Red cabbage is not called superfood for nothing! Apart from its high vitamin content, it’s also loaded with anti-cancer compounds. Red cabbage belongs to a class of vegetables called “cruciferous” vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are the only source of sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates.

Glucosinolates are converted into isothiocyanates by the body. Isothiocyanates protects from inflammation and kill deadly bacteria in the body. Studies show that there is a link between inflammation and cancer formation.

In addition, red cabbage contains a flavonoid called cyanidin. When mixed with isothiocyanates, cyanidin inhibits cancer cell growth. It also promotes the release of enzymes that repair cell damage caused by carcinogenic compounds. Cyanidin also neutralizes the effects of cancer-causing compounds in the body. Finally, red cabbage is also packed with anthocyanins, plant pigments that prevent cell oxidation.

A 2012 research by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that breast cancer survivors who ate more cruciferous vegetables reduced their risk of cancer recurrence by up to 62%!

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