Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Cabbage is known for its versatility in cooking, its health benefits, and its long shelf life. In this article, we will explore the nutritional value and health benefits of cabbage, as well as how to cook cabbage; 8 simple methods.
Nutritional Value of Cabbage
Cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable that is high in fibre and vitamins. One cup (89 grams) of chopped raw cabbage contains:
- 22 calories
- 1 gram of protein
- 2 grams of fibre
- 0.1 grams of fat
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 54% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C
- 85% of the RDI of vitamin K
- 10% of the RDI of vitamin B6
- 6% of the RDI of folate
- 4% of the RDI of calcium and potassium
Cabbage is also rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and sulphur compounds, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.
Health Benefits of Cabbage
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Cabbage contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is believed to contribute to many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Consuming cabbage regularly may help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of these diseases.
- Cancer Prevention
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it contains compounds called glucosinolates that can help to prevent cancer. When glucosinolates are broken down during cooking or digestion, they form substances that may help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- Digestive Health
Cabbage is high in fibre, which is essential for maintaining good digestive health. Fibre helps to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Additionally, cabbage contains compounds that can help to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestion and boost the immune system.
- Heart Health
Cabbage is low in calories and high in fibre, which makes it a heart-healthy food. Fibre helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, cabbage contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to protect the heart and blood vessels.
- Skin Health
Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin C helps to stimulate collagen production, which can improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, cabbage contains antioxidants that can protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation and other environmental factors.
How to cook Cabbage; 8 Simple Methods
Cabbage can be cooked and enjoyed in many different ways, including boiling, steaming, sautéing, roasting, and even grilling. Prepare the cabbage by removing the outer leaves and cutting it into quarters or wedges. Remove the core and slice the cabbage into smaller pieces if desired. Here are some basic steps for cooking cabbage:
Raw cabbage can be added to salads or slaws for a crunchy texture and a fresh, tangy flavour. Shredded cabbage can also be used as a topping for tacos, burgers, or sandwiches.
Boiled cabbage is a simple and healthy way to enjoy this vegetable. Simply add chopped cabbage to a pot of boiling water and cook until it is tender, which should take about 5-10 minutes. Serve the cabbage as a side dish or add it to soups or stews.
Place the cabbage in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Serve immediately.
Roasting cabbage in the oven is a delicious way to bring out its natural sweetness. Simply slice cabbage into thick wedges, brush with olive oil, and roast in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are browned and crispy. Or Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the sliced cabbage on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
Cabbage rolls are a traditional dish in many cultures, including Eastern Europe and the Middle East. To make cabbage rolls, blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for a few minutes until they are soft and pliable. Then, fill the leaves with a mixture of ground meat, rice, and spices, and roll them up into a neat package. Place the cabbage rolls in a baking dish, cover with tomato sauce, and bake in the oven until they are cooked through.
Fermenting cabbage is a great way to preserve it and create a flavourful and nutritious food. Sauerkraut is a popular fermented cabbage dish that is made by shredding cabbage, adding salt, and allowing it to ferment for several days or weeks. The fermentation process produces beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health and boost the immune system.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil or butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sliced cabbage and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender and lightly browned.
Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the cabbage wedges with oil and season with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side, until lightly charred and tender.
Cabbage is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It is low in calories and high in fibre and vitamins, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. Cabbage is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, and protect the heart and blood vessels. Whether you prefer raw cabbage in salads, steamed cabbage as a side dish, or fermented cabbage as a condiment, there are many ways to incorporate this nutritious vegetable into your diet.