Cabbage- Inexpensive and Incredibly Nutritious

Cabbage is a good source of dietary fiber.  It’s high in vitamins C, K, and B6, and is also a good source of calcium, iron, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate and manganese.  It’s low in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol.  The bulk of its calories do, however, come from carbohydrates.

There are several types of cabbages, with the green and red varieties being the most familiar.  They are both high in fiber and in vitamin C, containing more of the RDA for vitamin C than oranges.  Savoy and bok choy provide beta-carotene which is an antioxidant useful in helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

Cabbage is at its most nutritious when eaten raw.  When cooking, cook until slightly tender, leaving a bit of crispiness.

Cabbage is pest prone, so unless you purchase organic it probably has been sprayed with insecticides.  For conventionally grown cabbages wash well in running water then soak in saline water for about half an hour, following with another wash in running water.  For organic cabbages a good washing in running water should be sufficient.

When shopping for cabbage choose a medium sized head that is firm and feels heavy for its size.  You can store an uncut head in your crisper drawer for a week or two.  Once cut, the cabbage should be used.

While cabbage is an incredibly healthy vegetable, it may cause interactions with some medications.  Vitamin K helps blood to clot, so people who take blood thinners should check with their doctor about the advisability of eating vegetables in the cabbage family.  There has also been some indication that those with an underactive thyroid should avoid cabbage, as well as nursing mothers, since it may cause colic in their babies.  Your health care provider can inform you of foods that you should avoid when taking certain medications.

Cabbage is also a very popular vegetable for people who juice.  It is believed to be beneficial for those with digestive system problems like ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers.

 

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