Is cabbage good for you? Nutrients, benefits and more

You would be amazed at the nutritious cabbage packs with punch.

For centuries, Russian farmers have fed themselves this leafy vegetable, which helps answer the question of whether cabbage is good for you. That’s why, even if your fridge is full of other foods, you should still consider eating cabbage. It is very low in calories (just 16 calories per 1/2 cup cooked) and high in fiber. Together, these two characteristics mean weight loss, which should boost your blood sugar levels. Add to that the fact that cabbage has a much lower glycemic index — a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar — and you have a healthy winner. Eating cabbage also doesn’t mean you’re scooping up a pale stew: cooked right, cabbage is not only good for you, but it can also be a culinary delight.

Packed with nutrients

This vegetable does not only help you lose weight. Cabbage (especially red cabbage) is also a surprisingly excellent source of vitamin C, which some experts believe may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Red cabbage offers another bonus: It’s rich in natural pigments called anthocyanins, which new research suggests may boost insulin production and lower blood sugar levels.

Finally, cabbage is often prepared with vinegar, which can help lower the GL of your entire meal.

images72/Shutterstockcancer fighter

Cabbage contains sulforaphane, which has powerful cancer-fighting properties. A study of women found that those who ate the most cabbage and its cruciferous cousins, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, had a 45 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who ate the least.

Cabbage may also help protect against lung cancer. Fermented cabbage, also called sauerkraut, may contain even higher levels of cancer-fighting compounds, due to the fermentation process. Beware of the high sodium content of sauerkraut; rinse it before heating it up.

Don’t cook it too long

Overcook cabbage and you’ll regret it if the smell lingers. Overcooking also destroys cabbage’s vitamin C stores, which can’t stand the heat. Steam cabbage until limp, stir fry it quickly or chop it raw for salads and slaws. Older cabbage or cabbage that has been in the fridge for a while may have a stronger smell. To minimize the smell, cook the cabbage quickly in an uncovered pan with as little water as possible. Try adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the cooking water to further reduce the odor.

Perfect portion: 1/2 cup

A serving is 1/2 cup of cooked cabbage (1 cup raw), but consider the sky the limit.

Menu magic

  • Enjoy cabbage in coleslaw.
  • Add sliced ​​or chopped cabbage to soups and stews.
  • Place sautéed cabbage under a small portion of steak to add gourmet appeal.
  • Braise red cabbage with chopped apples, walnuts and red wine.
  • Sauté the cabbage and onions to serve as a side dish.
  • Use shredded cabbage instead of lettuce on sandwiches and burgers.
  • Combine cooked shredded cabbage with low-fat sour cream and caraway seeds, heat and serve as a side dish.
  • Wrap thick fish fillets in cabbage leaves and steam over seasoned stock.

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