You don't need to go to South America or Asia to get your superfoods, they can be found all around in the average British supermarket or even in your back garden. This month we are promoting the benefits of the red cabbage, more usually found in salads and coleslaw. However, now is your chance to try it in a great new juice recipe we've invented!
Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable that’s delicious both raw and cooked. It’s often eaten raw in salads, steamed, braised or sautéed with other vegetables. It’s also referenced as red kraut or blue kraut and can provide the much-needed benefits of probiotics in this form due to the fermentation process. In addition, the insoluble fibre from red cabbage is known to prevent constipation, lower the risk of developing diverticular disease and may help relieve symptoms of some gastrointestinal conditions, such as IBS.
But that’s not all: Red cabbage benefits extend even further (see below), which is why you'll definitely want to include it in our tasty new seasonal juice, being launched this month.
To find out for yourself how good red cabbage can be, pop into our Colomberie shop for a Fibre Fill juice, containing: Red Cabbage, Fennel, Lime, Carrot & Orange Juice. Or you can order online!
1. Boosts the Immune System
Red cabbage contains Vitamin C, a vital antioxidant needed for our bodies to have strong immune systems. It stimulates the activity of white blood cells, forming the first line of defence for the immune system. Nutrient-dense antioxidants such as vitamin C are known to have high antioxidant potency to assist in minimising harmful effects of reactive species. As one of the top vitamin C foods on the planet, red cabbage is a major immune system booster.
Due in large part to its vitamin C content, red cabbage is a high-antioxidant food that fights free radical damage and strengthens the immune system.
2. Fights Inflammation and Arthritis
Red cabbage contains phytonutrients that may help reduce chronic inflammation. One compound in red cabbage that may be responsible is sulforaphane (found in many cruciferous vegetables), a potent inflammation killer.
According to The Arthritis Foundation, eating a diet filled with anthocyanin-rich fruits and vegetables like red cabbage should be a part of an arthritis patient’s daily routine. These type of anti-inflammatory foods may help naturally treat arthritis inflammation and arthritic complications.
3. Aids Healthy Bones and Reduces the Risk of Osteoporosis
Red cabbage is a vitamin K-rich food, and we know that vitamin K increases the amount of a specific protein required to maintain bone calcium, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Women, in particular, seem to have higher bone density when eating a diet high in vitamin K. Some research indicates vitamin K supplementation may effectively promote new bone fractures and help sustain bone density, which is why red cabbage is a good addition to an osteoporosis diet.
During the first twenty or so years of life, skeletal tissue continues to form. From that point until about age 40, your body maintains the bone mass you have at 20. Women experiencing menopause will then experience a rapid decline in the density of their bones, with men finally joining in around age 70. The less strong your bones become, the more likely you are to experience fractures. These fractures debilitate older people and are among the leading causes of lost mobility, which can then drastically decrease the ability to live a healthy life. That’s why vitamin K-rich foods like red cabbage are so important to help maintain bone health and delay or prevent osteoporosis.
4. Combats Chronic Disease
During the course of normal human life, cell degeneration will happen no matter how healthy you live. However, by filling your diet with foods high in antioxidants, you can give your body the best chance possible at preventing and combating serious chronic diseases. As a Brassica vegetable, red cabbage is one of those antioxidant-rich foods, with an ORAC value of 2,496 when raw and 3,145 when boiled. Brassica vegetables like red cabbage, kale and broccoli are thought to aid the body in preventing chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
In a laboratory study from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, researchers compared antioxidant potential of six plants high in anthocyanins (flavonoid pigments that give plants a blue, red or violet hue). Red cabbage, along with four of the other five plants, had significant antioxidant activity and successfully protected against one type of internal DNA damage caused by a specific colon cancer cell line, suggesting red cabbage may be a cancer-fighting food.
5. Promotes a Healthy Gut
We know that probiotic foods provide a good dose of much-needed good bacteria that our digestive systems crave, but what does that have to do with red cabbage? I’m sure you have heard of kimchi. Most kimchi is made from green cabbage, but kimchi made from red or purple cabbage is becoming more popular. Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented food — in fact, it’s one of the most popular vegetable probiotic foods in the world.
Probiotic-rich foods like kimchi support gut health by supporting the growth of healthy bacteria, protecting against leaky gut syndrome and boosting immunity. According to scientists at Pusan National University in Korea, kimchi may also protect against obesity, blood clots, age-related degeneration, neurodegeneration and even skin issues.
To find out for yourself how good red cabbage can be, pop into our Colomberie shop to try our new Fibre Fill juice special, containing: Red Cabbage, Fennel, Lime, Carrot & Orange Juice.
Editors Note: Parts of this article have been sourced from the DrAxe.com website.