We are going to reveal an interesting fact about cabbage: there is a gene in the human body called TAS2R38, which creates a protein that binds to a chemical called plenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and if you have this gene, then you probably do not like eating cabbage. Scientists have found this fact to be true – you either like or do not like eating cabbage.
Cabbage may prevent cancer
According to the US Department of Agriculture, red cabbage has 36 varieties of anthocyanins and flavonoids that protest the organism from cancer and 3 to 4 servings are suggested for the maximum protection.
The anti-cancer properties in the cabbage are likely to come from:
Cabbage is rich in antioxidants: vitamins A and C and phytonutrients that stimulate the enzymes which detoxify the body. Sulforaphane (A phytonutrient) prevents the spreading and recurring of cancer by targeting cancer cells. This protects against breast, prostate and colon cancer.
The George Mateljan Foundation found out that our oxygen metabolism can be compromised if we do not take enough antioxidants and we can experience the so-called oxidative stress. This stress might be a risk factor for developing cancer.
Anti- inflammatory properties
A very effective anti- inflammatory property is the anthocyanin and cabbage is full with it. Anthocyanin has twice as much antioxidants (vitamin C) which protect the body from oxidant stress (mentioned above). It may also improve the brain function, heart health and protect from cancer. This anti- inflammatory is a pigment which gives the cabbage its natural color and changes the function of fat cells which means that it helps in fighting heart conditions and diabetes.
Indole-3-carbinol is one of the phytochemicals that are cancer-preventing agents and this one stops the cycle of breast cancer cells. Isothiocyanate combines with amino acid N-acetylcysteine and antioxidant glutathione, in the lining of the bladder and colon, and this forms the anti-cancer agent. Furthermore, this anti-cancer agent, gives the cells extra glutathione or makes them produce more on their own.
The glucosinolates that cabbage contains are converted into isothiocyanate compounds that can pevent: bladder cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer, explains the George Mateljan Foundation.
Cabbage is rich in vitamin K1 and B vitamins
One serving of cabbage contains 85% of the daily requirement of vitamin K1 which is a soluble vitamin that can assist in blood clotting and bone metabolism. By limiting neuron damage it is known to prevent Alzheimer’s. The cabbage also contains vitamin B1, B5 and B6. They can slow the brain shrinkage in the parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s.
Digestive benefits and ulcer-healing properties
Cabbage juice may do wonders to your stomach and is perfect for treating stomach ulcers. Just a few teaspoons of cabbage juice may improve your digestion, but it is not recommended to drink more than 250ml a day, for over a month. The juice lines the stomach with many mucilaginous polysaccharides that protects the stomach from its own acids. All the antioxidant polyphenols, glocustinolates, isothiocyanates (anti-inflammatory) and the amino acid glutamine that the cabbage contains will improve your digestion and better your stomach health.
You need to remember that the way you prepare cabbage matters. The best way is to prepare it is as close to raw as possible. You need to use fresh cabbage within the first few hours or it will lose half of its vitamin C. Eat it raw in salads and coleslaw to make most use of the nutritional content.
Sauerkraut is made from raw cabbage and a kind of probiotic bacteria. White and green cabbage is 10 times more effective in helping the anti-cancer drugs (if you are on any). A great addition to a diet for kidney failure is sauerkraut that has been rinsed of the salt because of its low amounts of phosphorous.
Here is our favorite sauerkraut recipe.
4 pounds green cabbage – sliced on a mandolin or shredded in a food processor.
1 Granny Smith Apple – peeled and sliced on a mandolin
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Half a tablespoon juniper berries (optional)
How to make it:
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and squeeze the cabbage to release some liquid. Put a heavy plate on the cabbage and let it stand in a room temperature, squeezing the cabbage several times until it has released enough liquid to cover (about 4 hours). Then, put the cabbage in a ceramic crock or tall glass container and place a plate over it. Cabbage needs to be submerged in the liquid. Cover it with a kitchen table and let it set for 6 weeks in a cool and dark place.
You need to clean and replace the plate every 3 days. If too much of the liquid has evaporated before the sauerkraut is ready you need to dissolve half of teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup of spring water and pour it in. When the recipe is ready it will have a pleasantly tangy taste with acidity similar to a lemon.