The cabbage family and your health

cabbage family

Considered one of the most ancient common vegetables, cabbage is also one of the most economical and healthiest vegetables today. Although cabbage is technically a biennial herb of the mustard family, centuries of cultivation have produced other forms of the cabbage family that we are familiar with such as kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Why you should eat more cabbage

Cabbage is high in vitamins C, A, and the B’s, along with many minerals, especially calcium and potassium. Cabbage should be used as soon after cutting as possible because exposure to the air causes vitamin C loss.

The cabbage family in general prefers to be eaten raw or slightly steamed to preserve its nutritional density. Mix in with a green salad, make coleslaw, slow-cooked in soup, or wrapped around your favorite filling.

Alkaline in reaction, high in fiber, low in calories, along with the therapeutic sulfur content, rounds out the nutritional profile. Sulfur is a good blood purifier, therefore, it is excellent for any skin trouble whether taken internally, or used externally. Cold feet? Cabbage can help with circulation and increase body heat.

Raw cabbage juice is a classic remedy for ulcers. No other single raw juice has been as effective in healing ulcers. The reason for this is one of the dominant sulfur compounds called S-Methylmethionine. Notice the prefix Methyl, we have touched on the importance of this compound before. S-Methylmethionine can be fond in other vegetables, but was originally called vitamin U, named for its effectiveness in healing ulcers via the raw cabbage juice. The ulcer protocol: drink 4 oz of fresh cabbage juice twice daily for 7 days.

Today S-Methylmethionine can be purchased as a supplement in capsule, tablet, or spray, and is popular for supporting liver and digestive health. Vitamin U may be helpful in treating allergies, cholesterol, and diabetes, as well.

The outstanding members of the cabbage family

The one-two immune punch broccoli offers are the compounds indol-3-carbinol (I3C), and sulforaphane (known for producing cancer blocking enzymes). They have been researched for their abilities to sweep up cancer causing substances in the body before they have the chance to do harm.

Broccoli is best eaten with proteins because the combination helps drive amino acids to the brain.

Broccoli is high in vitamins A (about 9, per pound) and C (about 325 mg per pound), and folate. An excellent source of the minerals calcium (about 360 mgs per pound) and iron (about 5.6 mgs per pound), make broccoli a super food for sure!

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, all contain indol-3-carbinol (I3C), which is particularly effective against breast cancer. I3C has been shown to lower levels of harmful estrogens that can promote tumor growth in hormone sensitive cells. If you know that you will absolutely never eat any of these foods, or you know you won’t eat enough on a regular basis, I3C is also available in supplement form.

Eating any member of the cabbage family on a regular basis will probably lower your risk of cancer. However, bok choy, broccoli, and Savoy cabbage, may give you the most bang for your buck.

A stir-fry is one of the easiest ways to eat all of these great vegetables at once. Do you have some cabbage family recipes to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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