Learn a Little bit About Cabbage

By Kevann Jordan, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, has only 20 calories per half cup, and though it is light on calories it is packed with nutrients. The MNT Knowledge Center gives a full nutritional breakdown of cabbage and an extensive list of health benefits to be gained from incorporating cabbage into our diet. I will give you a few of the main benefits of cabbage; primarily I want to focus on the benefits that I know personally to be true from experience.

When I was about 11 years old I developed an ulcer. My great grandmother, my nutritional exemplar, upon hearing this diagnosis called my mother and told her that I needed to be eating cabbage. I must admit, at 11 years of age I was not as open to the idea, in fact, all I could think was “Yuck! No way!!” After a lot a antacids and a couple different prescriptions, I was fed up trying to get rid of this burning fiery pit in my stomach and succumbed to the idea of eating cabbage. (I am not advising all of you to go out and drink cabbage juice, ask your doctor, but it worked for me).

I found that I was wrong on several accounts. I learned that cabbage is delicious. I also learned that cabbage works wonders on our digestive system. The water content and the high amounts of fiber are priceless in eliminating toxins through bile and stool. Cabbage often comes in a fermented variety; sauerkraut and kimchi, which are both packed with probiotics. The microbes in the probiotics cause an acidic environment the produces enzymes that allow our digestive system to better absorb vitamins and minerals.

In addition, cabbage contains sulforaphane, which causes the bitter taste in the cruciferous vegetables and also has been found to delay cancer. This sulforaphane inhibits a very harmful enzyme histone deacetylase, also known as HDAC. This enzyme can slow toxic cells and bacteria, both of which can cause cancer and ulcers.If cabbage doesn’t already sound like a wonder food cabbage is also known as ‘brain food’ because of its high levels of vitamin K and anthocyanins, which help our brains, concentrate and increase our mental function. Due to

If cabbage doesn’t already sound like a wonder food, it is also known as ‘brain food’ because of its high levels of vitamin K and anthocyanins. These help our brains concentrate and increase our mental function. Due to cabbage’s incredible nutritional power, doctors have found that cabbage has the ability to help improve our body’s defense again Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Let’s eat up… here are some great ways to incorporate more cabbage into our diet. Start at the very beginning. Pick a head of cabbage that is heaviest for its size, with tight leaves, and store it for no more than 2 weeks. Chop it, shred it, eat it raw, eat it boiled, sautéed, stuffed and roasted.

My favorite recipe for cabbage is tied between two recipes, one for cold days and one for hot days.




Vegetarian Polish Cabbage Rolls

Serves 6


2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 lbs veggie crumbles

½ cup onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs

½ cup vegetable broth

2 tablespoons olive oil



1 (12 ounce) can of diced tomatoes

1 (12 ounce) can tomato soup



  1. Core cabbage, place in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cover with a lid. Cook until slightly softened. Remove cabbage and place in a dish to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute onions and garlic in the olive oil until transparent. Add crumbles, rice, spices, egg, and vegetable broth. Mix well.
  3. When cabbage is warm to the touch, peel leaves and place on cutting board. You should have six very large leaves.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Divide filling mixture into six equal parts.
  6. Fill cabbage leaves and roll. Place filled rolls with folded end down into baking dish.
  7. Combine soup and tomatoes along with tomato juice from can in separate bowl. Add half of soup can worth of water to sauce. Mix well.
  8. Ladle over rolls. Cover rolls in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until cabbage is easily poked with a fork.






Confetti Slaw with Poppy-Seed Dressing


2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons honey

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

½ cup pre-cut matchstick carrots



Combine first 8 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl. Add cabbage and carrots; toss to coat. Enjoy!

For more recipes and information about cabbage, visit Fill Your Plate!

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