Cabbage belongs to the plant family Cruciferae, the same family in which broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower belong to.
The lowly cabbage has a component called indole-3-carbinol which is the component known to combat breast cancer. This component has the ability to convert the cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective kind. Broccoli is also known to contain the phytochemical sulforaphane which researchers also believe to have the ability to prevent other types of cancer like rectal and colon cancer.
Cabbage’s Antioxidant Property
The cabbage’s antioxidant indoles are released during cooking, it is the recognizable sulphur smell of cooking cabbage. The indoles encourage our bodies to produce certain enzymes that inhibit excess estrogen and block new cancer cell growth. The indoles also slow down the progress of respiratory papillomatosis which is a type of cancer of the head and neck caused by the papillomavirus. The human papillomavirus can cause growths in the airways that can be fatal.
The indole-3-carbinol is more effective in its whole food form, than in supplement form, researchers found out. So if you are trying to find an excuse not to eat cabbage, don’t. Because it is a really cheap way to keep cancer at bay. And if you are looking for a good vegetable to grow that is going to be worth your effort and time, then cabbage is the one you are looking for.
Other Health Benefits of this Superfood
Cabbage also has anti-inflammatory properties due to the high amounts of glutamine (amino acid) it contains. It is beneficial to the heart, circulatory system, for treating intestinal ulcers as well as skin ulcers.
Breastfeeding mothers who experience breast pain can get relief from the leaves of this vegetable. As a folk medicine in Europe, raw cabbage leaves are turned into paste to treat inflammation and minimize pain.
The red or purple variety also has high medicinal value. Due to the brighter color, it is richer in Lycopene which is beneficial in reducing prostate problems in men, repairing sun-burnt skin and reducing wrinkles.