One of the most fascinating new areas of raspberry research involves the potential for raspberries to improve management of obesity ... see What's New and Beneficial About Raspberries.
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The Latest News about Cabbage

Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.

What's New and Beneficial About Cabbage

  • Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability-just not as much as steamed cabbage.
  • Researchers now realize that different types of cabbage (red, green, and Savoy) contain different patterns of glucosinolates. This new knowledge means that your broadest health benefits from cabbage are likely to come from inclusion of all varieties in your diet.
  • Cabbage in general-but also Savoy cabbage in particular-turns out to be an especially good source of sinigrin. Sinigrin is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research. The sinigrin in cabbage can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate, or AITC. This isothiocyanate compound has shown unique cancer preventive properties with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
  • In one recent study, short-cooked and raw cabbage were the only types of cabbage to show cancer-preventive benefits-long-cooked cabbage failed to demonstrate measurable benefits.
  • New research shows that steaming is a better cooking method than microwaving if you want to maximize the health benefits of glucosinolates found in cabbage. That's because two minutes of microwaving destroys the same amount of myrosinase enzymes as seven minutes of steaming, and you need those myrosinase enzymes to help convert cabbage's glucosinolates into cancer-preventive compounds.
  • Our Healthy Sauté method, which we recommend for cabbage, is very similar to steaming and enhances the flavor of cabbage. See the "How to Enjoy" section of our cabbage write-up for more details.

WHFoods Recommendations

You'll want to include cabbage as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy cabbage and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.

Traditional methods of steaming or boiling make cabbage watery. To retain the maximum number of nutrients and flavor we recommend Healthy Sautéeing cabbage. Slice cabbage into 1/4 -inch slices and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting benefits before cooking.

Our Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad recipe is a great example of how to enjoy the delicate flavor of napa cabbage in your favorite salad. It is a milder tasting variety of cabbage that boasts the highest concentration of folate.

Enjoy the mild flavor of bok choy by using our Healthy Sauté method of cooking. Bok choy is the #1 vegetable in China and has a higher concentration of beta-carotene and vitamin A than any other variety of cabbage. Our 4-Minute Healthy Sautéed Bok Choy recipe will give you great tasting bok choy in a matter of minutes!

Cruciferous Vegetable Benefits

All cruciferous vegetables-including cabbage-provide integrated nourishment across a wide variety of nutritional categories and provide broad support across a wide variety of body systems as well. For more on cruciferous vegetables see:

Health Benefits

Cabbage provides numerous health benefits including:

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Detoxification benefits
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Digestive support

For more details on cabbage's health benefits, see this section of our Cabbage write-up.

Nutritional Profile

Cabbage is an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin C and anti-inflammatory vitamin K. it is a very good source of digestive-health-supporting fiber, enzyme-activating manganese, and heart-healthy vitamin B6, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, it is a good source of energy-producing vitamin B1 and vitamin B2, free-radical-scavenging vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoid phytonutrients), bone-healthy calcium and magnesium, and muscular-system supporting potassium and protein.

Cabbage as a "Goitrogenic" Food

Cabbage is sometimes referred to as a "goitrogenic" food. Yet, contrary to popular belief, according to the latest studies, foods themselves-cabbage included-are not "goitrogenic" in the sense of causing goiter whenever they are consumed, or even when they are consumed in excess. In fact, most foods that are commonly called "goitrogenic"-such as the cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, kale, and cauliflower) and soyfoods-do not interfere with thyroid function in healthy persons even when they are consumed on a daily basis. Nor is it scientifically correct to say that foods "contain goitrogens," at least not if you are thinking about goitrogens as a category of substances like proteins, carbohydrates, or vitamins. With respect to the health of our thyroid gland, all that can be contained in a food are nutrients that provide us with a variety of health benefits but which, under certain circumstances, can also interfere with thyroid function. The term "goitrogenic food" makes it sound as if something is wrong with the food, but that is simply not the case. What causes problems for certain individuals is not the food itself but the mismatched nature of certain substances within the food to their unique health circumstances. For more, see an An Up-to-Date Look at Goitrogenic Substances in Food

For more on this nutrient-rich vegetable, including references related to this Latest News, see our write-up on Cabbage.

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