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Cabbage is good For You too!!!


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Reasons why cabbage is good for you

1.Cabbage belongs to the group of cruciferous vegetables. (Brassica family) These are rich in powerful phytochemicals called isothiocyanates which inhibit breast cancer in several ways. A case control study done in China and published in the journal ‘Cancer Research’ confirmed that women who eat more Brassica family vegetables have a much lower risk of breast cancer.

2.Cabbage is filled with antioxidant power. This enables our systems to fight free radicals and clear up toxins, including potential carcinogens. Just about one serving a day (1 cup=1serving) of either cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts or broccoli is enough to provide anti-cancer benefits.

3.The fiber in cabbage keeps your blood sugar levels from fluctuating and also regularises bowel movements. Some people experience bloating on eating vegetables like cabbage. This can be reduced by adding a pinch of asafoetida in curries or munching on fennel seeds / ajwain after such a meal.

4.Cabbage also offers protection against colon and lung cancer due to its isothiocyanate content.

5.Red cabbage has higher antioxidant levels than a green / white cabbage. A study published in the March 2006 issue of Food Science and Technology indicates that the anthocyanins in red cabbage can actually protect the brain cells from damage in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

6.Cabbage juice is documented to treat stomach ulcers when had in large quantities over a week. This effect is due to the glutamine content in cabbage. Glutamine heals the cells that line the stomach.

Tips to buy, store and cook cabbage

While choosing a cabbage head, make sure it is firm and shiny, with crisp, green leaves. Check for bruises and blemishes. Avoid buying precut cabbage, either sectioned or shredded. Once cabbage is cut, it begins to lose its valuable vitamin C content.

Keeping it in the refrigerator once bought, will help it retain its vitamin C content. Keep the cabbage whole in a plastic wrap / bag in the vegetable section of your refrigerator.

If you do need to store a section of the cabbage, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. You should use it in couple of days though.

To get best benefits slice or chop the cabbage and let sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking. Cook gently, steaming or sautéing for 5 minutes or less.

Ways to use cabbage in your diet

Use grated cabbage in salads, soups and sandwich fillings.

Cabbage thoran is a great accompaniment to sambhar and rice.

Lightly sautéed cabbage along with grated apples mixed into curds makes an interesting raita.

Make nutritious muthias by mixing grated cabbage mixed with jowar flour, spices and steaming these rolls.

Fortify parathas by stuffing them with a mix of sautéed carrots and cabbage.

Add grated cabbage to dosa / adai batter to make it more filling and nutritious.

While preparing Chinese fried rice or pulao, add a cup of grated cabbage to the vegetable mix to add to the fibre and vitamin content of the dish.

Steam the outer large leaves of a cabbage and use them to roll up vegetables or rice. This makes a healthy version of spring rolls.

Recipe for your health-food file

Indian style Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a cabbage salad that is had as a side dish with food such as barbeque, fried fish, etc. Traditionally made with mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper, this recipe has a healthier dressing with yogurt and Indian spices.

Coleslaw mix:

3 cups grated green cabbage

2 cups grated carrots

1 apple grated

1 small onion-finely chopped

For dressing:

2 cups thick curds- beaten

1 tsp whole grain mustard (available at most food stores)

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp pepper powder

Pinch of turmeric powder

1 tsp salt (Adjust according to taste)

1 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the Coleslaw mix. You may add a dash of Tabasco sauce if you want it spicier. Toss well and chill for 30 minutes. Serve chilled as an accompaniment to rotis, rice or grilled chicken / fish.


The contents of this column such as text, images, recipe recommendations and other materials are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for any health problem or medical condition.


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