Next weekend is St. Patrick’s Day with all the craziness of green beer, leprechauns and pinches for forgetting to wear green. Luckily, even with all the celebrating, you can still do something good for your body. The traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage offers an amazing opportunity to fill your body with nutritional goodness. Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, is loaded with health giving properties and with nearly 4 grams of fiber per cup and only 44 calories, it should be a regular addition to your diet.
Cabbage has an amazing ability to protect against cancer, especially breast, stomach, bladder, lung and prostate cancers. Studies have shown cabbage contains a compound that helps slow the growth of cancer cells.
Cabbage has a high vitamin K content which helps protect the joints and lowers the risk of osteoarthritis. Vitamin K is also important for proper blood clotting and wound healing. (One cup has almost 80% of the recommended amount.)
Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C an important component in the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. Vitamin C is also important for the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, and proper immune system function. (One cup has almost 70% of the recommended amount.)
All types of cabbage, but especially red cabbage, contain significant amounts of polyphenols that provide anti-inflammatory benefits. These anti- inflammatory benefits include the ability to decrease LDL, the bad cholesterol.
Cabbage can be an important addition for digestive health by regulating bacterial populations of the digestive tract. Cabbage juice has been shown to heal stomach ulcers and its high fiber count also helps keep your bowels humming.
It is recommended you shoot for eating at least one cup of cruciferous vegetables a day- think cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts or arugula. Easy ways to sneak some cabbage into your life include eating kimchi, sauerkraut or Cole slaw. Given all these health benefits, next weekend while you are getting your “Irish” on, be sure to add an extra serving of this life giving food.