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CABBAGE: BENEFITS, NUTRITIONAL VALUES, USES AND CONTRAINDICATIONS.

Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, omega 3 and 6, iron and fiber, cabbage is one of the most nutritious and healthy vegetables ever. Let us discover together the properties of cabbage and what benefits it brings to our health.

General characteristics.

The cabbage is a vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family and a variety of Brassica oleracea. This variety of cabbage is widespread in northern Europe but is also widely cultivated in Italian vegetable gardens. The variety has dimensions ranging from 10 to 20 cm in diameter and has the characteristic of having the external leaves concave and smooth, which enclose the internal leaves giving them the shape of a compact sphere, almost a hood.

The yellow flowers contain dark round seeds. The cultivation of the cabbage is not difficult and, if you sow on a suitable soil and carefully cared, the product will grow without any problem. It is important in sowing to respect the planting distances and to remember to keep humid the soil around the seedlings even after planting, both in winter and in summer. To prevent the sultry heat from compromising cabbage growth you can protect plants with newspaper sheets.

Plants of the family “brassica oleracea” usually eat the leaves or the inflorescences not yet ripe, and there are several varieties that differ from each other not only in colour, but also in size and shape. However, all varieties are rich in vitamin C and have a high concentration of sulphur.

To obtain a good cultivation it is necessary to disinfect the plant with preventive products against fly roots or other diseases, otherwise, if it is preferable to grow organically, you can opt for mulching and regular irrigation to get excellent results. The cabbages, in fact, need a good and constant humidity, so that a double digging is carried out on the planting ground before planting the seedlings. With mulching is ensured perspiration to the plant.

The cabbage is also fermented through a particular process that makes it very digestible. From this treatment are prepared sauerkraut.

Cabbage: properties and benefits.

Among the properties of cabbage known are the anti-inflammatory ones.
Inflammation, in fact, is the main cause of diseases such as arthritis, heart problems and autoimmune, which often originate from an excessive consumption of products of animal origin. Cabbage is a natural anti-inflammatory and has the ability to prevent and relieve inflammatory diseases. It is also rich in fibre and has powerful digestive properties: it seems that consuming at least a portion of cabbage gives our body 5% of the daily fibre needed, plus 2 grams of protein.

It has also some antioxidant properties: in fact, the cabbage hood is a natural antioxidant against free radicals, and its action helps prevent different diseases and also the premature aging. The more than 45 flavonoids present in cabbages combine antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making the cabbage a special food to fight stress.

Cabbage also has slimming properties and is a useful food for those on a diet, because it is low in fat and rich in fibre. Thanks to its low calories (about 25 per 100 grams) and its satiating capacity, it is suitable for inclusion in the low-calorie diet and, very importantly, promotes the disintegration of fat accumulations around the abdomen.

Cabbage is a food with incredible benefits. Rich in fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6, it plays a determining role on health, keeping heart and arteries in perfect efficiency. Recent studies have shown that the vegetables of the cruciferous family, thanks to the presence of sulforaphane, are able to reactivate the Nrf2, a protein that keeps blood vessels free from fat, leading to angina, heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.

Great for the remarkable benefits that ensures the body, the cabbage is also a valid anti-humour food. Indeed, it has been scientifically proven that daily consumption of cabbage is an effective aid to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. In particular, we are talking about breast, ovarian, bladder, colon and prostate cancer. There are also considerable benefits it brings to the body as a detoxifying food: in fact, it seems that some components present in cabbage are able to eliminate toxins. To promote the expulsion of toxins is the presence of glucosinolates, natural enzymes that help the body and the liver to purify and that are characteristics of the cruciferous. The cabbage hood is also excellent for lowering pressure and is a powerful ally against hypertension and high blood pressure: in fact, the presence of glutamic acid promotes the lowering of blood pressure.

The cabbage is rich in calcium and vitamin C, so it is a food that can bring beneficial substances to the immune system, strengthening it and protecting it from disease and infection attacks.

Cabbage: nutritional values and calories.

100 grams of this precious vegetable provide only 25 calories.

Quantity per 100 grams: Water 86 g; Fats 0,1 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbohydrates 6 g; Dietary fibre 2,5 g; Sugar 3,2 g sugar; Protein 1,3 g; Vitamin A 98 IU; Vitamin B6 0,1 mg; Vitamin C 36.6 mg; Calcium 40 mg; Iron 0,5 mg; Magnesium 12 mg; Sodium 18 mg; Potassium 170 mg.

Cabbage: all uses.

The most frequent use of cabbage is in the kitchen, where it is offered raw in salad or in the form of recipes concerning first and second courses, but also as a rather nutritious and tasty side dish. In order to maintain all nutrients, cabbage should be cooked preferably by steaming, a cooking method that does not affect the quality of vegetable fibres. The cooking should last no longer than 5 minutes and then you can eat the cabbage topped with oil, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar to make it even more tasty. As a dressing for pasta or as a salad, it is easy to clean and prepare. In addition, the juice of cabbage to detoxify is particularly appreciated: it is easily prepared thanks to the centrifuge.

Cabbage is used also as a skin regenerating agent, it is the basis for the preparation of ointments and creams to make the skin radiant and purified. The cabbage hood is also used to relieve eye fatigue after working in front of a computer or watching too much TV: just moisten the gauze or cotton disks with fresh cabbage juice and let it work on your eyes for about 15 minutes. The effect is amazing, and the eyes will shine again!

Cabbage: contraindications and side effects.

Generally, the consumption of cabbage does not have any particular contraindications or side effects, except excessive consumption. In fact, if eaten in large quantities, they can cause an increase, of annoyances such as flatulence and meteorism. Therefore, in order to avoid these problems, it is necessary to moderate the consumption of cabbage, especially in people who are subject to these troubles.

The cabbage, as well as broccoli, may contain quite high quantities of salicylates, but in any case it is necessary to ascertain its intolerance and therefore avoid or decrease its consumption.