There are a lot of fad diets out there, but one of the most popular was the cabbage diet. It usually called for eating only cabbage (or cabbage soup) for one or two meals per day. One of the reasons that it caught on is because cabbage is so low in calories, and can actually be quite filling. While most people gave up on the diet, cabbage is still very popular as a leafy green plant that can bring a lot of health benefits.
It’s also one of the vegetables that can be difficult to get children to eat, because it doesn’t look quite appetizing, but we do know that it’s healthy. However, a lot of people don’t know just quite why it’s so healthy. Well, today, we will breakdown the nutritional value and health benefits that you can get from eating more cabbage. Once you see them, you will undoubtedly be adding more to your diet.
Nutrition of Cabbage
Cabbage is one of those foods that can give you a huge vitamin boost without bringing on a lot of calories. In fact, there are only 22 calories per serving in each cup of cabbage, with nine percent of your dietary fiber recommendation and even a gram of protein thrown in for good measure. Cabbage is very high in both vitamin K (85 percent recommended value) and vitamin C (54 percent). Though the other vitamins aren’t as abundant, cabbage is still a good source of vitamin A, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
There isn’t really a mineral in cabbage that stands out quite as much as some of the vitamins, but there is still plenty to like. Manganese (seven percent) is the most abundant, and you’ll also be getting decent amounts of calcium and potassium. Smaller amounts of minerals include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper. With low fat, carbohydrate and sugar content, cabbage is a good all around food.
As we mentioned, the calorie count that you find in cabbage is incredibly low. You can eat quite a bit of it, feel very full and not take in many calories at all. Not only that, but you are getting a lot of nutrients that will have your body operating more efficiently. This includes the digestive system thanks to the high fiber content in cabbage. With more fiber, your metabolism will experience a boost to help you lose weight.
There isn’t any fat to be found in cabbage, as well, so you don’t have to worry about that. You will actually be burning more fat around your midsection. As most of us know, that’s the hardest place to lose weight, so cabbage really packs a punch in the dieting department. Just don’t go on the cabbage diet like so many have.
Of course, losing weight can make you look good, but there are other factors that go into your appearance. Your skin is a big one, and eating more cabbage certainly helps skin health. With the high amount of vitamin C, your body will be able to produce more collagen, giving your skin more elasticity. In turn, that will slow down the signs of aging and even repair damage that you can get from the sun.
Your complexion will improve overall and suffer fewer blemishes when eating more cabbage while your hair also experiences a benefit from the increased vitamin A. If you really want to see the results (pun intended), then you’ll need healthier eyes. Those same vitamins will promote eye health, lowering your chances of eye diseases that commonly come later in life such as cataracts.
When it comes to your heart health, there are a few things that you really need to keep in check. You want to prevent inflammation while also controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol. Cabbage assists in all of these aspects thanks to being an antioxidant that can prevent inflammation. Meanwhile, the potassium found in cabbage lowers your blood pressure by increasing blood flow.
There isn’t much sodium at all to be found in cabbage, which is good for people that are watching their heart health. Though the effects of cabbage on your overall cholesterol hasn’t quite been researched, it won’t do any harm. With the lowered chance of heart disease, it’s safe to assume that your cholesterol can reach a healthier level by eating more cabbage.
Another big part of heart health is blood sugar, and cabbage is one of the perfect foods to eat if you need to manage your blood sugar. Whether you have diabetes or want to prevent the disease, cabbage has been found to increase your insulin while lowering your blood sugar. This is because there aren’t many simple sugars to be found in cabbage, making it easier for your body to process.
Those minerals that take the place of sugar will even help your bones. With calcium teaming up with magnesium, you can avoid a lot of bone diseases. That will even help you out in preventing buildup of uric acid, which can lead to gout and other joint pain. There are different types of cabbage, and they all have a significant amount of vitamin K, especially the red cabbage.
One thing that doctors suggest for brain health is eating a lot of cabbage. Because of the vitamin K content, cabbage will allow you to prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s down the road. Even if you just need a little pick-me-up from having too much fun the night before, cabbage can help you relieve headaches and hangovers. While most people are grabbing greasy food, cabbage and a glass of water is the best way to go. It might not sound enticing, but you’ll thank yourself later in the day.
Summing it Up
There are a lot of fantastic benefits that you get from eating plenty of cabbage in your diet, and you would have to go through with something crazy like the full cabbage diet to see any negative effects. Cabbage does contain a lot of vitamin K, so it could mix with certain types of medications. Eating too many cabbages could cause some digestive problems such as diarrhea or discomfort because of the high content of fiber. It would take a lot of cabbage in your daily diet, however.
Not having a balanced diet outside of cabbage could also lead to hypothyroidism because of an iodine deficiency. Once again, though, eating cabbage as part of a balanced diet is not going to cause any harm, but instead bring you a lot of benefits. It might not be your most favorite food in the world, but cabbage is certainly something that you should be eating more of. Even if you have to mix it in with other foods, just make sure to get it in there!