Cabbage is a member of the food family traditionally known as cruciferous vegetables, being very closely related to kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts.
The most common type of cabbage has a round shape and is composed of superimposed leaf layers that are either red or green. However, there is also other forms of cabbage, savoy, that has more crinkled or “ruffly” leaves. Choy, Napa, Chinese, and Tuscan “cabbage are all technically not part of the cabbage family.
- Researchers have now identified nearly 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols in cabbage (especially red), all of which have demonstrated antioxidant activity.
- Most notable is the group of polypheonls called anthocyanins.
- The sulfur-containing compounds found in cabbage, glucosinolates, can be converted to protective agents against a variety of different cancers.
- The USDA has ranked cabbage to be the second most economical cooked vegetable in terms of price per edible cup.
- At nearly 4 grams per cup and only 44 calories, cabbage provides nearly 1 gram of fiber for every 10 calories, ranking it some legumes such beans, lentils, and dried peas in terms of “fiber density”.
- Cabbage is considered an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of manganese, potassium, vitamin B1, folate and copper. Found in smaller amounts, cabbage is a good source of choline, phosphorus, vitamin B2, magnesium, calcium, selenium, iron, pantothenic acid, protein and niacin.
Best Ways to Use
- Cabbage leaves make an excellent replacement wrap for tortillas.
- Stir-fry up cabbage with a whole host of other vegetables for a great side dish to pair with your favorite proteins.
- Braised cabbage is comforting, warm, and simple to prepare.
- Shredded cabbage, tossed with Greek yogurt and other veggies makes for a healthy coleslaw.