A part of the Brassica family, cabbage is a leafy vegetable that has been eaten for centuries and for good reason. With red (also know as purple) and green varieties, it’s low calorie, inexpensive and a great source of many vitamins and minerals. But often cabbage gets tossed by the way side reserved only for cabbage rolls and cole slaw, but no more. With it’s vast amount of health benefits and versatility in the kitchen, we’re breaking down the top 7 benefits this superfood gives your body, including aiding in weight loss and detoxifying the body, plus 11 creative recipes to make a part of your normal routine.
It’s a great source of vitamins/minerals.
At only 17 calories per cup of cabbage, it really packs a nutrient punch: most notably, cabbage contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, fiber, lutein and zeaxanthin. Some even argue the cabbage is the most nutritious vegetable of all!
It promotes heart health and fights cardiovascular disease.
Red cabbage contains anthocyanins (which are also found in grapes, berries…think red/purple fruits and veggies!) that act as powerful antioxidants and are a major factor in providing cardiovascular protection, including the protection of red blood cells. Cabbage also has 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols which contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic benefits.
It’s anti-inflammatory and can aid in weight loss.
As mentioned, the anthocyanin content of cabbages attribute to their anti-inflammatory benefits thereby reducing your chance of disease. Also, by decreasing inflammation as well as being low in calories and high in water content, cabbage can be a great weight loss food.
It prevents type 2 diabetes.
According to studies, cabbage can be used to prevent type 2 diabetes or reduce blood glucose levels as a result of cabbages’ antioxidant and antihyperglyemic properties. The presence of fiber in cabbage also slows down the absorption of sugar which can also prevent diabetes.
It’s good for your gut and a natural detoxifyer.
Speaking of fiber, cabbage contains nearly 4 grams of fiber per cup (at a very low-calorie count, I might add!) which can improve digestion in your body. And when you have a healthy, efficient digestive system, your body is able to detoxify itself more efficiently. Plus, due to the presence of sulfur in cabbage which help the liver break down toxins as well as its diruretic properties, cabbage helps to remove excess water and toxins from the body. Cabbage has also been been cited to heal stomach ulcers.
It has cancer-fighting properties.
And if all of the above benefits aren’t enough, cabbage has also has potent cancer-fighting ability due to the presence of sinigrin and glucosinolate converted into isothiocyanate compounds. It has been shown to be specifically good for the prevention of breast cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.
It is inexpensive.
Okay, this isn’t technically a “health” benefit per say, but cabbage is incredibly easy on the wallet which isn’t always the case for health foods. And when you’re feeling less stressed about money, your body is healthier, so there you go!
Ready to include cabbage in your diet? Here are 11 amazing recipes that make eating cabbage as easy as it is healthy.
1. Cabbage Rolls by Get Healthy U
These cabbage rolls are the real deal with traditional flavor straight from your grandmother’s kitchen. Made with ground turkey, it’s a protein-packed dinner that showcase cabbage in a wonderful way.
2. Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing by Ambitious Kitchen
A Get Healthy U team favorite, this crunchy thai quinoa salad is a seriously good side dish or main! Loaded with fresh ingredients, it’s a good-for-you recipe you’ll want to make again and again. And if you’re new to cabbage, this is a great introductory recipe that mixes in plenty of other flavors!
3. Low Carb Crockpot Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup by Sugar Free Mom
This healthy recipe for low carb un-stuffed cabbage roll soup is so good for you, it could be magic! At 31 grams of protein and only 12.6 grams of carbs per serving, it’s a healthy dish perfect for a cold night.
4. Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw by Ambitious Kitchen
Love fish tacos? Us too. This dish transports you to a tropical vacation all while staying true to your health goals. They’re colorful, delicious and super easy to make. Using a spicy chili-lime tilapia, a crunchy sour cream cabbage slaw, along with sweet mango and avocado, these tacos are loaded with flavor and nutrition.
5. Pulled Pork Asian Salad by Get Healthy U
This pulled pork Asian salad is a great meal prep recipe and use for leftover pulled pork. Plus it’s got a whopping 6 cups of shredded cabbage! With the spicy ginger dressing, crunchy almonds and cabbage and smoky pork, it’s got all the fresh, delicious, and yummy flavors working for it.
6. Healthy Thai Coconut Quinoa Bowl by Fit Foodie Finds
You can get your antioxidant quota in one meal with this delicious thai coconut quinoa bowl made with a purple cabbage slaw. Packed with veggies (sweet potato, carrots, edamame, cabbage, red pepper, etc!), protein and flavor, this Buddha bowl recipe is the perfect vegetarian lunch or dinner.
7. Asian Edamame Salad with Cilantro and Toasted Almonds by Ambitious Kitchen
Another fun Asian salad, this recipe is loaded with ingredients your body will love and topped with a delicious soy sauce, garlic and ginger dressing. Plus, it has great crunch from the carrots, cabbage, peppers, and almonds.
8. Creamy Bell Pepper Slaw by Get Healthy U
Cole slaw is a great way to get your cabbage fix. A staple summer side, we love this creamy bell pepper slaw made with a lighter, creamy Greek yogurt dressing.
9. Skinny Vegetable Medley Soup by Get Healthy U
Another easy way to eat your cabbage is to add it to a vegetable soup! It’s a great way to get back on track with clean eating since it’s packed with fiber and tons of vitamins. Plus, it’s under 200 calories and is has 11 grams of protein per serving.
10. Vegetarian Banh Mi Bowls with Gardein by Slender Kitchen
While Banh Mi is typically a Vietnamese sandwich, this recipe switches things up to a healthier, breadless bowl. It uses red cabbage for delicious crunch and antioxidants as well as bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber and more. Plus, the vegetarian meatballs will make it feel like you’re eating the real thing!
11. Low Carb Cauliflower “Fried Rice” by Slender Kitchen
Anytime you can sneak more veggies into a dish, it’s a good thing. This Low Carb Cauliflower Fried “Rice” recipe ditches the rice in favor of healthier cauliflower. You can go even back for thirds!
- If you’re not a cabbage eater, we recommend starting slow as for some people, it can take a little getting used to and cause gas.
- Roll it! Cabbage leaves are a great option for a wrap. Simply use a large cabbage leaf and put in whatever filling you’d like. We love this green roll recipe loaded with quinoa, turkey and hummus!
- Make your own sauerkraut by pickling cabbage if you’re up for a fun kitchen experiment or just grab a jar of this probiotic packed condiment.
- Make a side dish of cabbage by cutting the head into steaks (1-inch large rounds) and put it on top of the grill for a delicious charred flavor. Here’s a fun grilled cabbage recipe to whip out this weekend.
- If the oven if your preferred method of cooking, cabbage is a great vegetable to try roasted! Simply slice the head of cabbage into steaks, brush with olive oil and roast at 400 for 40-45 minutes or try this yummy balsamic honey roasted cabbage steaks.
READ THIS NEXT: Why You Should Be Eating Fermented Foods