Nutritious Benefits of Cabbage

 

Top 10 Nutritional Benefits of Cabbage:

  1.  High in Vitamin C and sulfur.  This helps to have skin that glows and boosts your immune system.  It also helps detoxify the body by removing toxins.  This helps improve arthritis, skin conditions (like acne), and even gout. Some ancient healers say it has “moon power” because it grows in the moonlight.
  2.  Low in calories.  Only 33 calories in a cup!  Great for weight loss.

  3.  Low in fat.

  4.  Contains lupeol, sinigrin which are known to inhibit cancer tumors from growing by stimulating enzyme activity.

  5.  High in potassium which helps keep blood pressure in tact by opening the blood vessels.

  6.  High in Vitamin K which helps in mental focus and concentration.

  7.  The Romans claim it helped to reduce headaches and even a hangover.  Interesting.

  8.  It acts as an anti-inflammatory and Blood Sugar Regulator. Betalains are in the pigment of red cabbage and help lower blood sugar levels and also boost the production of insulin.

  9.  High in fiber which helps keep your colon happy.

  10.  So versatile, tasty raw in salads or slaws, and also in soups and stews.

Cabbage Trivia

  • Some children’s legends say babies come from “Cabbage Patches.”  So that’s where Cabbage Patch Kids came from!
  • Russians are the biggest consumers of cabbage.  It is considered their national food.  They eat seven times more than Americans.  Maybe it helps counteract the vodka.
  • Here’s a good one, the Chinese claim white cabbage is a cure for baldness.
  • “It will make you feel as if you had not eaten and you can drink as much as you like.” Said Cato, a Roman who lived till he was 80 and ate cabbage before and after meals.
  • Babe Ruth used to wear a cabbage leaf under his hat during games to keep his head cool.  He would switch out for a fresh leaf halfway through each game.  How did he figure that one out?
  • The world’s biggest cabbage was more than 125 pounds with leaves reaching more than 5 feet.

 I came across this folklore article and found it amusing and amazing.  I hope you enjoy this bit of history from the garden history girl.

The Cabbage that is King: Brassica oleracae longata

Or, the curious case of the seven-foot tall cabbage, which brought two seedsellers and one Reverend Laycock of Hampshire into Westminster County Court in 1898.  The sellers of seed were seeking to collect  £24 from the good Reverend for cabbage seeds with which they had supplied him; he was countersuing because the resulting plants were, well, not as described.
He had a full 200 acres–20,000 plants in all–of strange, tree-like stalks with cabbage heads waving like leafy nests at the top.  One can only imagine his consternation as the plants shot past normal cabbage height  to three feet tall, then four, five, six and “grew on until [they were] seven feet above the ground”.
At this description disbelieving laughter ensued in court, until Rev. Laycock produced Exhibit A:  a cabbage that was in fact “seven feet from the root”, about 4ft of which was “stout bare stump, then a cluster of leaves from which several shoots ascended”.
This is the sort of courtroom drama that you rarely see on Law and Order.  “Your honor, I would like to submit as evidence this gigantic cabbage.”
Cue the expert witness, a horticulturist who identifed the beast as Brassica oleracae longata.  Tree cabbage or giant cow cabbage or long-jacks or Jersey Kale is found on the Channel Islands, where it has historically been grown for, wait for it…walking sticks.
Kew’s Economic Botany Collection contains several of them, described as large, lightweight, and highly varnished, a product which was exported from the islands in annual quantities of as many as 30,000 in 1906, when “one could behold in almost every farm or garden this useful cabbage plant..here you may see a dozen of them sheltering the door of a little hut, there a big cluster grown to supply the cattle with food…you may notice them placed in a line along the edge of a garden, forming a picturesque and tidy border and a quaint kind of fence”.
The production of walking sticks had started on the islands more than 40 years previously.  To yield a strong, straight stem the lower leaves were stripped off as the plant grew, providing food for the table, wrappings for butter and cheese, and an excellent and now forgotten fodder for sheep or cattle.
Philip Miller’s Gardener’s Dictionary of 1835 asserts not only that the plant can grow up to sixteen feet tall (other sources list eighteen and even twenty feet), but also that sixty plants would provide sufficient fodder for a cow for an entire year, and that it lasted four years without fresh planting since only the side leaves were used.  Sheep fed upon the walking stick cabbages were said to produce wool of the finest silken texture up to 25 inches long.
Cabbage stems were also usd for roofing small buildings by the islanders, but their most lucrative transformation was into the walking sticks.  After several months (years? accounts differ) drying of the stems with the roots still attached, the sticks were smoothed, varnished, embellished and sold to tourists for a shilling.
They’ll set you back more than that,  £37 now, from Philip and Jacquelyn Johnson, the last makers and purveyors of cabbage walking sticks on the Islands, who were featured on the BBC’s Countryfile in an episode on Jersey broadcast in 2010 (the link is to the full episode; go to 8:50 to see the cabbages).
Our Reverend Laycock, though, remained undettered by any new economic potential for his strange crop.  Accompanied by more courtroom laughter, he asserted that he had desired cabbages, not walking sticks!   The judge fined the seedsellers £21 for breach of contract.

Read more from the Garden History Girl.

So I hope you enjoyed the nutritional benefits of cabbage along with a little history and trivia.

Cabbage Caution – just a word of warning

Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iodine.  Those with thyroid problems should avoid eating large amounts of cabbage. Read more at care2.com:

 

[recipe_single id=”cabbage soup braised & spicy” style=”list/grid”]

 

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