Health Benefits of Red Cabbage

red cabbage

Red cabbage is considered one of the cruciferous vegetables, along with cauliflower, broccoli, and kale.  Although its red, it naturally has many of the health benefits that green leafy vegetables do. But what exactly are the health benefits of red cabbage and why is it a superfood?

Is Red Cabbage Good for You?

Red cabbage, or purple cabbage, contains 36 kinds of anthocyanins, which is the reason behind the red-orange, blue-violet, or purple color of many different types of fruits and vegetables.  Studies have shown that a higher intake of these anthocyanins, and other antioxidant phytonutrients, leads to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Red cabbage, often over-looked as a superfood, is low in calories, high in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Potassium.  One cup of red cabbage has about 85% of the recommended intake of Vitamin C, which is the equivalent of a small orange.  Its great for the skin as well.

Its also great for digestive health, since it is full of fiber-rich nutrients, like gut-friendly insoluble fiber, a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down by the intestines. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and promotes regular bowel movements, thus helping to keep the digestive system happy and healthy.

Its also a rich source of soluble fiber, which has been shown to increase the amount of friendly bacteria in the gut.  This friendly bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, protects the immune system and produces critical nutrients like Vitamins B12 and K2.

Which is Healthier: Red or Green Cabbage?

Even though both green and red cabbage are excellent sources of anthocyanins, which is a powerful antioxidant, the red cabbage variety contains about 30% more of this important phytonutrient, which indeed makes it a superfood.

Is Red Cabbage Healthier Raw or Cooked?

This is a complicated comparison because there are many factors involved and argued about. The fact is that Vitamin C breaks down when exposed to heat and dissolves in water, but the antioxidants are actually increased by cooking.

For red cabbage, which is already high in Vitamin C, this is a good trade off because it will retain some of its Vitamin C content even after cooking and increase the level of its antioxidants.  For those concerned, eat them both raw and cooked, or whatever way you like it best, just as long as you get this over-looked superfood into your diet.

Is cabbage good for weight loss?

Some, who like the cabbage soup diet, say it’s a good for a few pounds of quick weight loss.  But fad diets like this are not a good strategy for long term weight management.  Naturally, you can lose weight because of the low calorie content of cabbage in general. 

There are just 33 calories in one (1) cup of cooked red cabbage.  The low fat, high fiber nature of red cabbage may naturally promote weight loss along with a healthy overall weight management strategy.

Is Red Cabbage a Superfood?

Because red cabbage has many of the disease-fighting, gut-healing properties of other superfoods, this one certainly deserves to be given your fullest attention during your food shopping excursions.


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