The cabbage, scientific name Brassica oleracea var capitata, is a plant of the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family characterized by smooth and well-closed leaves. Green cabbage is a delicious ingredient for your recipes, but also really healthy. So let's see its properties for the health.
Like all other cabbages, green cabbage contains glucosinolates. Glucosinolates, as long as they remain closed inside the plant tissue, are inactive, but when, through chewing, the tissues break, these substances come into contact with enzymes called myrosinase. In this way, a process is initiated that leads to the formation of other substances, isothiocyanates, which are powerful antioxidants with an anti free radicals and anticancer action. In fact, as shown by scientific research, green cabbage, thanks to these substances, is beneficial and protective against different types of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and breast (Kohlmeier et al, Environ Health Perspect, 1994). It is also interesting to note that the concentration of glucosinolates is higher in the internal leaves of the green cabbage than in the external ones (Choi et al, Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology, 2014). But the properties of green cabbage don't end there. In fact, this vegetable is rich in vitamins, such as A, group B, C and E, mineral salts, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium, and other antioxidant substances such as luteolin, quercetin and polyphenols (USDA Database). Green cabbage helps to keep cholesterol under control, protects the pancreas and, thanks to its anti-inflammatory action, also the gastrointestinal tract in case of gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome (Yang et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2018 - Lee et al , Pharmacogn Mag, 2018).
Green cabbage, how to eat it
To preserve the properties of the cabbage as much as possible, eat it raw in salads, cut into thin slices and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. And for an even more effective digestive action you can add a teaspoon of fennel seeds. Another very tasty and healthy way to consume green cabbage is in the form of sauerkraut, obtained from the fermentation of cabbage which preserves, if not even improves, the properties of the cabbage. In fact, in addition to the presence of vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidants, sauerkraut is also characterized by a high content in probiotics, beneficial organisms for digestion and able to strengthen the immune system.