Purple cabbage is also referred to as red cabbage and belongs to the Brassica genus. This group includes nutrient-rich vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale.
This tastes like a green cabbage. However, the purple variety is rich in a beneficial plant compound that has been linked to health benefits, such as healthier heart and stronger bones.
Purple cabbage is also found to lower inflammation and protect from certain types of cancers. Also, it is a versatile vegetable which can be consumed raw, fermented, or cooked, and added to a wide variety of dishes.
Here are 5 health benefits of purple cabbage, all proven by science.
Benefits of red cabbage
1. Helps fight inflammation
Purple cabbage helps fight inflammation, which is found to contribute to several diseases.
A test-tube study used an artificial model of the gut which found that some varieties of purple cabbage decreased markers of the gut inflammation by 23–40%.
Animal studies found that sulforaphane, a sulfur compound found in cruciferous vegetables, might have its anti-inflammatory effects. Applying cabbage leaves to skin appears to reduce inflammation.
Adults with arthritis who covered their knees in cabbage leaves reported feeling less pain in 4 weeks. However, cabbage wraps relieved painlessly than any topical pain gel.
Moreover, the cabbage leaves reduce breast pain, inflammation, and swelling due to increased blood flow and milk supply during the early postpartum period.
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2. Promotes heart health
Purple cabbage can benefit the heart. This might be due to its anthocyanin content, which are flavonoid antioxidants which give purple cabbage its color.
A large study revealed that women who eat large amount of anthocyanin-rich foods might benefit from lower risk of heart attacks, compared to those who eat less amounts of these foods.
Higher anthocyanin consumption might also be linked to lower blood pressure and lower risk of heart diseases. Purple cabbage also contains more than 35 types of anthocyanins, making it a amazing source of heart-healthy compound.
3. Strengthen your bones
Purple cabbage has several nutrients, such as vitamins K and C, and smaller amounts of zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
1 cup of raw purple cabbage has around 56% of DV for vitamin C, which plays an important role in bone formation and also helps protect the bone cells from damage. Purple cabbage is very rich in vitaminK1, offering a quarter of the DV per cup.
Vitamin K1 occurs in foods, like leafy greens and cruciferous vegetable. This differentiates it from vitamin K2, which is generally found in animal products as well as fermented foods.
There is evidence that both types of vitamin K play a vital role in maintaining healthy bones, although more research is required to highlight the specific effects of each.
4. Protects against cancers
Purple cabbage may help protect from some types of cancers, though more research is required.
Experts believe that this might be because it has sulforaphane and anthocyanins which have cancer-fighting properties.
Research related high consumption of cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, to 18% less risk of the colon cancer. Diets rich in vegetables have also been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.
Moreover, there is evidence that the sulforaphane in purple cabbage and other vegetables might help kill cancer cells and prevent them from growing.
Cell and animal studies suggest that anthocyanin might have similar anti-cancer properties. Anthocyanin is found in blue and red fruits and vegetables. However, more research is required before any conclusions can be made.
5. Enhances gut health
Purple cabbage might improve the function of the gut. There is evidence that cabbage might lower inflammation in gut and also treat intestinal mucositis, a condition which features lesions in the gut, as a side effect of cancer treatments.
Cabbage is a good source of fiber, which helps keep the gut healthy and aids in digestion. Insoluble fiber comprises has 70% of fiber in cabbage. It adds bulk to the stools and also helps food move in your gut easily, reducing the chance of constipation.
The remaining 30 percent is fiber, which provides foods for the good bacteria living in the gut. These friendly bacteria produce short chain fatty acids, like butyrate, acetate, and propionate, which feed the cell of the gut.
Research reveals that SCFAs might reduce inflammation and other symptoms of the gut disorders, such as the Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Purple cabbage is nutrient-rich vegetable with a variety of health benefits. These include less inflammation, healthier heart, improved gut function, strong bone, and a lower risk of certain cancers. The vegetable is versatile and one of the most cost-efficient foods to add beneficial antioxidants to the diet.