Leafy goodness

KATHMANDU: Cabbage is a sturdy, strong and abundant vegetable. Rich in nutrition and fibre, cabbage is an absolutely phenomenal source of Vitamin C. Even more impressive is that cabbage is famous for a specialised, naturally occurring, nitrogenous compound known as indoles. Current research indicates that indoles can lower the risk of various forms of cancer.

It is no wonder that cabbage gets rave reviews from the world of nutritionists. Cabbage is relatively cheap yet one of the richest when it comes to protective vitamins.

The cabbage with green leaves is especially valuable because of its high Vitamin A content. The cabbage has wonderful cleansing and reducing properties. Its most valuable properties are the high sulphur and chlorine content and the relatively large per cent of iodine. The combination of the sulphur and chlorine causes a cleansing of the mucus membranes of the stomach and intestinal tract, but this only applies when cabbage or its juice is taken in its raw state without the addition of salt.

However, cabbage and cabbage juice should never be taken as a main part of the diet. Very excessive intakes have been known to cause the thyroid disease called goitre. It is only in normal amounts that cabbage is valuable nutritionally and that its juice, which is bitter and not delicious, constitutes an important part of the natural treatment of infection, ulcers and other disorders of the digestive system.

This vegetable can be used raw in the form of salad. It can also be steamed, boiled or cooked. It should be eaten raw for best results as in cooking its valuable nutrients are largely lost. The raw cabbage is also more easily digested than the cooked one. The longer the cabbage is cooked the less digestible it becomes. It can be rectified by adding some asafoetida.

Cabbage helps alleviate

Constipation: The cabbage provides the roughage (indigestible material) which is essential to stimulate intestines for the proper action of the bowels. A meal of raw cabbage is an excellent remedy for constipation. It acts immediately without any adverse after-effects.

Stomach ulcers: Duodenal ulcers have responded almost miraculously to the drinking of cabbage juice. The juice contains the anti-ulcer factor, Vitamin U. This vitamin is destroyed

by cooking.

Obesity: Recent research has discovered in cabbage a valuable content called tartronic acid which inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction. Taking cabbage salad would be the simplest way to stay slim — a painless way of dieting.

Skin disorders: The cabbage leaves have been successfully used in the form of compresses in healing ulcers, infected sores, blisters and skin eruptions, including psoriasis. They are also valuable in burns and carbuncles. The thickest and greenest outer leaves are most effective for use as compresses.

Premature ageing: Research has shown that cabbage contains several elements and factors which enhance the immunity of the human body and arrests its premature ageing. The vegetable is of great value for persons of advancing age. Some of the elements help prevent the formation of patches on the walls of blood vessels and stones

in the gall bladder. It has been found that a combination of Vitamin P and C in cabbage lends strength to the blood vessels.

Cabbage is rich in —

Vitamin A: Responsible for the protection of your skin and eyes.

Vitamin C: An all important anti-oxidant and helps the mitochondria to burn fat.

Vitamin E: A fat soluble anti-oxidant which plays a role in skin integrity.

Vitamin B: Helps maintain integrity of nerve endings and boosts energy metabolism.

Health benefits

• Some of its chemicals are believed to speed up the body’s metabolism of estrogens and therefore reduce the incidence of breast, uterus and ovaries cancer.

• The high amount of beta-carotene may cut the risk of cataracts.

• Raw, the cabbage is a good source of folic acid which lowers the risk of having babies with Spina bifida.

• Cabbage also reduces risk of heart disease and stroke, alleviate rheumatisms and skin problems.

• Cabbage is rich in iron and sulphur.

• Juice of fresh cabbage is effective in treating fungus infection (due to it sulphur content).

• Cabbage can lower serum cholesterol.

• Red cabbage has more phytonutrients than green cabbage. The Vitamin C content of red cabbage is 6-8 times higher than that of the green cabbage.

• Red cabbage contain anthocyanin (red pigment/colour) is an antioxidant that can help protect brain cells, thus can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

• Cabbage also contains lots of vitamin C and vitamin D. The former helps in the burning of fat, while the latter helps maintain skin vigour.