Cabbage; A Superfood for Anti-Aging and Beautiful, Glowing Skin

Whether raw, steamed or fermented, cabbage is a powerful superfood that can provide the nutrients your body needs to seriously slow aging and bring out your natural, inner beauty. Long considered a power food by the ancient healers, modern nutrition and health experts realize this food truly does have some amazingly powerful health benefits.

Cabbage is surprising high in Vitamin C as well as a lesser known compound, organic sulphur. It is also high in fiber and water content, making it an excellent food for weight loss. The various types of cabbage provide a well rounded array of other health benefits protection against Alzheimer's to helping your body detox uric acid and free radicals, which can help you avoid arthritis, rheumatism and gout.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Anti-Aging – There are many nutrients that contribute to the anti-aging benefits of cabbage. Vitamin C is used by the body to make collagen, the connective tissue that keeps your skin supple and tight. Organic sulfur is a mineral element that provides strength and resiliency to hair and skin. Cabbage is considered a sulfur-rich food and provides a type called sulforaphane, which helps reduce oxidative stress which can accelerate the aging process by causing premature wrinkles and even quicken the advent of degenerative disease.

Beautiful Glowing Skin – In addition to Vitamin C and organic sulphur, both of which contribute to skin's elasticity, cabbage is remarkable at aiding in the body's natural detoxification abilities, which directly affects how healthy you skin appears. Consuming raw or lightly steamed cabbage along with a diet high in fruits and vegetables allows our body to function properly, including its ability to eliminate waste and toxins. When our bodies are efficient at self cleansing and detoxification, more nutrients can be carried throughout and provide nutrients where needed, such as the skin. Your lymph is also part of your natural cleansing and detox system, and when this is allowed to flow freely, less waste will be distributed and stored, which can cause a puffy, saggy or sallow look. 

Cabbage contains not only natural fiber, but glucosinaolates, antioxidant poyphenols, and isthiocyanates (or ITCs) all of which contribute to the regulation of bacterial populations in the digestive tract, which is a major part of this detoxification system. Together, these components when eaten on a regular basis, ensure our natural cleansing and detoxification processes are working at maximum capacity, resulting in a healthy functioning body and healthy, clear skin.

A Stronger Immune System - In addition to the health benefits mentioned for skin through the process of amping up our natural detoxification abilities, these same nutritional qualities can strengthen immunity by eating saurkraut, the fermented version of cabbage. Fiber, water along with probiotics formed in fermented cabbage not only aid in digestion, but contribute to healthy microbes in the intestinal tract. This creates healthy digestion, strengthens immunity by increasing healthy gut microbial activity, and even allow for easier absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Cancer Prevention - Sulforaphane, one of the compounds found in cabbage, is showing much promise in cancer prevention. Studies show it has the power to inhibit a harmful substance called histone deacetylase (HDAC) which is involved in cancer reproduction. In addition, another compound in cabbage called apigenin was found to decrease tumor size in rats with a potential to be used as a treatment for humans in the near future. Red cabbage contains anthocyanins, the antioxidant that gives it a pretty red color. Anthocyanins are well known in research to stop the formation of tumors as well as kill already formed cancer cells.

Protection from Heart Disease – The anthocyanins discussed above are phytochemicals that also reduce internal inflammation. In case you didn't know, internal inflammation is linked to heart disease including heart attack and stroke. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while including those high in anthocyanins helps reduce this risk. Cabbage is also high in polyphenols, which may prevent platelet buildup in the arteries, which can lower blood pressure and further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Add a variety of cabbage into your salads, including shredded green, red and even Napa cabbage. Lightly steam cabbage to take advantage of the detoxification properties. Incorporate fermented cabbage and enjoy healthier and stronger digestion, metabolism and immunity. And always eat a healthy, well balanced diet to ensure you do receive the health giving benefits of any healthy food, because it's not what you eat sometimes, but on a regular basis that makes the difference.

Article Resources:

Singh, Jagdish, et al. "Antioxidant phytochemicals in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata)."Scientia Horticulturae108.3 (2006): 233-237.

Yoon, Kyung Young, Edward E. Woodams, and Yong D. Hang. "Production of probiotic cabbage juice by lactic acid bacteria."Bioresource Technology 97.12 (2006): 1427-1430.