Cabbage is an edible plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens. Cabbage is a biennial herbaceous, but it is cultivated annually, and whose smooth leaves form a characteristic compact bud.
Cabbage can be consumed steamed, braised, sauteed, pickled, or raw. It can also be preserved for a long time by freezing or through a process of fermentation, such as when preparing sauerkraut.
Cabbage is a rich source of vitamins C and A, as well as calcium and Beta-carotene. Cabbage is also extremely rich in fiber and water content.
How Much Cabbage Is Eaten Across America?
Based on recent data published by the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Cabbage has an approximate value of over $8,000 per acre. And although the production cost is higher than average because cabbage is hand-harvested and field-packed, it is still a very profitable item.
Overall, per capita consumption of Cabbage in the United States has fallen in the last 20 years, from almost 9 pounds in 2000 to just under 6 pounds in 2018. To put that in perspective, the world’s top consumers of cabbage report a per capita consumption of over 140 pounds.
It is quite unfortunate that the United States consumes so little cabbage, especially since during the 1920s, the average American ate more than 20 pounds per year.
Ideally, we should strive to revert this downward trend and aim to consume more cabbage because this cruciferous vegetable offers a wide variety of health benefits.
HERE ARE THE BENEFITS OF CABBAGE
Cabbage Benefit #1: Weight Loss
Cabbage contains tons of fiber and magnesium, which are highly conducive to enhanced digestion. Moreover, it has a very low caloric value, around 25 cal per 100 grams, and contains a lot of water, which makes it perfect for consuming when trying to lose weight.
Cabbage Benefit #2: Reduces Cholesterol
Another important benefit of eating cabbage regularly is that its fiber content, which is close to 40% by weight, can significantly reduce blood levels of bad cholesterol.
Cabbage Benefit #3: Slows Down Aging
Cabbage contains a powerful compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN, which has been observed to reduce aging in a variety of organs by enhancing the energy metabolism of the body.
Cabbage Benefit #4: Boosts Immunity
Eating cabbage regularly can help boost the immune system because it contains large quantities of selenium and glutamine, both essential nutrients linked to immune function.
Cabbage Benefit #5: Relieves Inflammation
Cabbage, especially purple cabbage, is rich in anthocyanins, which are organic compounds with a proven anti-inflammatory effect. Eating cabbage regularly is conducive to lower inflammation in the body and can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
Cabbage Benefit #6: Protects Eyesight
Cabbage contains a ton of compounds essential for healthy eyes, such as retinol, retinoic acid, and beta-carotene.
Cabbage Benefit #7: Enhances Healing
Cabbage is a strong source of Vitamin K, which has been proven to improve clotting and wound healing.
Cabbage Benefit #8: Improves Digestion
Yet another benefit of eating cabbage is that the fiber content helps the process of digestion, which is conducive to having a healthy stomach and intestinal function.
Cabbage Benefit #9: Protects Against Cancer
Cabbage has a compound called sinigrin, the same compound responsible for mustard’s pungent taste, which has been shown to have anti-proliferative and anti-cancer properties on patients with prostate, colon, and bladder cancer.
Cabbage Benefit #10: Anti-hypertensive
Cabbage contains tons of potassium, an essential mineral for proper heart function and which helps to regulate blood pressure.
If you want to enjoy these benefits but balk at the idea of eating boiled cabbage, I suggest you give these three recipes a try: