Foods with super-healing powers: Cabbage
Cabbage is a powerhouse source of vitamins K and C. Just one cup supplies 91 percent of the recommended daily amount for vitamin K, 50 percent of vitamin C, good amounts of fiber, and decent scores of manganese, vitamin B6, folate, and more -- and it'll only cost you about 33 calories. Calorie for calorie, cabbage offers 11 percent more vitamin C than oranges.
Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidant sulforaphanes that not only fight free radicals before they damage DNA but also stimulate enzymes that detoxify carcinogens in the body. Researchers believe this one-two approach may contribute to the apparent ability of cruciferous vegetables to reduce the risk of cancer more effectively than any other plant food group. Numerous studies point to a strong association between diets high in cruciferous vegetables and a low incidence of lung, colon, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancers.
Cabbage builds strong bones, dampens allergic reactions, reduces inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health. Cabbage is routinely juiced as a natural remedy for healing peptic ulcers due to its high glutamine content. It also provides significant cardiovascular benefit by preventing plaque formation in the blood vessels. In Chinese medicine, cabbage is used to treat constipation, the common cold, whooping cough, depression and irritability, and stomach ulcers. When eaten and used as a poultice, as a dual treatment, cabbage is helpful for healing bedsores, varicose veins, and arthritis.
How much: The more cabbage you can include in your diet, the better. A study of Polish women found that those who ate at least four servings of cabbage per week as adolescents were 72 percent less likely to develop breast cancer later in life than their peers who consumed only one weekly serving or less.
Try raw sauerkraut. It has all the health properties of cabbage, plus some potent probiotics, which are excellent for digestive health.
Use the whole cabbage; the outer leaves contain a third more calcium than the inner leaves.
Both are nutritional stars, but red cabbages are far superior to the white variety, with about seven times more vitamin C and more than four times the polyphenols, which protect cells from oxidative stress and cancer.