Cabbage is a product of the Asian continent. European travelers brought it out from there and it has been used ever since. As with other plants and vegetables, it was revered for its medicinal qualities, like drinking the juice to heal stomach ulcers.
You might not want to drink cabbage juice or cabbage water, but you can get health benefits by just eating it. Cabbage is usually eaten boiled, either whole or chopped up. In coleslaw, it is sliced and raw. Eating it boiled helps you to avoid added sugars and fat that can be found in coleslaw dressings.
If you are looking for vitamin C, you can count on cabbage. We eat fruits as the primary source of this vitamin but there is a lot found in this vegetable. Other nutrients include manganese, magnesium, calcium and protein.
Cabbage has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers when eaten regularly. This is also true of other cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Phytochemical compounds in cabbage can protect against prostate, bladder and gastrointestinal cancers. It can also lower the risk of breast cancer. For those with cancer, it is believed to slow the growth of metastatic tumors, especially in the case of breast cancer.
Some cancers are thought to be aided by the presence of free radicals in the body. Nutrients found in cabbage can increase the antioxidant defenses in the body to neutralize free radicals. They also help the body to remove the deadly toxins that can lead to aging and cellular breakdown.
Ever had an ulcer? They are not fun and can be life-threatening under certain circumstances. An amino acid found in cabbage, glutamine, has been shown to fight back against ulcers - even being used in their treatment. Patients are given cabbage juice as a remedy.
This same amino acid also shows immune system properties. It helps reduce inflammation in the body and also helps with secretion of human growth hormone.