Cabbage is low in calories and healthy. The right preparation makes varieties such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, and pointed cabbage easily digestible.
Cabbage contains plenty of fiber, vitamin C (especially in kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts), B vitamins, beta-carotene, and folic acid, as well as minerals such as potassium and calcium, trace elements such as iron and phytochemicals such as mustard oil glycosides (glucosinolates).
Nutrients in all cabbage varieties
Kale has the highest content of particularly valuable protein and is the second strongest supplier of provitamin A after carrots. The ingredients of white cabbage and red cabbage are almost identical.
These nutrients are found in practically all types of cabbage:
- Provitamin A (beta carotene) for the eyes
- Vitamins B1 and B6 for the nerves
- Vitamin B2 for metabolism and the lens of the eye
- Vitamin C for the immune system (twice as much as lemons)
- Folic acid for numerous metabolic processes and growth
- Vitamin E for cell protection
- Vitamin K for blood clotting, cell growth, and bone metabolism
- Protein – more than in any other vegetable (4 grams per 100 grams for kale) and particularly high quality
- Calcium for bones, muscles, and nerves (twice as much as in milk)
- Magnesium for bones and muscles
- Iron – is important for the transport of oxygen in the blood
- Flavonoids protect against inflammation, thrombosis, and high blood pressure
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) protects nerves and blood vessels from inflammation
- Fiber promotes digestion, regulates cholesterol levels, saturates and nourishes the intestinal flora
Broccoli: Calcium, Iron and Copper
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables. It is particularly rich in vitamins C, K, and beta-carotene. Unlike most other vegetables, broccoli provides significant amounts of calcium, iron, and copper. Of all types of cabbage, broccoli contains the most mustard oil glycosides. Broccoli sprouts have an even higher content of valuable secondary plant substances than adult plants. They are said to be effective against respiratory and intestinal diseases, diabetes, various types of cancer, and the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori.
Avoid Brussels sprouts if you have gout
Brussels sprouts contain particularly high amounts of anti-inflammatory mustard oil glycosides, as well as cholesterol-lowering and digestive bitter substances, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, fluorine, magnesium, and zinc. However, those who suffer from gout should avoid Brussels sprouts, as they also have a high purine content.
Lots of vitamin C in cabbage and pointed cabbage
White cabbage and pointed cabbage also have few calories but a lot of vitamin C. Just 100 grams cover the daily vitamin C requirement. For this reason, white cabbage, processed into sauerkraut, was stored for long sea voyages in the Middle Ages and consumed for months to protect seafarers from scurvy. In addition, cabbage and pointed cabbage are rich in B vitamins, beta-carotene, potassium, and antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals.
Both are more digestible when cooked than raw:
- White cabbage can be very heavy on the stomach and cause abdominal pain, especially if you eat too much of it raw. However, it is very suitable for cooking and frying. Vitamin C is lost through cooking, but the minerals and trace elements are retained.
- Pointed cabbage is a bit more digestible because it contains less flatulent substances. But it also becomes easier on the stomach if you at least blanch it. Studies have shown that the roughage in cooked pieces of cabbage absorbs significantly more bile acid and cholesterol than leaves that are chewed raw.
The use of cumin and other spices can protect against flatulence from cabbage.