White Cabbage And Its Healing Power

White cabbage is clearly both: food and medicine. As food, it provides nutrients and vital substances, such as medicine, and healing substances. Of course, white cabbage can also regulate blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and weight. But its specialty is the gastrointestinal tract. If there are ulcers here, the white cabbage often heals them within a few weeks. Since white cabbage has a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, it can also be used to prevent cancer and can be used to treat almost all chronic inflammatory diseases.

White Cabbage – Round, green and aromatic

White cabbage is a large, round cabbage with imposing dark green leaves that firmly enclose the cabbage head.

The inner leaves are light green, if not almost white. Because the sun only reaches the outer leaves and can only lead to the formation of leaf green (chlorophyll) here.

As an inexpensive vegetable that can be stored well, white cabbage is available almost everywhere in the world – and all year round. However, it tastes and works particularly well in its main harvest time, late autumn, or in the winter months well into March.

White cabbage is one of the cruciferous plants – just like other types of cabbage and is therefore closely related to kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, and of course red cabbage, but also to mustard, rocket, cress, and many other cruciferous plants. You can recognize this plant family – if you should find them flowering – by their four petals arranged in a cross shape.

Can you lose weight with cabbage soup?

The cabbage soup diet is a famous method that is said to help you achieve your dream figure in no time. You should be able to lose up to 8 kilograms in just a few days. The diet is not particularly enjoyable. Because ideally, you eat cabbage soup all day long – even for breakfast.

Panacea white cabbage

If you look at the history of white cabbage, it was an extremely important vegetable for our ancestors, which – mostly in the form of sauerkraut – not only helped through many a barren winter but was also a first-class panacea.

For example, the leaves were used externally for dressings and poultices, and the raw juice of the cabbage was drunk for internal ailments, especially those in the gastrointestinal tract.

But cooked cabbage also has amazing healing effects, yes, it is said to work even better than the raw version for some indications – which applies, for example, to lowering cholesterol:

White cabbage lowers cholesterol levels

If the white cabbage is boiled or steamed, the special white cabbage roughage in the intestine can bind better to the bile acids, which in turn are loaded with cholesterol.

Bile acids and cholesterol, which are now bound to dietary fiber, can easily be excreted with the stool. The cholesterol level goes down.

But now the liver has to produce new bile acids again, and for this, it needs cholesterol, which it takes from its own stores. Cholesterol levels continue to drop.

Of course, the cholesterol level also drops with the help of raw white cabbage – e.g. B. in the form of finely shaved cabbage salad – just not as strong as the steamed version.

However, the cholesterol-lowering effect is just a nice side effect of regular cabbage consumption. The specialty of white cabbage, on the other hand, is cancer prevention and cancer therapy.

White cabbage against cancer

More than 475 convincing studies have already shown the anti-cancer effects of white cabbage (and other cabbage vegetables). Here you will find a small selection:

White cabbage has at least three properties, all of which make it a fantastic cancer therapeutic agent:

White cabbage is rich in antioxidants.

Half a cup of white cabbage contains 50 mg of polyphenols. This richness in antioxidants is one of the main reasons for the good anti-cancer effect of white cabbage.

Without antioxidants, the organism suffers from oxidative stress. This describes the harmful effects of free radicals, which attack cell walls and inner cell structures.

If oxidative stress becomes chronic, it represents an important risk factor for the development of cancer.

Only antioxidants can block free radicals and thus oxidative stress, protect the body from damage and ultimately from cellular malignancy.

White cabbage has a strong anti-inflammatory effect

Chronic inflammation, together with oxidative stress, is often at the origin of chronic diseases, including cancer.

The antioxidant substances in white cabbage described not only have an antioxidant effect but also have a strong anti-inflammatory effect.

Cabbage is extremely rich in cancer-fighting glucosinolates

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of white cabbage are already extremely effective in preventing and fighting cancer.

However, the anti-cancer effect of white cabbage is additionally increased with the help of its glucosinolates (= mustard oil glycosides). This is a group of secondary plant substances consisting of sulfur-containing compounds.

For example, they support the body’s own detoxification abilities and in this way ensure a lower toxin load in the individual cells and thus a lower susceptibility to cancer.

We have already described in detail elsewhere the main anti-cancer effect of glucosinolates. At that time it was about the mustard oil glycoside indole-3-carbinol contained in cabbage plants, from which the substance DIM (diindolylmethane) is formed during the digestion process, which in turn can now have great healing effects.

For example, DIM inhibits cancer growth and at the same time regulates the hormone balance, which is why it is recommended to accompany cancer therapies (for hormone-dependent types of cancer), but also for menopausal symptoms.

In addition to indole-3-carbinol, white cabbage also contains glucosinolate sinigrin, which is also considered a powerful cancer fighter. In the organism, sinigrin is converted into what is known as AITC (allyl isothiocyanate), which has shown a unique cancer-preventing effect – particularly in relation to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

Another cabbage glucosinolate (glucoraphanin) produces the well-known sulforaphane – an isothiocyanate whose anti-cancer and anti-arthritis effects we have already described in detail.

Anti-cancer effect not with boiled cabbage

However, white cabbage does not always contain glucosinolates or isothiocyanates. If the cabbage is cooked thoroughly, the amount of secondary plant substances is extremely reduced and the desired effect is not achieved.

Cabbage dishes should also not be prepared in the microwave if you want to benefit from the health properties of glucosinolates.

Research has shown that just two minutes in the microwave destroys the same amount of myrosinase as steaming for seven minutes. Myrosinase is an enzyme that converts the glucosinolates in cabbage into active cancer-fighting compounds (such as isothiocyanates.

However, since we need the highest possible myrosinase activity for the anti-cancer effect, a myrosinase-friendly preparation method should of course also be chosen.

Raw cabbage recipes and only briefly heated cabbage are the solution here. Instructions on how to prepare cabbage correctly can be found below under “The healthiest way to prepare white cabbage”.

If the taste of the white cabbage sometimes seems a bit bitter to you, this is not only normal but also a very good sign:

Bitter substances in cabbage are desirable

The bitter substances in white cabbage are precisely those substances that help against cancer and ulcers: glucosinolates.

In order to preserve the maximum of ingredients and taste when preparing the cabbage, it is best to use the healthy sauté method described below.

White cabbage against gastric and duodenal ulcers

White cabbage is particularly famous as a remedy for gastric and duodenal ulcers. In traditional naturopathy, raw, i.e. freshly pressed, white cabbage juice is usually used.

Here too, it is most likely the glucosinolates or the isothiocyanates produced from them that lead to the end of the gastric ulcer. The glucosinolates are supported by the antioxidant polyphenols and the glutamine content in cabbage, which is quite high for plant-based food.

Glutamine is an amino acid that protects and repairs the lining of the digestive tract.

Glutamine can also be taken temporarily as a dietary supplement for gastric and intestinal ulcers. For this purpose, some naturopaths recommend taking 8000 mg of glutamine daily for four weeks.

The anti-inflammatory isothiocyanates also regulate the gastric and intestinal flora and thus prevent a pathological overpopulation of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that is now held responsible for the development of most gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Eat white cabbage – and the ulcer is gone after three weeks

One of the first scientific studies to show the almost unbelievable healing effects of white cabbage on ulcers in the digestive system dates back to the 1950s.

At that time, the San Quentin prison in California was conducting a placebo-controlled study on prisoners suffering from duodenal ulcers.

The prisoners received a cabbage extract every day for three weeks, which roughly corresponded to the amount of 1 liter of white cabbage juice.

A whopping 93 percent of the prisoners who received the cabbage extract were cured after three weeks. In the placebo group, the ulcers healed in only 32 percent of the prisoners.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association dates from the same period.

It reports that fresh cabbage and cabbage juice contain large amounts of substances that can protect against stomach ulcers. Here, too, it is emphasized that these substances are extremely sensitive to heat and that cabbage is therefore best eaten raw.

In this study, 65 patients with a stomach ulcer were given about a liter of cabbage juice daily. Apart from that, however, they subsisted only on cooked food. The patients had to remain on bed rest but received no additional medication apart from the cabbage juice.

After just 2 to 5 days, most of the study participants experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms.

dr Garnett Cheney of the Stanford University School of Medicine and leader of the above study stated that the juice can heal ulcers better and faster than conventional treatments.

Cheney called the antitumor substances in cabbage vitamin U. Today we know that he most likely meant SMM (S-methyl methionine). Sometimes the substance is also called Cabagin or Ascorbigen. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and at the same time protects the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines and is significantly involved in the ulcer-dissolving effect of white cabbage and other cabbage vegetables.

If you are considering cabbage juice therapy, be sure to drink the juice very slowly, in small sips, throughout the day. Cabbage juice has a very extreme taste and can possibly lead to nausea if it is drunk too quickly, which of course makes the juice cleanse difficult to carry out.

Of course, the combination of active ingredients in cabbage can not only help with gastrointestinal ulcers. Cabbage is also effective for mild gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn or irritation of the gastric mucosa. At the same time, white cabbage has a deterrent effect on intestinal parasites.

It is therefore extremely worthwhile to regularly enjoy white cabbage meals.

White cabbage: How to choose the best cabbage when buying

It would be ideal if the cabbage still had its dark green leaves, which guarantee the highest possible freshness.

If these leaves are missing, then they are most likely stored goods, which of course is quite normal at some point during the winter.

But here, too, the binders should be as green as possible. If the cabbages are very white, it can be assumed that the outer withered leaf layer has been removed again and again and that in this way one has penetrated further and further into the interior.

A fresh interface doesn’t mean anything. Because just when the outer leaves are removed again and again to give the cabbage a fresh appearance, the stalk base is of course trimmed again and again.

Make sure that the cabbage has no scratches or even black spots that could indicate mold growth.

If there are signs of worm damage on the outer leaves (ducts in the leaf and small black crumbs of droppings), then it can be assumed that the caterpillar was or is still up to mischief in the head itself.

You should only buy cut-up cabbage if the cabbage will be cut up in your presence, i.e. the cabbage has not been cut up and packed days in advance.

It is best not to buy pre-planned cabbage salad at all because when it is cut so finely, oxygen and light have too many surfaces to attack and the vital substances and active ingredients are quickly damaged and reduced in quantity.

Once you have your cabbage at home, wrap it in a plastic bag or cling film (the cabbage will quickly wilt and become unsightly in paper) and place it in the fridge. It can be stored there for up to two weeks.

If you’re only using part of your cabbage, wrap plastic wrap around the cut surfaces, repack the cabbage, and place it back in the fridge. When reusing, you can cut the cut surface thin and compost.

White cabbage tips for preparation

Since white cabbage has grown very close, it usually does not have to be washed very carefully – especially not if you know where it comes from (organic and regional).

Of course, if you notice signs of maggot infestation, then you should rinse the individual leaves well.

It is also often recommended to place the infested cabbage in salt water or vinegar water for 15 to 20 minutes, but this is really only necessary if the insect infestation is very severe. Ultimately, the vegetables are also leached out to a certain extent, which would then be accompanied by an undesirable loss of vital substances.

It would be optimal to prepare the white cabbage immediately before consumption.

However, there is nothing wrong with leaving the cabbage for a few minutes after slicing/slicing and before steaming (5 to 10 minutes). Myrosinase activity is only activated when the cell walls have been broken open by cutting and slicing. The enzyme can now convert the glucosinolates into isothiocyanates, which have cancer effects.

If you want to slice the cabbage, first cut it into quarters and remove the stalk. Now you can cut the cabbage into fine strips – either with a knife, a cabbage slicer, or a food processor with a suitable insert.

The healthiest way to prepare white cabbage

The healthiest way to prepare white cabbage is probably the raw version.

However, if you want to cook the cabbage, you can use the healthy sauté method mentioned above. This method ensures full taste and the highest possible nutrient and vital substance content:

  • To do this, first heat 5 tablespoons of vegetable stock or water in a high pan or saucepan.
  • As soon as small bubbles appear, add the shaved or finely chopped cabbage.
  • Cover the pan or saucepan and let the cabbage simmer over medium heat for exactly 5 minutes.
  • Now switch off the stove and let the vegetables stand for another 2 minutes before you season them to taste, e.g. B. in the following way:

How Much White Cabbage Should You Eat?

Of course, you can basically eat as much or as little white cabbage as you want and like.

However, if you want to enjoy the healing and nutritional effects typical of white cabbage, you must eat a certain amount of white cabbage.

So how much cabbage should one eat per day or week to protect against cancer or to heal ulcers and indigestion?

How much white cabbage is for prevention?

It would be good if you would eat a portion of white cabbage (or white cabbage alternating with other cabbage vegetables) at least 2 to 3 times a week for preventive purposes.

However, it would be even better if you would eat 2 cups of white cabbage 4 to 5 times a week.

For example, in a University of New Mexico study, women who ate cabbage just once a week had a significantly higher risk of breast cancer than women who ate a raw or lightly steamed cabbage dish 4 times a week (and more) — according to to study leader Dr. Dorothy R Pathak.

The risk of developing breast cancer was 72 percent lower among the cabbage lovers than the other women.

How much white cabbage is for therapy?

If you want to take the white cabbage as a cure (e.g. to treat ulcers) in the form of juice, then you should drink a cup (240 ml, i.e. a total of 1 liter per day) of white cabbage juice four times a day – for at least three weeks.

A glass with 150 ml of cabbage juice per day can help prevent an ulcer from forming in the first place.

To improve the taste, cabbage juice can be mixed with carrot juice. In this case, add the same amount of carrot juice to the 150 or 240 ml of cabbage juice.

The combination of cabbage juice, carrot juice, and potato juice is also highly recommended for ulcers in the digestive system. If this juice mixture is drunk, gout and rheumatism will disappear sooner or later.

If you want to eat the cabbage steamed, it tastes very delicious if you prepare it with celery and potatoes and season it with ginger, turmeric, and black pepper depending on the season. Then you supply yourself with several substances, all of which are effective against ulcers.

Conclusion: In some cases, eating cabbage once a week may be enough to show a preventive effect. However, it is much better to eat cabbage or drink cabbage juice as often as possible and therefore ideally every day – especially if you are already ill.

It is best to eat different cabbage vegetables alternately

Of course, white cabbage is not the only type of cabbage with glucosinolates and other valuable substances. On the contrary: in every type of cabbage – it was found – other glucosinolates predominate.

The very best thing would therefore be to eat a varied diet of all available types of cabbage in order to enjoy as many glucosinolates as possible and their positive effects: E.g. white cabbage today, red cabbage tomorrow, broccoli the day after tomorrow, cauliflower on the fourth day, etc.

But what is the saying in conventional medicine? No effect without side effects. Does this also apply to white cabbage? Can excessive white cabbage consumption possibly lead to harmful side effects?

Does white cabbage have unwanted side effects?

White cabbage is sometimes included in the group of so-called goitrogenic foods. Goitrogens are substances that can negatively affect the thyroid.

They block the absorption of iodine or the conversion of iodine that takes place in the body into an iodine form that can be used by the organism. Such an effect would then naturally produce iodine deficiency and sooner or later hypothyroidism.

Onions, cassava, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, pearl millet, and also cruciferous plants are said to have a goitrogenic effect, including cabbage, but here in particular Brussels sprouts, mustard and rapeseed.

The other cabbage vegetables and white cabbage only supply small amounts of goitrogens.

But we now know that the thyroid-damaging effect only occurs if one – e.g. B. during a famine or in captivity – gets nothing to eat but cabbage.

However, as soon as you eat plenty of other foods and also enough iodine, you can eat white cabbage ’til you drop, every day. You won’t get a goiter no matter how hard you try.

This shows once again that we should finally stop dividing substances contained in natural foods into good and bad. They all have their right to exist and help us to maintain our health – of course only if we eat a healthy, varied, and balanced diet overall.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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