Cabbage is a vegetable that flourishes when grown almost anywhere in the world and is rich in nutrients. For this reason, cabbage is a staple food in many underdeveloped countries and isused similar to the way rice is used. While cabbage is not popular in the United States, except in cole slaw, cabbage should be given more attention by people who want to achieve a healthy diet. It must be mentioned tha while cabbage is healthy, the other ingredients of cole slaw turn it into an unhealthy food, especially because of the trans fats used in mayonaise. There are a wide variety of common nutrients found in cabbage along with some rather unique substances that makes cabbage worth including on your weekly shopping list. While full of vitamins and minerals, cabbage like most vegetables, has no fat and only about 15 calories for a generous serving.
Cabbage is loaded with vitamin A. While carrots get top honors for providing this vitamin, there are many fruits and vegetables including cabbage that have noteworthy levels. Vitamin A is an important vitamin as it is required for proper vision, especially nighttime vision. Vitamin A is also necessary for proper skin health.
Cabbage contains large amounts of vitamin C, almost rivaling most citris fruits. Because of this, and the relatively long shelf life of fresh cabbage, cabbage has long been a source of vitamin C for sailors. Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease that results in severe damage to the lips and gums. Vitamin C is also an important metabolic vitamin that is necassy for proper health and energy production. Vitamin C is also on of the bodies strongest antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that protect the body against cancer and heart disease.
Vitamin B is also found in large quantities in cabbage. Vitamin B is mainly used for energy production, but is also important for the nervous system. Along with vitamin A and C, the amount of vitamin B found in cabbage is as high as any other natural food, and this should be included as part of a healthy diet.
Cabbage also contains high amount of iron and smaller, but sufficient amounts of other minerals. Iron is vital to red blood cell formation and health and is a useful mineral in the prevention of anemia.
Indoles are a class of chemicals found naturally in cabbage, and the compounds that give cabbage a bad name and odor. However, Indoles are precursor compounds for neurotransmitters that the body uses to communicate. While indoles in the body are poorly understood, their is ample speculation that these compounds can increase mental activity and are beneficial for the health of the nervous system.