Cabbage (comprising several cultivars of Brassica oleracea) is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. It is descended from the wild cabbage (B. oleracea var. oleracea), and belongs to the “Cole crops” or Brassicas, meaning it is closely related to broccoli and cauliflower (var. botrytis); Brussels sprouts (var. gemmifera); and savory cabbage (var. sabaula).
Species Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group Capitata Group
Origin Europe, prior to 1000 BC
Cultivar group White cabbage, Red cabbage
Members Savoy cabbage
Cabbage weights generally range from 500 to 1,000 grams (1 to 2 lb). Smooth-leafed, firm-headed green cabbages and crinkled-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors being more rare. Under conditions of long sunny days, such as those found at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow quite large. As of 2012, the heaviest cabbage was was 62.71 kilograms (138.25 lb). Cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plant’s life cycle, but plants intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year and must be kept separate from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollination. Cabbage is prone to several nutrient deficiencies, as well as to multiple pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases.
Cabbage was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century AD. By the middle Ages, cabbage had become a prominent part of European cuisine. They can be prepared many different ways for eating; they can pickled, fermented (for dishes such as sauerkraut), steamed, stewed, sauteed, braised, or eaten raw. Cabbage is a good source of vitamin K vitamin C and dietary fiber. World production of cabbage and other Brassica for 2017 was 71 million tonnes, with China accounting for 47% of the world total.
Cabbage juice is loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins C and K, and drinking it is linked to many purported benefits, including weight loss, improved gut health, decreased inflammation balanced hormones, and body detoxification.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING CABBAGE JUICE
While a lot research supports the health benefits of whole vegetables like cabbage, few studies have investigated the effects of consuming vegetables in juice form.
Some research suggests that there are benefits to drinking cabbage juice. Still, most studies have been conducted in animals, additional research is needed, specially in humans.
■ HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Cabbage juice is high in antioxidants, which are substances that help reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. An accumulation of free radicals in your body may lead to inflammation and disease.
Cabbage is particularly high in vitamin C, a nutrient that plays many important roles in your body. Vitamin C supports immune health and also acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Red cabbage is packed with anthocyanins. These plant pigments give red cabbage its reddish-purple color and have powerful antioxidants properties. Anthocyanins-rich diets offer many benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
Additionally, some antioxidants found in cabbage juice may have anticancer properties. A test-tube study found that cabbage juice induced cell death in human breast cancer cells. This effect was attributed to the concentration of antioxidants called indoles in the juice.
■ CAN HELP COMBAT INFLAMMATION
Cabbage juice contains many compounds that may help combat inflammation.
Although short-term inflammation is a positive response to acute stress, long-term inflammation can be harmful and lead to illness. Thus, it’s important to limit long-term inflammation as much as possible.
Cabbage contains many anti-inflammatory compounds. These include sulforaphane, a sulfur compound found in many Brassica vegetables, and kaempferol, a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects.
One test-tube study showed that red cabbage juice had anti-inflammatory effects in spleen cells.
Another study looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of cabbage juice extract on skin health. In a group of mice with contract dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition, topically applied cabbage extract ointment significantly reduced inflammation.
■ MAY BENEFIT GUT HEALTH
Drinking cabbage juice may help prevent and treat stomach ulcers.
In fact, cabbage juice has been used as a traditional remedy for stomach ulcers, with some dated research suggesting that it may be an effective treatment.
Although current human research is limited, recent animal studies have shown that cabbage juice may help heal stomach ulcers.
A study in rats found that cabbage extract significantly improved the healing of stomach ulcers and inhibited ulcer formation.
However, current human research of the effects of cabbage juice on stomach ulcers is limited.
Fermented versions of cabbage juice may also benefit gut health. The juice that results from making sauerkraut, a type of fermented cabbage, is high in lactic acid bacteria. These probiotics are acknowledged for their gut health benefits.
Other potential health benefits of drinking cabbage juice include the following:
● Potential anticancer effects.
Cabbage juice may help protect against certain cancers. In fact, consuming 5 or more serving of cruciferous vegetables weekly is linked to a 33% reduced risk of lymphoma in women.
● May benefits heart health. In one study, people who consumed juice containing cabbage had lower cholesterol than the control group. Other studies link the intake of cruciferous vegetables to a reduced risk of heart disease.
● May help you absorb certain nutrients. Cabbage contains beta-carotene, a precursors to vitamin A. Studies show drinking its juice results in better absorption of beta carotene, compared with eating whole Cabbage.
● Can be more convenient than raw cabbage. Due to the difference in volume, it’s easier to consume a lot of cabbage in juice form, compared with eating it raw. Plus, juices are simple to take on the go.
Cabbage juice may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and gut-health-promoting properties. However, more research is needed to further understand it’s health benefits.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS
Although drinking cabbage juice likely offers several benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.
HIGH AMOUNTS MAY AFFECT THE THYROID
Some evidence suggests that consuming cabbage in high amounts may affect your thyroid.
Substances called goitrogens in cabbage can inhibit iodine transport to the thyroid, a process necessary for normal thyroid functions.
In fact, a few studies have noted a correlation between cruciferous vegetables intake and the risk of thyroid cancer, although the results were somewhat inconclusive.
Furthermore, goitrogens are found in higher amounts in raw cabbage, so those with thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism, may choose to avoid consuming cabbage juice.
However, a significant amount of research on cruciferous vegetables and disease prevention suggests that the benefits may outweigh the potential risk.
CERTAIN NUTRIENTS CAN INTERACT WITH MEDICATION
Some nutrients in cabbage juice have been shown to interact with certain medications.
Cabbage is high in vitamin K, which can affect the ability of blood thinners like warfarin to prevent blood clot. It’s typically advised to maintain a consistent vitamin K intake while on the medication.
If you are taking a blood thinner, it may be best to avoid adding cabbage juice to your diet. However, if you decide otherwise, consult your Healthcare provider before adding it to your regimen.