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Red and White Cabbage Helps Immunity and Heart Health

Cabbage is a vegetable that belongs to the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and radish family. It is a widely consumed food and is easily found in open markets and supermarkets in Brazil. The most common types are red and white cabbage, which can have smooth or curly leaves. However, the main difference between them is the presence of anthocyanin. This substance gives color to red cabbage and is a natural antioxidant pigment that acts against free radicals.

On the other hand, white cabbage has a more significant amount of vitamin A, helping with the vision and vitality of hair and skin. In 100 g of raw white cabbage, there is only 20 kcal. In purple, we find 22 kcal in the same amount. Therefore, both are considered low-calorie foods. They are also essential nutrients for the body, such as manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C. According to experts consulted by VivaBem, the ideal is to mix consumption between the two types to enjoy the benefits that both offer for health.

Here are eight benefits of vegetables and tips to include in your diet.

1. Decrease inflammation

Cabbage controls the body's inflammatory process, as it contains some antioxidants, especially when consumed raw. A survey of more than a thousand women found that those who ate more cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage had less inflammation.

2. Provides vitamin C

Both red and white cabbage are sources of vitamin C. In 100 g of raw white cabbage, we have 22 mg; purple is the best: in the same amount, there is 29 mg of vitamin C. Therefore, both contribute to immunity, improve the appearance of the skin and help to reduce the risk of anemia, since the antioxidant contributes to the absorption of non-heme iron, which is found in vegetables.

3. Controls blood pressure

Potassium is a mineral that controls high blood pressure by neutralizing the effects of sodium in the body through urine. Also, it relaxes blood vessel walls, which lowers blood pressure. In 100 g of raw red cabbage, there is 220 mg of potassium; in the same amount of white cabbage, we have 208 mg.

4. Lowers cholesterol

Cabbage contributes to controlling cholesterol considered "bad," or LDL, by having fibers and substances known as phytosterols. Therefore, regular consumption is beneficial for those who have the problem.

5. Good for the heart

By controlling blood pressure and "bad" cholesterol, cabbage can be good for your heart health. That's because both conditions are considered risk factors for cardiovascular problems. In addition, red cabbage contains anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant often associated with reducing heart disease.

6. Contributes to bone health

Cabbage strengthens bones by containing calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as having significant amounts of phosphorus and vitamin K. Therefore; regular consumption can help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, a health condition that weakens bones and makes them weaker. Susceptible to fractures.

7. It's good for the vision

Vegetables are a source of vitamin A, an antioxidant that protects the eye's surface and contributes to its functioning. Therefore, including cabbage in the diet prevents eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. In 100 g of raw red cabbage, there is 43 mcg of vitamin A; in the same amount of white cabbage, we have 100 mcg.

Benefit understudy

Some research highlights that red cabbage prevents some types of cancer, such as breast and colon, by containing antioxidants. Studies suggest that sulforaphane found in food and other cruciferous vegetables inhibits the growth of cancer cells. However, more research on humans needs to be carried out to prove the benefit. In addition, it is noteworthy that no food alone can prevent cancer.

Know how to buy and store

When buying, choose the cabbage that has the leaves preserved, without cuts, holes, stains, and well joined. If they are too loose, it is a sign that the cabbage is old. The vegetable needs to be firm and dense. When it is soft to the touch or withered, it indicates that it is past the point. Cabbage is also found chopped and packaged. In these cases, it is worth keeping an eye on the refrigeration of the place, the expiration date, the appearance and smell of the food. Cabbage usually lasts a long time in the refrigerator. The ideal is to keep it whole without chopping to maintain its durability. When using only half of the cabbage, to avoid waste, wrap what is leftover with plastic wrap or store it refrigerated in a closed, air-free plastic bag.

Contraindications and adequate amount

It is considered a safe food for most people. However, in excess, it increases gases, as it contains a lot of sulfur in its composition. Breastfeeding women should avoid the consumption of cabbage as it can cause colic in the baby. There is no specific recommendation for the proper amount. The ideal is to consume it regularly daily, along with other vegetables.

How to consume?

Cabbage is a highly versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in various recipes. Among them, there is sauerkraut, a German dish that uses chopped and fermented cabbage. There is also a cigar, a preparation of Arab cuisine made with ground beef and cabbage leaves. When preparing the cabbage, the ideal is to cook until the leaves are soft. Leaving it too long for cooking alters the flavor and diminishes the nutritional properties of the food. Whenever possible, steam it.

Sources: Andrea Pereira, clinical nutrition support physician at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein; Marcella Garcez, director of Brazilian Association of Clinical Nutrition; Ana Sandra Viana Zimichut, nutritionist at the São Camilo Hospital Network (SP); Brenda Dara Pessoa Pereira, nutritionist at AmorSaúde, a network of partner clinics of the Cartão de TODOS in Castanhal (Pará). Reference: TBCA (Brazilian Table of Food Composition).


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