Cabbage, along with other vegetables from the cruciferous family, may be among the best foods for cancer prevention and survival, particularly prostate and breast cancer. It is uniquely rich in glucosinolates and high in antioxidants. Cruciferous vegetables also contain a phytonutrient that boosts immune function by stimulating the Ah receptor in our intestines. The bile-binding properties of cabbage are enhanced by steaming. On the other hand, the cabbage enzymes that produce sulforaphane – which may protect our brain, eyesight, and help us defend ourselves against free radicals and cancer – are deactivated by cooking. Adding the enzymes back in the form of mustard powder to cooked cruciferous vegetables can compensate for the deactivation. While cabbage naturally contains several sulfur containing compounds, studies did not show an increased risk of inflammatory bowel diseases (unlike sulfur-rich animal proteins).
Purple cabbage contains anthocyanins, a phytonutrient found in blue/black/purple-pigmented produce that appear to protect against macular degeneration. Furthermore, it is the cheapest source of antioxidants in terms of nutrient content per dollar. You can even test the acidity of your urine using purple cabbage!
Topic summary contributed by Selena.