Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, watercress, bok choy, arugula, radishes (including horseradish), and brussels sprouts, can potentially prevent DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread, activate defenses against pathogens and pollutants, help to prevent lymphoma, boost your liver detox enzymes, target breast cancer stem cells, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression. The component responsible for these benefits is thought to be sulforaphane, which is formed almost exclusively in cruciferous vegetables.
Beyond being a promising anticancer agent, sulforaphane may also help protect your brain and your eyesight, reduce nasal allergy inflammation, manage type 2 diabetes, and was recently found to successfully help treat autism.
For all these reasons, cruciferous vegetables get their own spot on my Daily Dozen, which recommends at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables and at least two additional servings of other vegetables a day, cruciferous or otherwise.
Indeed, if you were to add only one thing to your diet, consider cruciferous vegetables. Less than a single serving a day of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, or kale may cut the risk of cancer progression by more than half.
Does it matter what kind of cabbage? Colorful foods are often healthier because they contain antioxidant pigments, whether it’s the beta-carotene that makes carrots and sweet potatoes orange, the lycopene antioxidant pigment that makes tomatoes red, or the anthocyanin pigments that make blueberries blue. The colors are the antioxidants. Red cabbage may contain eight times more antioxidants than green, for example. In fact, purple, or red, cabbage provides one of the single best nutritional bangs for your buck, so go for the brightest, deepest colors of cabbage.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Cabbage
All Videos for Cabbage
Evidence-Based Weight Loss – Live Presentation
In his newest live presentation, Dr. Greger offers a sneak peek into his new book How Not to Diet.
How to Cook Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. What’s the best way to prepare them?
Best Brain Foods: Berries & Nuts Put to the Test
Randomized controlled studies put nuts, berries, and grape juice to the test for cognitive function.
Benefits of Cabbage Leaves for Relief of Engorged Breasts
Cabbage is put to the test in a randomized controlled trial.
Benefits of Cabbage Leaves on the Knee for Osteoarthritis
Unbelievably, a randomized controlled trial of cabbage leaf wraps for arthritis was published.
The Benefits of Kale & Cabbage for Cholesterol
Dinosaur kale and red cabbage are put to the test.
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist
In my book How Not to Die I center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine.
Culture Shock – Questioning the Efficacy and Safety of Probiotics
In certain medical conditions, probiotic supplements may actually make things worse.
The Best Diet for Fibroids
The same diet that helps regulate hormones in women may also reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting pollutants.
Fighting Autism Brain Inflammation with Food
One food may be able to combat all four purported causal factors of autism: synaptic dysfunction, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation.
Fever Benefits for Autism in a Food
Dramatic improvements in autistic children when they have a fever suggest that the disease may be reversible if one can replicate the phenomenon in other ways.
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist
In my book How Not to Die, I center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine.