Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cabbage needs to be a regular in your kitchen


Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cabbage needs to be a regular in your kitchen

 

With its high concentrations of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cabbage is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. As a cruciferous veggie, in the same family as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, it also contains glucosinolates, phytochemicals that break down into indoles, sulforaphane and other cancer-preventive substances.

Different types of cabbage (red, green and Savoy) contain different patterns of glucosinolates, which suggests you should try to eat a variety of cabbage for the best health effects. Its variety is another one of cabbage’s pluses — it comes in hundreds of different types and is incredibly versatile. Eaten raw, cabbage is a mainstay of cole slaw and other summer salads. It’s also one of the most popular base vegetables for creating your own homemade sauerkraut.

 

Cooked lightly and quickly, cabbage also makes an excellent side dish to virtually any protein source and can be seasoned in a number of different ways depending on the type of cuisine. You may be tempted to rely on your local grocery store for cabbage, but growing your own is so much more rewarding, both in terms of freshness and flavor. What’s more, growing cabbage is incredibly easy, and if you time your planting right you can expect to harvest it during the summer as well as the late cold-weather season.

Choose the Right Varieties for the Growing Season

Cabbage is one of those vegetables that taste better after a frost. This is because as temperatures drop, the cold causes the plants to break down energy stores into sugar, leading to a sweeter, tastier flavor. Some types of cabbage can even be grown in temperatures as low as 26 degrees F.

Most winter veggies are planted in mid- to late summer so they are strong and ready for when the temperatures drop, and then ripe for harvest in winter or early spring. Timing this depends on how long each plant takes to reach maturity, however, and this is where choosing the proper varieties is key.

While some cabbage plants reach maturity in 90 days, early varieties take just 60 days to reach maturity. Further, you’ll probably want to plant a crop to harvest during the summer months, as well.

 

As Rodale’s Organic Life noted, “Cabbage thrives in cool weather. In most areas, you can plant an early crop for fresh eating and a late crop — usually the more problem free and tastier of the two — primarily for winter storage. Choose early varieties such as ‘Primax’ for summer harvest; midseason and late-season cultivars for storage.” Additional recommended varieties, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, include the following:

  • “If you are planting for a fall harvest, try red or Chinese cabbage. Good varieties include ‘Ruby Perfection’ and ‘Lei-Choy.’
  • For quick harvest time, try ‘Golden Acre,’ ‘Primo’ or ‘Stonehead.’
  • ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’ resists splitting.
  • Disease-resistant varieties include ‘Blue Vantage’ and ‘Cheers.’”

Other considerations in cabbage variety include size, color and texture. With its variety of cool hues and ruffled and crinkled leaves, many people plant cabbage as much for its ornamental appeal as they do for its culinary uses. Some of the more popular varieties to consider include:

Savoy cabbage, which has dark green, crinkled outer leaves Red cabbage, which contains antioxidant anthocyanins that give it its purple color
Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage, matures quickly and has a mild flavor Green cabbage, which comes in a variety of sizes with differing times to maturity
Pointed cabbage, which forms conical heads, helping to protect it from insects Mini cabbages, such as the “Gonzales” variety, which can be harvested when they’re 6 inches in diameter, making them ideal for small gardens

It’s Easy to Start Cabbage From Seed

While you can purchase cabbage plants at most garden centers, it’s easy to grow them yourself from seed. Start seeds indoors eight to 10 weeks before your last frost of the spring for summer harvests, and 12 to 14 weeks before your first fall frost for late varieties. “Place in a sunny spot or under lights with temperatures between 60 degrees and 70 degrees F, and keep the soil uniformly moist. When daytime temperatures reach 50 degrees F and seedlings have three leaves, plant them outdoors,” Rodale’s Organic Life recommends. In addition, they note:

“Plant seedlings in the garden slightly deeper than they grew in flats. Space 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 1 to 2 feet apart. Wide spacings produce bigger heads, but young, small cabbages are tastier. To get both, plant 6 inches apart and harvest every other one before maturity. Stagger plantings at 2-week intervals for a longer harvest. tart your late crop in midsummer, sowing seeds in flats or directly in the garden. Space these seedlings farther apart than the spring crop.”

As for seeds, look for non-GMO, organic seeds or consider saving seeds from your own crop. The latter may be a challenge, as cabbage produces seed in its second year (it’s a biennial crop). This means only areas with mild winters will allow the seedlings to survive through the winter and produce seeds come summer. An alternative is to transfer cabbage plants in a cool place for the purpose of harvesting seeds the next growing season, according to Mother Earth News:

“In colder climates, growers dig cabbage plants and move them to a cool root cellar for winter, burying the plants’ roots in buckets of moist sawdust. The stored heads are trimmed and replanted in early spring.”

Cabbage Planting Tips

A sunny, well-drained spot works best, and healthy soil will help your cabbage plants to thrive. Adding organic compost to your soil is recommended, as is a layer of mulch or wood chips to help lock in moisture. If your cabbage leaves start to yellow, adding compost tea, which is basically the liquid from compost steeped in water, to the soil as an extra feeding may boost plant growth and encourage faster maturation.

Cabbage plants are heavy feeders, meaning they deplete the soil of nutrients relatively quickly. Because of this, it’s best to plant them apart from other heavy feeders like broccoli and cauliflower. In addition, rotate crops each year to discourage diseases. Excess water (including heavy rain) can cause cabbages to split. If you notice a split starting, or expect a heavy rain to hit, use a spade to sever the plant’s roots in one or two spots, or twist the plant, pulling up slightly, to dislodge the roots.

Both methods will slow the plant’s growth, preventing splitting and bolting. If the cabbage does split, don’t worry — it can still be used to make sauerkraut. As for pests, many, including harlequin bugs, slugs, snails and cabbage worms can be removed by hand (be sure to check the undersides of leaves). Damage from cutworms can be prevented by placing a “collar” made from a plastic cup around young seedlings (push it down about 1 inch into the soil). Common diseases to watch out for include the following:

“Black leg, a fungal disease, forms dark spots on leaves and stems. Black rot symptoms include black and foul-smelling veins. Club root prevents water and nutrient absorption. Fusarium wilt, also known as yellows, produces yellow leaves and stunted heads. Remove and destroy plants affected by these diseases. If club root has been a problem in your garden, test soil pH before planting and add ground limestone if needed to raise the pH to at least 6.8.”

Simple Harvest Tips

When the cabbage head is firm to the touch, use a sharp knife to cut it from the stalk. Heads that don’t feel firm are not yet ready for harvest. Smaller cabbage heads will often grow from the stem, provided you leave the outer leaves and roots, so don’t pull it out of the ground yet. If you’re not interested in encouraging a second crop to grow, the loose outer leaves can be tossed into your compost pile or eaten — it’s up to you.

Once the harvest is complete, pull the stem and root from the ground and compost the remainders (as long as the plant is healthy; avoid throwing diseases plants into your compost bin). Store cabbage in your refrigerator for two weeks or in cold storage (32 degrees to 40 degrees F) for five or six months (the latter being perfect for your winter harvest).

If you’re wondering how much cabbage to grow, Mother Earth News recommends about three cabbage plants per person for enjoying fresh and four plants per person (in addition) for storing cabbage to make sauerkraut. Cabbage is best prepared as close to raw as possible, sometimes called tender-crisp, to preserve its many nutrients.

Cabbage can also be juiced and fermented, which will provide your body with healthy amounts of beneficial bacteria and, if certain starter cultures are used, vitamin K2.

Ready to Enjoy? Healthy Cabbage Crunch Salad

There are many reasons to give cabbage a regular appearance at your mealtimes. It contains powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon and prostate cancers. Cabbage also contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check.

Among them are anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol that, as mentioned, is particularly plentiful in red cabbage, although all types of cabbage contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Cabbage also contains healthy amounts of B vitamins, including folate (which is better than the synthetic form known as folic acid found in many supplements), vitamin B6, vitamin B1 and vitamin B5.

B vitamins are not only important for energy, they may also slow brain shrinkage by as much as seven-fold in brain regions specifically known to be most impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

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If you’re looking for a recipe to enjoy your cabbage raw that’s a bit different than typical cole slaw recipes, try this healthy Cabbage Crunch Recipe. With fresh ginger, miso paste and ground sesame, along with both red and green cabbage, it’s packed with both intense flavor and valuable nutrition.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped finely
  • 1/2 head white cabbage, chopped finely
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)

For the Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon gomasio (ground sesame with salt)
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste* (optional)

Procedure

  1. Mix the cabbage with the chopped onions. Add cilantro and jalapeno.
  2. Place all the dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend briefly. Mix into salad mix and serve.

Cabbage Beats Chemo For Cervical Cancer


Cabbage Beats Chemo for Cervical Cancer

Mainstream medicine’s cancer treatments ofradiation and chemotherapy are far from a cure.  In fact, they can make cancer more deadly.  But new research shows some common vegetables may be more effective in battling cancer.

Why?  The answer has to do with cancer stem cells (CSCs) that chemo and radiation can’t touch.

In a study published in the journal Cancer, UCLA researchers showed that radiation actually makes breast cancer cells MORE malignant.[i]  They found that radiation kills about half of the tumor cells treated.

But radiation also transforms other cells into “induced breast cancer stem cells.” Though cancer stem cells make up less than 5 percent of a tumor, they can regenerate the original tumor.  In fact, these new stem cells are up to 30 times more likely to form tumors compared to cancer cells that didn’t get radiation. CSCs can also migrate through blood vessels spreading cancer to secondary locations.

Chemo works the same way.  It kills only the less harmful cancer cells. The cells that are left are more the lethal CSCs that are resistant to traditional treatments.

Now researchers from South Dakota State University have found that a compound in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower may target those cancer stem cells. [ii]  In fact, it may help prevent the recurrence and spread of some cancers.

The compound is called phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC).  When the researchers added PEITC to a Petri dish with human cervical cancer stem cells about 75 percent of the stem cells died within 24 hours.

PEITC is found in cruciferous vegetables.  Studies show it has anti-inflammatory powers.  It’s also been shown to have chemopreventive activity against a range of cancers including colon, prostate, breast, cervical, ovarian, and pancreatic. It’s currently in clinical trials for lung cancer.

The South Dakota researchers found that PEITC slowed the formation of cervical cancer stem cells in a dose-dependent manner. The researchers also found that PEITC significantly reduced the proliferation of both cervical cancer cells and stem cells.  In fact, it worked comparably to salinomycin, a chemo drug, but without the toxic side effects.

In addition, the effects of PEITC were significantly better in abrogating cervical cancer stem cell proliferation than paclitaxel, another toxic chemo drug.

In mice, the researchers also found that PEITC lowered the average number and size of tumors.

The researchers noted that “it is becoming increasingly evident that cancer treatment that fails to eliminate CSCs allows relapse of the tumor.”

They concluded that “importantly, PEITC is anti-proliferative in both [cervical] cancer cells and [cervical cancer stem cells], suggesting that it may contribute to eradication of cancer more efficiently than compounds targeting either CSCs or regular cancer cells alone.”

You don’t have to wait for a new drug to be developed to take advantage of PEITC.  The researchers noted that the concentrations of PEITC they used in their study can be achieved through a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables. They particularly recommended land and watercress.

Prior research published in the British Journal of Nutrition and Biochemical Pharmacology, showed that PEITC from watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development.  A small group of breast cancer survivors ate a bowl of watercress and then had their blood tested over the next 24 hours. The researchers found significant levels of PEITC in the blood following the watercress meal.  Other studies show that eating watercress and broccoli decreases breast cancer risk.

And broccoli has been shown to kill the stem cells that make cancer immortal.

All good reasons to eat more of these healthy veggies.  Cruciferous vegetables were originally named for the way their flowers seemed to form a cross or crucifix shape. But they are also known as “brassica” vegetables.  That comes from their botanical name which translates to “cabbage.”

The most common cruciferous vegetables you’ll find in the supermarket include:

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Watercress

These vegetables have also been found to improve survival rates in ovarian cancer patients.[iii]  They contain another cancer-protective compound called sulforaphane.  This powerful compound improves the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and other toxins.

Other foods found to target cancer stem cells include:

  • Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, can target brain cancer stem cells.[iv]
  • Combining curcumin with piperine, a compound in black pepper, helps prevent breast cancer stem cells from renewing themselves.[v]
  • EGCG, a compound in green tea, stops prostate cancer stem cells from renewing themselves.
  • And combining EGCG with quercetin, a compound found in onions and apples, stops cancer stem cells from migrating and invading other tissues.[vi]

For more information on cancer stem cells read: Are Cancer Stem Cells the Key to Discovering a Cure? and 25 Cancer Stem Cell Killing Foods Smarter Than Chemo & Radiation.

For more information on natural approaches to cervical cancer prevention and/or treatment review: Cervical Cancer databaseLearn more about cancer stem cells on our research page dedicated to the topic: Cancer Stem Cells.


References

[i] Printz, C., “Radiation treatment generates therapy-resistant cancer stem cells from less aggressive breast cancer cells.” Cancer 2012; 118: 3225.

[ii] Dan Wang, Bijaya Upadhyaya, Yi Liu, David Knudsen, Moul Dey. “Phenethyl isothiocyanate upregulates death receptors 4 and 5 and inhibits proliferation in human cancer stem-like cells.” BMC Cancer, 2014; 14 (1): 591 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-591

[iii] Dolecek, Therese A. et al., “Prediagnosis Food Patterns Are Associated with Length of Survival from Epithelial Ovarian Cancer.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association , Volume 110 , Issue 3 , 369 – 382

[iv] Dunne Fong et al “Curcumin inhibits the side population (SP) phenotype of the rat C6 glioma cell line: towards targeting of cancer stem cells with phytochemicals.” Cancer Lett.2010 1;293(1):65-72.

[v] Madhuri Kakarala et al “Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine.” Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Aug ;122(3):777-85.

[vi] Su-Ni Tang, et al “The dietary bioflavonoid quercetin synergizes with epigallocathechin gallate (EGCG) to inhibit prostate cancer stem cell characteristics, invasion, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition.” J Mol Signal. 2010 ;5:14.

PACKS OF CABBAGE THE CURE: This is what will happen if you put them on the chest, legs or neck


Many people love to eat cabbage. But, even if your stomach finds it hard to digest, you should not give up its medicinal properties, as packs of cabbage leaves can do miracles.

If you have any of these problems, just put a few leaves of cabbage on the problematic place and you will solve the trouble.

  • Swelling of the hands and feet

If you have problems with swollen limbs, only wrap the cabbage leaf and secure it with a bandage. It is advisable to sleep with cabbage leaf on it.

Packs of cabbage
Packs of cabbage
  • Thyroid

If you want to maximize the performance of the thyroid gland, put a leaf of cabbage on the area where you wear your scarf. Remove it in the morning.

  • Headaches

Place the cabbage leaf on the sick part of the head and wait for the unbearable headaches to stop.

  • Pain during breastfeeding

Do it also when your chest hurts. Cabbage will alleviate the pain.

  • Pneumonia

If you have a high fever that you are unable to get rid of it with drugs, cover the breast with cabbage, but as soon as the sheet dries, put a new one.

  • The consequences of injection

After receiving penicillin, hard nodes often occur on the buttocks. Cabbage leaves will greatly alleviate and reduce the pain.

Nature’s Goodies for Diabetics.


We understand that as a diabetic, your diet is of utmost importance. And that sometimes those sweet cravings are just way too hard to resist! So we bring you alist of natural goodies that tantalise your taste buds, are easy to find and as a bonus, are great for your health!

Tempting red strawberries or indigo coloured blueberries or just any berries for that matter. Experts advice that these little colourful fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fibre and are low-carb! So top off your breakfast with some strawberries or just toss them in your mouth. It adds a pop of colour and a dollop of health!

Low in calories and carbohydrate content, this portable fruit can be toted around easily in your bag, making it the perfect snack. Fibrous, with tonnes of vitamins and antioxidants, this diabetes-friendly fruit will add a crunchy and healthy punch to your diet.

Is there nothing this superfood can’t do? Research shows that green, leafy and fresh spinach is extremely low in calories and carbohydrates, which is especially good news if you are a diabetic. In fact, spinach is one of the rare things that a diabetic can eat almost freely!

Kidney beans, black beans or lentils have been shown to have immense health benefits for a diabetic. They are low fat, low calorie and high protein! They make you feel full, slow down your digestion process and prevent blood sugar from spiking.

 

Despite the fact that an orange contains sugar, it also contains other compounds that help control blood glucose, which makes it good for a diabetes patient. The soluble fibre present in an orange thickens as it’s being digested. This in turn slows down the sugar absorption, offering better control of your blood sugar.

Cabbage has a low glycaemic index of 10 which is very diabetes friendly. It is also a rich source of vitamin C and K. However, keep an eye on the fat content if you are including cabbage in your diet.

Brinjal: Non-starchy, low carbohydrate and soluble fibre, could a vegetable be more perfect for diabetes? Load up on this easily available vegetable and enjoy the goodness that it offers!

Okra (Lady’s Finger) is a sure shot hit with kids and diabetics! Like brinjals and oranges, the presence of soluble fibre in okra makes this humble vegetable one of the best things to eat if you are diabetic.

Pears: Rich in potassium and loaded with fibre, a pear is also low in carbohydrates! Add them in your fruit bowl or mix it up with spinach to get an instant fix for your hunger pangs.
Despite the fact that fruits and vegetables are good for you, there’s no denying the fact that some of them contain sugar and carbohydrates, albeit in small amounts. So keep your portions small and do check with your nutritionist before any major diet changes.

 

 

Source: www.mdhil.com

 

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