Like cauliflower, broccoli, collards, and kale, cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which exists in different types (green cabbage, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage or bok choy). It boosts your intake of vitamin C and other important nutrients and can be served raw, steamed, boiled or stir-fried and sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria, such as Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pedicocuccus. As a result of this fermentation process, the cabbage gets a very unique and distinctive sour taste and smell.
Furthermore, sauerkraut offers plenty of health benefits that can improve your overall health in various ways.
Nutrition in Cabbage
Calories, Fat and Cholesterol
For all of you who are watching your intake of calories, cholesterol or fat, cabbage is a great food choice.
The data of the Centers for Disease Control shows that a half-cup of raw cabbage has 10 calories, 0 milligrams of cholesterol and 0 grams of fat, while the same amount of cooked cabbage has 15 calories and no fat or cholesterol.
Carbohydrates, Protein and Fiber
The containment of carbohydrates and protein in cabbage is also relatively low.
A half-cup serving of raw cabbage has 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein, while the same serving size of cooked cabbage has 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates and no fiber at all. So, if you want to increase the protein content you can add ham, tofu or sausage to your cabbage dish.
The people who eat cabbage regularly, significantly increase their vitamin C intake.
The data of CDC reports for vitamins containment in the half-cup of raw cabbage shows the presence of 30 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C, while each half-cup of cooked cabbage contains 25 percent.
In addition, the cabbage is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin B6, and folate.
The presence of sodium in the cabbage is very low, only 5 mg per serving of plain raw, while in the cooked cabbage there is almost no sodium.
From half-cup servings of cabbage, you’ll get 2 percent of your daily value of calcium and 1 percent of your daily value of iron.
Here are a few simple guidelines that can help cabbage retain its nutritional value:
Buy whole heads of cabbage rather than shredded cabbage, as if it is shredded it may have lost its vitamin C.
The cabbage can be stored in sealed plastic in the refrigerator
Don’t wash, cut or shred the cabbage until you’re ready to use it.
Like many other vegetables, cabbage has amazing medical advantages and can stay new for a longer timeframe.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut:
Stimulates Weight Loss
Cabbage is extremely low in calories, while it is high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The dietary fiber content is extremely beneficial in reducing weight because it makes you feel full for a longer period of time and prevents food cravings. Thus, by consuming cabbage you are getting the nutrients that the body needs, as well as, you are avoiding eating unhealthy food which leads to weight loss.
Sauerkraut is rich in fibers, essential for the good condition of our digestive system. It can prevent bloating and cramps, prevent constipation and improve the bowels function.
The regular consumption of sauerkraut can prevent the developments of serious diseases including stomach and colon cancer.
The major contributors to developing cancer are free radicals. Luckily, the strong antioxidant properties of cabbage have the ability to impede and prevent damage caused by free radicals, and therefore, prevent cancer. Furthermore, the lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane content of cabbage are powerful anti-cancer agents which regulate enzyme activity and hamper the growth of cancer cells.
Improves the heart health
As we said before, sauerkraut is a great source of fiber, so it is significantly beneficial for the health of your heart. Fiber has the ability to prevent the negative effect of cholesterol in the arteries, thus preventing cardiovascular disease.
Strengthens the Bones
Another benefit of sauerkraut and cabbage, in general, is the ability to provide strength to the bones. Cabbage abounds in vitamin K, which has the ability to stimulate the production of a protein which has the function to control mineralization of bones. This vitamin is also helpful in preventing osteoporosis. Other nutrients that protect the bones from degeneration are calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are vital for bone strength.
Improves vision and skin health
Sauerkraut contains vitamin A which is very beneficial for our skin and vision. It can reduce the macular degeneration, and development of cataracts as well as wrinkles and redness.
This food has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to relieve pain in the inflamed parts of the body.
Strengthens the immune system
It is a great source of vitamin C, essential for strengthening the immune system. Abundant with vitamin C, sauerkraut can help in the production of white blood cells and collagen and in the regeneration of cells.
Increases energy levels
Due to its rich content of iron, sauerkraut can boost metabolism, circulation, and increase energy levels. It has the ability to treat fatigue and headache and prevent anemia.
Now that you know what sauerkraut can do for your health, you can prepare this miraculous food and enjoy the plenty of health benefits it offers.