Cabbage – a cool and crunchy vegetable, chock-full of vitamins and minerals and other helpful nutrients like dietary fiber and folate – is an important staple of diets around the world. Not only is it versatile and inexpensive, cabbage is also extremely healthy. Let’s take a closer look at this cruciferous vegetable and learn more about what exactly it is, why it’s good for us, and how we can incorporate it into our meals.
First off, what is cabbage? It’s a fast-growing, leafy vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables – which includes broccoli, kale, and cauliflower – and is closely related to other vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and collard greens. Cabbage comes in many different varieties and colors, ranging from deep-green to pale-green and even purple. When eaten raw, they generally have a crunchy and slightly bitter taste.
When it comes to nutrition, cabbages are full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, folate, and dietary fiber. Vitamin C helps protect our cells from damage and aids in the healing of wounds, while Vitamin K is important for bone health and promoting proper blood clotting. Manganese is an important mineral that helps support the metabolism and helps your body break down carbohydrates and proteins, while folate – also known as folic acid – is essential for pregnant women and helps promote healthy cell growth. Dietary fiber, meanwhile, helps promote regular bowel movements and aids in digestion.
In addition to all of its nutritional benefits, cabbages are also known for their disease-fighting abilities, thanks to their high concentration of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. This means that regular consumption of cabbage can help ward off a number of illnesses and diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity.
So how can we incorporate cabbage into our diets? Depending on your taste, there are several options. Sautéed cabbage is one of the most popular ways to enjoy this veggie. You can also add it to soups and stews, or use it in slaws and salads as a crunchy alternative to other vegetables. If you’re in the mood for something a little more indulgent, you can even use it in creating vegetable-based pies, tarts, and gratins.
If you’re looking to buy cabbage, you have a few different choices. Head to your local farmers market to find the freshest option available, or head to your grocery store. Depending on the type of cabbage you’re looking for, you may also be able to find it online. Make sure you’re selecting a cabbage head that’s firm and without any wilted, cracked, or yellow leaves – this ensures you’re picking the best quality possible.
To keep your cabbage fresh longer, wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. It should keep for up to a week – ensuring you’ll have plenty of time to make all the delicious dishes you can think of!
So there you have it – the versatile and delicious vegetable, cabbage! Its tasty flavor and nutrient-dense profile make it a perfect fit for so many dishes, and its health benefits make it one vegetable everyone should make part of their diet. So next time you’re planning a meal, why not consider adding some crunchy and delicious cabbage to the mix?