For some reason, I was always a bit scared of cabbage. I’m not sure why. I think it’s because it’s big and heavy and I never really knew what to do with it. However, I recently learned about its health benefits in my pathology course (the study of diseases), and my fear went away. I bought a nice big purple cabbage and made a healthy, easy, yummy coleslaw. Raw cabbage is sweet and crunchy and a great way to switch it up from your regular old salad. Once again, you have to learn about the health benefits before I give you the recipe.
-Right up there with broccoli in terms of its cancer-preventing power. They are both Brassica vegetables, which contain a chemical that promotes DNA repair in cells, and blocks cancer cells from invading.
-Very high in vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system, helps prevent UTIs (by making your urine more acidic), keeps you regular and is an antioxidant.
-High in glutamine, an amino acid (helps make protein) that has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s soothing to the intestinal wall for those that suffer from IBS or peptic ulcers and helps re-build muscle tissue after exercise.
-A polyphenol – a type of antioxidant (also found in apples, pears, plums, red grapes, berries, cantaloupe, broccoli, celery, parsley, green tea, dark chocolate, red wine) that helps prevent free-radical damage or damage to your cells. This is why antioxidants are said to prevent different types of cancers.
-Low in calories – 1 cup is only 50 calories
Raw cabbage is best (cooking removes its nutritional value), but fermented cabbage or sauerkraut* is also very good for you. Because it’s a fermented food it works the same as pro-biotics by adding healthy bacteria to your intestines. An abundance of healthy bacteria in your gut is key for proper digestion, which helps prevent disease by preventing a build-up of toxins in your blood and organs. Preventing toxic build-up also makes your skin and hair look better, gives you more energy, prevents bad breath, and overall keeps your body humming along the way it should.
*Try and find a brand that does not include vinegar. Vinegar is a preservative, which decreases the health benefits.
And like I promised…here’s the coleslaw recipe. Enjoy!
Sweet and Crunchy Coleslaw
½ a purple cabbage
3 large, organic carrots
¾ cup raisins
3 tbsp of plain Greek yogurt (I had to use light mayo because I couldn’t find Greek yogurt in BA)
3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Cut the cabbage in half (store the other half in the fridge for your next batch – you’ll want to make it again), and rough chop it into bite-size pieces (you can also julienne it using a mandolin).
Peel and dice your carrots into small cubes.
In a small bowl, whisk the Greek yogurt and vinegar together until you have a thin, dress-like consistency (give it a try and add more yogurt or vinegar depending on your taste)
In a large bowl combine the chopped cabbage, carrots and raisins. Stir in the dressing, season with salt and pepper and voila!
I had it for lunch yesterday with tuna and avocado, and today with a boiled egg, and it was a nice change from some of the other veggies that I’m getting a little sick of here in Buenos Aires. (I’m talking to you tomatoes & red pepper.)