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Health Benefits of Cabbage (Repolyo)

Health Benefits of Cabbage (Repolyo)

The health benefits of cabbage or repolyo have been making headlines. Recently, some so-called experts have claimed that cabbage is a miraculous superfood that can treat arthritis and cure cancer. However, how true are these claims? Can a vegetable really do all that? In this article, we will discuss the medically verified health benefits of cabbage or repolyo.

Go, Grow, Glow Foods: How to Maintain Good Nutrition

Health benefits of cabbage

#1: Cabbage is rich in vitamins

Firstly, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and other substances. Most importantly, they are packed with folate, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, folate, calcium, carotenoids, and flavonoids.

Generally speaking, raw or lightly cooked cabbage is healthier. Prolonged boiling or deep frying can reduce the amount of vitamins and nutrients, as well as the water content, of vegetables. Other cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, petchay (bok choi), and cauliflower. Red or purple cabbage has a slightly higher vitamin content than green cabbage.

#2: Cabbage has fiber that can help with digestion

Another one of the health benefits of cabbage is its fiber content. Fiber is important for healthy digestion and colon function. Fiber adds bulk to your stools and can ease constipation. However, one side effect some people experience is increased gassiness.

According to the Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes (PDRI) from the Department of Health (DOH), adults should eat 20 to 25 grams of fiber per day. School-aged children and teenagers need approximately 10 to 20 grams of fiber per day.

A 100-gram portion (approximately 1/4th wedge) of raw green cabbage contains 2.5 grams of dietary fiber. This means that cabbage covers 10 to 13% of your daily fiber needs with just a small serving.

#3: Cabbage can help you lose weight

Cabbage is an ingredient in many tasty recipes and dishes. Because it has a high fiber and water content, one of the health benefits of cabbage or repolyo is that it is filling and can control your appetite. In addition, cabbage is low in calories. A 100-gram serving of raw cabbage only contains 25 kilocalories and 3.2 grams of sugar.

High fiber food like vegetables and grains can also help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol. Moreover, cabbage is keto-friendly. Therefore, cabbage makes a great addition to your diet if you are diabetic, hypertensive, or want to lose weight.

Try including more cabbage into your dishes as a substitute for starchy bread and rice. Kimchi is a popular side dish made from Napa or Chinese cabbage, so it is packed with cabbage health benefits.

health benefits of cabbage

#4: Antioxidant and anticancer benefits

Finally, several studies show that cabbage and other cruciferous veggies have anticancer properties. These properties are due to their sulfur-containing compounds.

Compounds from cruciferous vegetables have been shown to possibly decrease the risk of colorectal, breast, lung, and mouth cancers. While applying cabbage directly onto your skin cannot cure ailments like arthritis or cancer, adding it to your diet can improve your overall health. A single food or plant like cabbage cannot replace diagnosis and treatment from a licensed doctor.

It is important to remember that cancer is a disease with a large genetic component and various environmental factors. If you experience symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, frequent infections, or feel a growth in certain parts of your body, it is best to contact your doctor.

Key takeaways

The health benefits of cabbage or repolyo are plenty, not to mention that it is a fairly cheap vegetable in most areas. In general, all varieties of cabbage have similar nutritional values and can be substituted for one another. Feel free to add more cabbage to your diet or use it as a substitute for starchy vegetables and grains. Cabbage can improve your overall health so you may want to add it to your basket next time you’re at the market.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Sources

The value of bioactive compounds of cruciferous vegetables (Brassica) as antimicrobials and antioxidants: A review https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13414 Accessed November 22, 2020

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) Phytochemicals with Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Potential http://journal.waocp.org/article_28350_52583657b77af22c1a222d7c5934562a.pdf Accessed November 22, 2020

USDA FoodData Central – Cabbage, raw https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169975/nutrients Accessed November 22, 2020

Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes 2015: Summary Tables https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/images/images/news/PDRI-2018.pdf Accessed November 22, 2020

Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables: reduce overall cancer risk https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/food-facts/broccoli-cruciferous-vegetables/ Accessed November 22, 2020Kimchi, a Fermented Vegetable, Improves Serum Lipid Profiles in Healthy Young Adults: Randomized Clinical Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3598433/ Accessed November 22, 2020

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jan 18
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