Cabbage is a green, leafy plant that belongs to Brassicaceae family. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, collards, cauliflower and kale are its cousins belonging to the same family. Recent studiesindicate that women who eat more Brassica family vegetables are less prone to breast cancer. Isothiocyanates, a beneficial compound found in Brassica vegetables, is found to have direct relation with breast cancer risk. Increased consumption of various cabbage varieties are found to bring down the risk considerably.
Cabbage plays a leading role in Polish cuisine. Polish women who migrate to the United States are found to be more under breast cancer risk due to their increased consumption of cabbage-less diet.
It is estimated that there are at least a hundred different types of cabbage that are grown around the world. Green cabbage is the most common of all varieties. Savory cabbage, napa cabbage, bok choy and red cabbage are some other available varieties.
Green cabbage is known for its crunchy texture. Savory cabbage has greenish-yellow leaves that are more crinkled than that of green cabbage. Napa cabbage is plate green in colour with white stems and crinkled leaves. Bok choy is the Chinese cabbage that has dark green leaves, which are held loosely together. Red cabbage is generally red or dark purple with coarser leaves.
The leafy portion of the cabbage cluster is usually the only portion of the plant that is edible. It can be eaten in raw, cooked or preserved form. Cabbage is an excellent nutritional source. It is abundant in vitamins such as K and C. A mere one-cup of shredded, boiled cabbage contains ninety one percent of the RDA for vitamin K. It is also high in vitamin C content. Cabbage is also abundant in dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B6 and folate. Cabbage is also found to be a good source of nutrients such as thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, tryptophan, protein and magnesium.