Red cabbage contains several healthy nutrients and is an anti-inflammatory food, making this a must-have vegetable in your diet. There may be more than three specific reasons to include more red cabbage in your diet, but today I want to highlight the top three reasons I recommend it:
#1 Vitamin C
We all think of citrus fruits as the Vitamin C powerhouses, but did you know that 1 cup of shredded red cabbage contains 66 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C? Vitamin C functions as an essential cofactor in numerous enzymatic reactions, and as a potent antioxidant. It also helps your body absorb iron.
#2 Anthocyanin Polyphenols
Red cabbage’s color reflects its concentration of Anthocyanin Polyphenols. These are well-documented anti-inflammatory antioxidants thought to protect against diseases like cancer. A diet rich in antioxidants can prevent oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage and horseradish. They can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds. These are thought to protect against a variety of cancers including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. They also help to prevent H. pylori overgrowth inside the stomach and prevent related GI issues.
Red cabbage is inexpensive, readily available and tastes great! It has a hearty and slightly bitter taste and a crunch that makes it perfect to use in salads or as a garnish for burgers or burritos.
For the Tastebuds:
One of my favorite recipes that prominently features red cabbage is my cilantro jicama fiesta slaw:
Cilantro Jicama Fiesta Slaw
- 4 cups shredded lettuce or red cabbage
- 1/2 cup jicama thinly sliced
- 1 orange peeled, and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp jalapeño deseeded and diced
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds toasted
- 1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar or lime juice
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or per preference
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise or vegan alternative
- Shred, slice, chop all of the veggies. I used a food processor to shred the cabbage and slice the Jicama.
- Combine the cabbage, jicama, orange pieces, orange zest, onion & jalapeno in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine the olive oil, tahini, cider vinegar (or lime juice), cilantro,maple syrup, cayenne and mayonnaise (if using it). Stir until thoroughly mixed. If there is any reserved juice from the orange, you could add it to the dressing.
- Toss the veggies with the dressing until veggies are well coated. You can toss in the pumpkin seeds at this time or save and use them as a garnish to keep their crunch, either way would be good.
- Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.