Cabbage contains an abundance of vitamins, C, E, and carotene and two compounds that studies show can help prevent cancer.
Researchers reviewed almost 100 studies that evaluated the relationship between cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and cancer. They found that in 70% of the studies, cabbage consumption was associated with a lower risk of cancer. Cabbage is particularly effective in preventing breast-, lung-, and prostate cancer.
However, only 2% of these vitamins are present in the average American diet.
Most Americans today don’t eat their cabbage or any other vegetable.The average intake is
less than one serving per day of either fruit or vegetables.
The first of these compounds, indole-3-carbinol, or I3C, is especially effective against
breast cancer. The compound acts as an antiestrogen, which means that it sweeps up harmful estrogens that have been linked to breast cancer.
Most breast cancer is linked to deficit in estrogen metabolism.
The under-nourished female body can’t de-activate its estrogen properly. It uses what is
called the estradiol 16-alpha hydroxylation pathway, which leaves the hormone still active
enough to cause cell transformation in the breast (and reproductive organs).
Over years these cells gradually transform to cancer.The properly nourished female body,
however, uses what is called the estradiol 2-alpha hydroxilation pathway, which neutralizes the hormone completely and never leads to breast cancer.
The other compound found in cabbage, called sulforaphane, has been shown to inhibit
carcionogens and aid in DNA repair.
Women in Poland eat three times as much cabbage,especially raw cabbage,
as women in the US.
Researchers studied hundreds of Polish women living in the US and found that women who ate four or more servings of cabbage per week while preteens were 72% less likely to develop breast cancer as adults than the women who ate one serving or less of cabbage a week while preteens. Eating lots of cabbage as adults also provided significant cancer protection.
The compounds in cabbage can also protect against lung cancer.
A study of Chinese women in Singapore, a city with high levels of air pollution, found that
nonsmokers who ate cruciferous vegetables lowered their risk of lung cancer by 30%.
Smokers who ate cruciferous vegetables reduced their lung cancer risk by 69%!
Two types of cabbage: bok choy and savoy, are also super sources of beta-carotene,
a nutrient that other types of cabbage don’t have in abundance.
High blood levels of beta-carotene are related to lower incidences of heart attacks, certain
types of cancer, and cataracts.
These cabbages are also rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to boost the immune system as well as reduce blood pressure and fight heart disease.
They are also rich sources of the B vitamin folate. The body uses folate for normal tissue
growth and studies shows that folate may protect against certain forms of cancer, including cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers, heart disease, and birth defects.
Research shows that women are at high risk for folate deficiency, especially if they take
birth control pills.
Even though the science for some of these compounds is now well established, the profit-
motivated restrictions of our disease industry make it doubtful that they will hit
mainstream medicine any time soon. With breast- and reproductive system cancers, for
example, we are in the ludicrous position that hospitals cannot use indole-3-carbinol
to stop the disease,because it is not an approved drug. To get a good supply, you have to
Against the glittering backdrop of modern medicine’s high tech bells and whistles,
a number of cancer hospitals are now effectively treating breast cancer with plain,
old cabbage juice.That’s just what Great-Grandma used to drink back in the days when
breast cancer was a much rarer malady. Funny, isn’t it?
A few tips to get the most out of the cabbage.
1) Experts recommend to eat the cabbage raw to preserve it’s beneficial compounds.
2) If you must cook the cabbage, steam it lightly (5 minutes or less) to preserve the
phytonutrients and to maximize their availability. Don’t microwave cabbage, as it
decreases the amount of sulforaphane and don’t boil it either.
3) Buy it whole.
Avoid buying halved or shredded cabbage as it loses its vitamin C content quickly,
once cut. When you get your cabbage home, place the whole head in a plastic bag in the fridge.
4) Let it sit.
To promote the production of the most glucosinolates, slice or chop cabbage and let it
sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cooking.