While cabbage water may sound like a very unusual beverage to consume, surprisingly, it may be one of the best things you can do for your body. This true “superfood” is known as such thanks to its incredible medicinal properties.
Why is cabbage water so beneficial? It’s loaded with polyphenols, rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, and iodine, as well as containing vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, K and folic acid.
Powerful Nutrients In Cabbage Water
Cabbage stands out when it comes to antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are said by experts to be the primary factor in its overall antioxidant capacity. The high level of antioxidants in cabbage are what helps it to lower the risk of developing cancer by battling chronic oxidative stress.
Polyphenols play a key role in maintaining overall health and wellness. As a group, antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from free radical damage, which in turn controls the rate at which one ages. If the body is not protected adequately, an over abundance of free radicals occur which causes the cells to perform poorly, eventually leading to tissue degradation. That, according to renowned health expert Dr. Mercola, then ups the risk of developing things like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Calcium, magnesium, and potassium
Cabbage, along with all cruciferous vegetables, is an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These essential minerals are a very important part in helping to protect the bones from degrading, as well as the onset of diseases like osteoporosis.
The presence of potassium also helps to lower the risk of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The sulfur compounds found in cabbage are particularly noted for help to prevent and even battle some types of cancer. A study published in the August 2003 issue of the International Journal of Cancer suggested that consuming a lot of cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, may increase the odds of survival for women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, considered to be one of the most aggressive cancers, killing some 14,000 American women every year. Their research found that 49% of those who ate nearly a serving a day were still alive after five years, compared to 42% who ate half a serving of cruciferous veggies.
Vitamin A is essential for bone growth, as well as for our reproduction and immune system health. It helps the skin and mucous membranes fight off bacteria and viruses more effectively and plays an important role when it comes to vision health. It may also slow declining retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa.
B vitamins, of which cabbage contains B1, B2, and is especially high in B6, play an essential role when it comes to converting food into energy as well as aiding the body to metabolize fats and proteins. They’re also important for maintaining healthy hair, skin, liver, and eyes. Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is best known for helping to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve function, liver function, skin health, eye health, as well as help to boost levels of energy.
Cabbage, and cabbage water, is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, and harmful free radicals. The high content of vitamin C in cabbage (along with sulfur), aids in removing free radicals as well as uric acid, which are the root causes of conditions like rheumatism, gout, arthritis and skin diseases.
Surprisingly, cabbage is even richer in vitamin C than oranges, a fruit most consider to be the very best source of this vital nutrient. That means that not only does it help protect against the inflammatory conditions mentioned, but it can help boost the immune system, defend against the common cold, lower the risk of depression, regulate proper functioning of the nervous system, and even lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases.
Cabbage is one of the top 10 foods that are the richest in vitamin K, falling in at No. 5 with more than 100% of the recommended daily value. This fat-soluble vitamin is important when it comes to blood clotting, as it activates the protein that clots the blood. It’s also required for the synthesis of bone proteins. A diet lacking in vitamin K can lead to heart disease, weakened bones, tooth decay and cancer.
Consuming things that are rich in vitamin K like cabbage water, can therefore support heart health, improve bone density, battle cancer, decrease infections and restore oral health.
Folic acid is best known for helping to protect a developing fetus from birth defects, particularly major birth defects of the baby’s brain or spine, like spina bifida and anencephaly, making cabbage water something that every pregnant woman should consider. It also enhances brain health, helps to repair and synthesize DNA, aids in cell division and growth, and helps the body produce healthy red blood cells.
5 Reasons To Save Cabbage Water
There are a number of ways to take advantage of cabbage water to improve your health, including these.
1. As an alcohol detox
When you consume too much alcohol, it interferes with the digestive system. If you’ve ever over-imbibed, you’ve probably experienced that horrible morning after feeling that often includes an upset stomach, or worse. That’s because alcohol destroys a large amount of good bacteria in the gut, which can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb essential vitamins and minerals.
Cabbage water, as discussed on Women’s Health Talk, can help cleanse the digestive system and aid in detoxifying the body, thanks to its wealth of nutrients. Experts recommend starting out by drinking one glass of cabbage water a day, taken in the morning on an empty stomach, and gradually increasing that to twice each day.
2. Treat stomach ulcers
Thanks to its high level of phytonutrients, cabbage water can even treat stomach ulcers. The duodenal ulcers of patients who were fed cabbage healed in one-third the usual time. Research conducted on 45 inmates at California’s San Quentin Prison found that 93 percent of the ulcers in prisoners healed after taking cabbage water concentrate in capsules for just three weeks. The experts believe it works by helping to strengthen the stomach lining’s resistance to acid attacks.
3. Improve your complexion
Cabbage water can be consumed as well as used in beauty treatments to help improve your complexion, thanks to its many phytochemicals and antioxidants. As it helps to battle harmful free radicals that can lead to the development of skin problems like acne and blackheads, it does wonders for clearing up those conditions. It can also help reduce dryness and prevent premature aging. Drink a glass every day and add a bit to a face mask and you’re likely to see amazing results.
If you want to reduce skin pigmentation and the appearance of dark spots, you can make your own very effective face mask using cabbage water. Simply add a tablespoon of raw honey and a pinch of turmeric to about one-quarter cup cabbage water. Then add in just enough rice flour to make a paste. Allow the paste to stand for about 10 minutes and then, using a cotton ball, apply it to darkened areas of the skin. Let it dry, and then rinse with water; pat dry and apply a moisturizer.
4. Stronger, healthier hair
The high sulfur content of cabbage water is very effective for making weak hair stronger, and even averting hair loss. As you would for the skin, drink a glass of cabbage water each morning, and include it in a hair mask used externally.
5. Make a cabbage water smoothie every day to boost overall health
Just want to take advantage of all the many beneficial nutrients cabbage offers to improve your overall health? You might want to consider a daily green smoothie that includes cabbage water. You’ll not only flood your body with the nutrition it needs, but a green smoothie serves as a natural energy booster to help you get going in the morning. It also supports weight loss, strengthens the immune system to keep colds and other illnesses away, helps to fight disease, and is an incredibly easy way to drink a healthy breakfast on the go.
One great recipe for a green, “Super Cabbage Water Smoothie” can serve as a base for others by mixing and matching the greens and fruits you use.
All you need is:
- 2 cups of leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, romaine or swiss chard
- 2 cups of liquid (use 1 cup cabbage water and 1 cup coconut water or coconut milk)
- 3 cups of fresh fruit (a blend of a 2 or 3 fruits, like mango, berries, banana, peach, avocado or pears, is best)
Now, simply add the greens and liquid to a blender. Blend well. Then, add your fruit and blend until smooth. Try adding a chunk of fresh ginger root for a great boost of flavor and even more nutrition. You may want to experiment until you achieve your favorite results. When it comes to nutrients, you really can’t go wrong with this formula, but it sure is a lot of fun to try out various flavors!