SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: PURPLE CABBAGE
SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: PURPLE CABBAGE
To be super honest, I never used to like cabbage. I'm Ukrainian, so my Baba used to make cabbage rolls (Holubtsi) and I used to unwrap every single one, eat the filling (rice, meat) and discard the cabbage. Thinking back now, I was discarding the healthiest and most important part of the whole dish!
Cabbage tends to get a bad wrap and is usually left by the wayside when we grocery shop. It's pungent distinctive smell when cooking (It's part of the cruciferous family, so it's best friends with broccoli and brussels), also tends to deter people from this ball of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Just look at this wonder above, it's a work of art. Nature has made it perfect, and we couldn't try to replicate that if we wanted to. It looks like hundreds of neurons, and simply looking at it raises my IQ a few notches!!! It holds so much wisdom, and can be a healer to our bodies if we let it into our shopping carts and life.
The beauty of cabbage is that it doesn't only work wonders on our internal systems and organs, but shows amazing benefits for our external organs, such as our skin and eyes. Think glowing skin and bright whites, when you start to add cabbage to your repertoire.
Today I'm going to share the many reasons why, if you don't already, you must be adding this cruciferous friend to your life. I promise he will help you out it more ways than you know.
CABBAGE IS //
- a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.
- a great source of vitamin A (stellar for your skin, eyes, and is a antioxidant that your body needs to kill free radicals) and vitamin K (essentially your longevity vitamin, we need vitamin K if we want to live long, healthy lives) and for keeping our skeletal system strong, and powerful. Vitamin K actually helps prevent the formation of osteoporosis.
- one of the top vitamin c rich foods on the planet- it's a wondrous antioxidant, boosts immunity, combats systemic inflammation, is being used in cancer treatment (Vit C drips), builds collagen in your skin and joints, (glow factor), just to name a few. ***Our bodies do not make vitamin c, so we must get it through our diet! It's one that can be supplemented with, in the right doses and quality intake.
- extremely fiber rich. It helps absorb bad cholesterol in your body, promotes effective digestion and evacuation, helps keep our skin clean and supple (our digestion is the key to happy skin), prevents a multitude of illnesses that are linked to our digestive systems, removes toxins from our bodies due to environmental stress and diet
- a powerhouse when it comes to preventing and treating degenerative and chronic illnesses such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's , ALS to name a few. The naturally occurring antioxidants found in the anthocyanins of the red cabbage (anthocyanins are what give the cabbage it's color. Think of the power of blue berries, red grapes and red cherries) may prevent or reverse such damage that characterizes progressive deterioration of nerve cells, which eventually lead to cell death, and therefore damages the DNA entirely.
- rich in probiotics. Let me introduce you to some of my best friends, kimchi and sauerkraut. These two fermented foods are miracle workers for building up your gut flora, healing your microbiome, all the while making you a happier person. 80% of our happy hormone, serotonin, lives in our guts, which is why every time you experience stomach distress (bloating, gas, constipation, pain) you are very unhappy. There is a very strong link between these two, and I'm sure you've all had experience with this! I know I have, many times before. If you've never had these two fermented friends before, it's not too late to start. Cabbage is the star of the show in both of these probiotic rich foods, and will leave you with clear skin, a happy gut, and life!
NOW, HOW DO I EAT IT? //
- as stated above, my favorite way to get it in is through my fermented friends!
- sauté half a head of cabbage in water, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and a touch of cayenne for a little kick
- roughly chop it up and bake with brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Coat with avocado or coconut oil, salt, and pepper. I know a lot of people speak of stomach distress when eating cruciferous vegetables. This is due to a few reasons: 1) your gut health is compromised, and you don't have enough healthy bacteria to digest the fiber, and sulfuric compounds, 2) you aren't cooking them properly, 3) you're eating too much at once, 4) you could have a intolerance, allergy or sensitivity to them
- finely chop it with a sharp knife, use a mandolin, or food processor. Throw it in a bowl, make a marinate of 2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (ACV), 1/4 - 1/2 cup of tahini, salt, pepper, juice of 1 lemon, massage it and let it sit for 30-45 minutes. I then love to add some apple for crunch, grated carrots and goji berries for some protein and unique sweetness. Serve along side a piece of wild salmon or trout. Voila!
- you can also just add it raw to any salad! I love it in massaged kale salads with tahini, lemon + salt and a small handful of raisins or goji berries. Simple, satisfying and so nutritious.
Really at the end of the day you can't go wrong with adding it in any way you enjoy it the most. No matter how healthy a food is, if you don't find a recipe or way to incorporate it into your lifestyle you simply won't eat it. The best thing you can do for yourself is just try it. Start adding it in, in small amounts, and see how your body responds. You never know, you might discover that it's your long lost best friend.
HAPPY MONDAY FRIENDS!