Red Cabbage – Great Health Benefits
When most people think of cabbage, a green ball comes to mind. And, although green cabbage is a super healthy, nutritious and delicious food . . . red cabbage is even better for you! It has more nutritional benefits and a robust, hearty flavor. Red cabbage is also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Red cabbage has a rich red-purple color that comes from its concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is actually one of higher sources of red pigment polyphenols providing about 30 milligrams in each half cup. Antioxidants help oxygen metabolism reducing oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress can be a risk factor for many diseases.
The anthocyanins found in red cabbage are well documented anti-inflammatory compounds. We need a sufficient consumption of anti-inflammatory nutrients or the regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised and we may experience chronic inflammation. Combine oxidative stress and chronic inflammation and the risk for chronic disease escalates.
The anthocyanins in red cabbage are also major factor contributing to cardiovascular protection. Red cabbage helps protect red blood cells. Blood levels of beta-carotene, lutein, and total blood antioxidant capacity have been found to improve along with red cabbage intake, while oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) has been found to decrease. LDL becomes a risk factor for blood vessel problems if excessively present in its oxidized form. So, once again . . . lots of health benefits occur when adding red cabbage recipes to your meal plan.
Not Really Asian Red Cabbage
Okay, let’s be honest . . . this isn’t really “Asian” food. It’s what I’m calling Asian Red Cabbage because the dressing includes tamari, tahini and sesame. I know this doesn’t make it Asian but I couldn’t think of a better recipe that would quickly allow people to understand the taste profile. So, please, don’t beat me up about appropriated a culture. I just want people to eat more red cabbage because it’s so healthy. This dressing makes the red cabbage super tasty. Even better, the recipe takes less than 10 minutes to whip together (less if you make the dressing while the cabbage cooks).
Hope you enjoy!
Asian Red Cabbage Recipe
- ¼-1/2 head of red cabbage
- 2-4 scallions
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds
- Chop cabbage and scallions. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes
- To make dressing, whisk together vinegar, tamari, oil, tahini, salt and pepper. It will be the consistency of paste.
- Heat ghee in a skillet on medium high. Once hot, add cabbage and scallions. Cook for approximately two minutes without stirring.
- Flip cabbage and cook for an additional two minutes without stirring.
- Add dressing and stir to coat. Dressing will melt into cabbage.
- Top with sesame seeds and serve.
Red Cabbage Research:
- Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009.
- Bacchetti T, Tullii D, Masciangelo S, et al. Effect of black and red cabbage on plasma carotenoid levels, lipid profile and oxidized low density lipoprotein. Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 8, May 2014, pages 128-137.
- Nugrahedi PY, Hantoro I, Verkerk R, et al. Practices and health perception of preparation of Brassica vegetables: translating survey data to technological and nutritional implications. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015;66(6):633-41.
- Rungapamestry V, Duncan AJ, Fuller Z et al. Effect of cooking brassica vegetables on the subsequent hydrolysis and metabolic fate of glucosinolates. Proc Nutr Soc. 2007 Feb;66(1):69-81. 2007.
- Tang L, Zirpoli GR, Jayaprakash V, et al. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with lung cancer risk among smokers: a case-control study. BMC Cancer 2010, 10:162. 2010.