8 Impressive Benefits of Purple Cabbage
It tastes similar to green cabbage. However, the purple variety is richer in beneficial plant compounds that have been linked to health benefits, such as stronger bones and a healthier heart.
Purple cabbage is also thought to lower inflammation and protect against certain types of cancers. Moreover, it's an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or fermented and added to a variety of dishes.
Here are 8 impressive health benefits of purple cabbage, all backed by science.
1. Rich in Nutrients
Despite being low in calories, purple cabbage contains an impressive amount of nutrients.
One cup (89 grams) of chopped, raw, purple cabbage contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 28
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 56% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 28% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Thiamine: 5% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 5% of the DV
Purple cabbage also provides small amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.
Purple cabbage is low in calories yet a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C, K, and B6. It also contains small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
2. Boasts Powerful Plant Compounds
Purple cabbage is a great source of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds that help protect against cellular damage.
Its antioxidants include vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoid antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and kaempferol. In fact, it often contains higher amounts of these than green cabbage.
For instance, research suggests that the antioxidant levels in purple cabbage are around 4.5 times higher than those found in green cabbage varieties.
What's more, purple cabbage is one of the foods that offers the highest levels of antioxidants per unit cost.
It's also a good source of sulforaphane, a sulfur-rich compound that forms when raw cabbage is cut or crushed. Sulforaphane is linked to powerful heart health benefits and cancer-fighting properties.
Purple cabbage is a great source of beneficial plant compounds and offers one of the highest amounts of health-promoting antioxidants per unit cost.
3. Helps Fight Inflammation
Purple cabbage may help fight inflammation, which is thought to contribute to many diseases.
One test-tube study using an artificial model of the human gut found that certain varieties of purple cabbage reduced markers of gut inflammation by 22–40%.
Animal studies report that sulforaphane, the beneficial sulfur compound found in many cruciferous vegetables, may be to thank for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Interestingly, applying cabbage leaves to the skin also appears to reduce inflammation.
For instance, adults with arthritis who wrapped their knees in cabbage leaves once per day reported feeling significantly less pain by the end of the 4-week study. However, the cabbage wraps reduced pain less effectively than a topical pain gel.
Moreover, cabbage leaves appear to reduce breast pain, swelling, and inflammation due to increased milk supply and blood flow during the early postpartum period.
Purple cabbage may help fight inflammation and reduce accompanying symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and discomfort.
4. May Promote Heart Health
Purple cabbage may also benefit your heart.
This may be due to its content of anthocyanins, which are flavonoid antioxidants that give purple cabbage its characteristic color.
One large study found that women who regularly eat large amounts of anthocyanin-rich foods may benefit from an 11–32% lower risk of heart attacks, compared with those who eat fewer of these foods.
Higher anthocyanin intakes may also be linked to lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease.
Purple cabbage contains more than 36 types of anthocyanins, making it an excellent source of this heart-healthy compound.
Purple cabbage is a rich source of anthocyanins, which are beneficial plant compounds that may reduce your risk of heart disease.
5. May Strengthen Your Bones
Purple cabbage contains several bone-benefiting nutrients, including vitamins C and K, as well as smaller amounts of calcium, manganese, and zinc.
For instance, 1 cup (89 grams) of raw purple cabbage contains around 56% of the DV for vitamin C, which plays a role in bone formation and helps protect your bone cells from damage.
Vitamin K1 is mostly found in plant foods, such as leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. This distinguishes it from vitamin K2, which is found in animal products and fermented foods.
Purple cabbage is rich in vitamins C and K1, both of which are essential for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Purple cabbage also contains smaller amounts of bone-benefitting nutrients, such as calcium, manganese, and zinc.
6. May Protect Against Certain Cancers
Purple cabbage may help protect against certain types of cancers, though more research in humans is needed.
Experts believe this may be because it contains sulforaphane and anthocyanins — two compounds researched for their cancer-fighting properties.
Research links high intakes of cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, to an 18% lower risk of colon cancer. Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables have also been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer.
Moreover, there's evidence to suggest that the sulforaphane found in purple cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing and spreading.
Cell and animal studies suggest that anthocyanins may have similar anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins are found in red, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables, including purple cabbage.
However, more human research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Purple cabbage contains beneficial compounds, such as sulforaphane and anthocyanins, which may help protect your body against certain types of cancers. However, more research is needed to investigate these effects.
7. May Enhance Gut Health
Purple cabbage may improve the function of your gut.
There's evidence that cabbage may lower inflammation in the gut and reduce intestinal mucositis — a condition in which lesions develop in the gut, often as a side effect of cancer treatment.
Cabbage is also a good source of fiber, which keeps your gut healthy and helps it digest foods more easily.
Insoluble fiber comprises around 70% of the fiber in cabbage. It adds bulk to stools and helps food move through your gut more easily, reducing the risk of constipation.
The remaining 30% is soluble fiber, which provides food for the beneficial bacteria living in your gut. In turn, these friendly bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as acetate, butyrate, and propionate, which feed the cells of your gut.
Research shows that SCFAs may also reduce inflammation and other symptoms of gut disorders, such as Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.
There's also some evidence that drinking around 1 quart (946 ml) of cabbage juice per day may help heal gut ulcers in 7–10 days. However, the studies showing this are outdated, so more recent studies are needed to investigate this effect.
Purple cabbage may help boost your gut health by reducing inflammation, preventing gut lesions, and treating ulcers. However, more research is needed to investigate these effects.
8. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Purple cabbage is an incredibly versatile vegetable. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it's well suited to accompany a variety of dishes.
For instance, it can be steamed and used to make dumpling fillings, or braised with red wine, vinegar, apples, carrots, and beets for a flavorful side dish.
Purple cabbage can also be roasted or sautéed with meats or beans, or it can be shredded and used as a nutrient-rich garnish for soups, salads, and warm dishes.
It also offers an antioxidant-rich and visually appealing alternative to green cabbage in coleslaw or sauerkraut, or it can be fermented to make kimchi.
Purple cabbage is a simple and tasty addition to many dishes. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or fermented, which adds to its versatility.
The Bottom Line
Purple cabbage is a nutrient-rich vegetable linked to a variety of health benefits.
These include reduced inflammation, a healthier heart, stronger bones, improved gut function, and perhaps even a lower risk of certain cancers.
This vegetable is also incredibly versatile and one of the most cost-efficient ways to add beneficial antioxidants to your diet.
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Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. D-Keine / E+ / Getty Images
By Jake Johnson
Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced sweeping legislation that would ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. and institute stronger protections for farmworkers and communities that have been exposed to damaging chemicals by the agriculture industry.
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By Alex Thornton
The Australian government has announced a A$190 million (US$130 million) investment in the nation's first Recycling Modernization Fund, with the aim of transforming the country's waste and recycling industry. The hope is that as many as 10,000 jobs can be created in what is being called a "once in a generation" opportunity to remodel the way Australia deals with its waste.
Waste Mountain<p>The need for a dramatic increase in Australia's recycling capacity pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic. <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-27/where-does-all-australias-waste-go/11755424" target="_blank">Australians create approximately 67 million tons of waste a year</a>, and like in many wealthy countries, much of that was sent overseas. That all changed when China announced it was <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/10/china-has-banned-foreign-waste-so-whats-the-future-of-world-recycling" target="_blank">banning the import of a huge range of foreign waste</a> and recyclables. Soon <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/malaysia-flooded-with-plastic-waste-to-send-back-some-scrap-to-source" target="_blank">other countries followed suit</a>, and Australia was forced to look for alternative solutions.</p>
Biggest exporters of plastic. Statista
Waste Export Ban<p>Australia has adopted a strategy of taking responsibility for its own waste. Starting in January 2021, it is phasing in <a href="http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/waste-export-ban" target="_blank">bans on the export of different forms of waste</a>. By mid 2024, Australia's home-grown recycling industry will have to deal with an extra 650,000 tons of waste plastic, paper, glass and tires.</p><p>"As we cease shipping our waste overseas, the waste and recycling transformation will reshape our domestic waste industry, driving job creation and putting valuable materials back into the economy," federal environment minister Sussan Ley said in a <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-australia-waste/australia-to-set-up-132-million-fund-to-boost-recycling-following-export-curbs-idUKKBN247060" target="_blank">statement to Reuters</a>.</p>
Timeline for Australia's waste export ban. Australian Government
Trash Into Treasure<p>The benefits to the environment of boosting recycling rates are well known – less landfill, less plastic in our ocean, reduced need for virgin materials, and lower carbon emissions. The Recycling Modernization Fund initiative aims to divert more than 10 million tons of waste from landfill, part of an <a href="http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/publications/national-waste-policy-action-plan" target="_blank">overall strategy to reduce the total waste generated per person by 10%</a>, and push <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/7381c1de-31d0-429b-912c-91a6dbc83af7/files/national-waste-report-2018.pdf" target="_blank">Australia's total resource recovery rate from 58% in 2017</a> to 80% by 2030.</p><p>But like many countries, Australia is focusing on the economic benefits of better waste management as well.</p><p>"This will mean Australia converts more waste into higher valued resources ready for reuse locally by manufacturers and brands in their packaging and products," Rose Read, CEO of the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council, <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-australia-waste/australia-to-set-up-132-million-fund-to-boost-recycling-following-export-curbs-idUKKBN247060" target="_blank">told Reuters</a>.</p>
Green Jobs<p>The great potential of the circular economy to create green jobs is being recognized across the world.</p><p>In the UK, the Waste and Resources Action Program has launched a <a href="https://wrap.org.uk/buildbackbetter" target="_blank">six-point plan which it claims could add $90 billion to the economy, and create 500,000 new jobs</a>. Investment in the circular economy forms a significant part of the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/biden-climate-plan.html" target="_blank">$2 trillion climate plan that Democratic candidate Joe Biden</a> is taking into November's US presidential election. And the <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_940" target="_blank">European Union has put its Green New Deal at the heart of its plans for recovery</a> from the economic shock of COVID-19.</p><p>The World Economic Forum's <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Future_Of_Nature_And_Business_2020.pdf" target="_blank">Future of Nature and Business</a> report identifies 15 systemic transitions with annual business opportunities worth $10 billion a year that could create 395 million jobs by 2030.</p><p>As is the case with Australia's Recycling Modernization Fund, a combination of private enterprise and government investment can offer ways to get people back to work by building a more environmentally sustainable economy.</p>
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The Great American Outdoors Act is now the law of the land.
<div id="e0008" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ffc07febbf5d2d585ad06d3f43e2be56"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1290667833999929344" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Breaking News: The President has just signed the bipartisan #GreatAmericanOutdoorsAct. It will help: 🏗️ Restore… https://t.co/RPefKPMn7S</div> — Fix Our Parks (@Fix Our Parks)<a href="https://twitter.com/FixOurParksUS/statuses/1290667833999929344">1596554165.0</a></blockquote></div>
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By Andrew J. Whelton and Caitlin R. Proctor
In recent years wildfires have entered urban areas, causing breathtaking destruction.
Survivors left everything to flee the Camp Fire's path. Andrew Whelton / Purdue University
Wildfires and Water<p>Both the Tubbs and Camp fires destroyed fire hydrants, water pipes and meter boxes. Water leaks and ruptured hydrants were common. The Camp Fire inferno spread at a speed of one football field per second, chasing everyone – including water system operators – out of town.</p><p>After the fires passed, testing ultimately revealed widespread hazardous drinking water contamination. Evidence suggests that the toxic chemicals originated from a combination of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/aws2.1183" target="_blank">burning vegetation, structures and plastic materials</a>.</p>
Pipes, water meters and meter covers after wildfires destroyed them. Caitlin Proctor, Amisha Shah, David Yu, and Andrew Whelton/Purdue University
Dangerous Contamination Levels<p>Benzene was found at concentrations of 40,000 parts per billion (ppb) in drinking water after the Tubbs Fire and at more than 2,217 ppb after the Camp Fire. According to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, children exposed to benzene for a single day can suffer <a href="https://engineering.purdue.edu/PlumbingSafety/resources/Benzene-Levels-in-Water.pdf" target="_blank">harm at levels as low as 26 ppb</a>.</p><p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends limiting children's short-term acute exposure to <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-03/documents/dwtable2018.pdf" target="_blank">200 ppb</a>, and long-term exposure to less than <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations" target="_blank">5 ppb</a>. The EPA regulatory level for what constitutes a hazardous waste is <a href="https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/tclp.pdf" target="_blank">500 ppb</a>.</p><p>In early 2019, California conducted contaminated water testing on humans by taking contaminated water from the Paradise Irrigation District and asking persons to smell it. The state found that even when people smelled contaminated water that had less than 200 ppb benzene, <a href="https://engineering.purdue.edu/PlumbingSafety/resources/Dissipatiion-of-Burn-Related-VOC-From-Water.pdf" target="_blank">at least one person reported nausea and throat irritation</a>. The test also showed that water contained a variety of other benzene-like compounds that first responders had not sampled for.</p><p>The officials who carried out this small-scale test did not appear to realize the significance of what they had done, until we asked whether they had had their action approved in advance by an institutional review board. In response, they asserted that such a review was not needed.</p><p>In our view, this episode is telling for two reasons. First, one subject reported an adverse health effect after being exposed to water that contained benzene at a level below the EPA's recommended one-day limit for children. Second, doing this kind of test without proper oversight suggests that officials greatly underestimated the potential for serious contamination of local water supplies and public harm. After the Camp Fire, together with the EPA, we estimated that some plastic pipes needed <a href="https://engineering.purdue.edu/PlumbingSafety/opinions/Final-HDPE-Service-Line-Decontamination-2019-03-18.pdf" target="_blank">more than 280 days</a> of flushing to make them safe again.</p>
Plastic pipes can be damaged by heat and fire contact. Andrew Whelton / Purdue University
Building Codes Could Make Areas Disaster-Ready<p>Our research underscores that community building codes are inadequate to prevent wildfire-caused pollution of drinking water and homes.</p><p>Installing one-way valves, called backflow prevention devices, at each water meter can prevent contamination rushing out of the damaged building from flowing into the larger buried pipe network.</p><p>Adopting codes that required builders to install fire-resistant meter boxes and place them farther from vegetation would help prevent infrastructure from burning so readily in wildfires. Concrete meter boxes and water meters with minimal plastic components would be less likely to ignite. Some plastics may be practically impossible to make safe again, since all types are susceptible to fire and heat.</p><p>Water main shutoff valves and water sampling taps should exist at every water meter box. Sample taps can help responders quickly determine water safety.</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9540d7e271306ed417112042a3efc9a4"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GnlrzI1wdAI?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The Smell Test Doesn’t Work<p>Under no circumstance should people be told to <a href="https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/press_room/press_releases/2018/pr122418_voc.pdf" target="_blank">smell the water</a> to determine its safety, as was recommended for months after the Camp Fire. Many chemicals have no odor when they are harmful. Only testing can determine safety.</p><p>Ordering people to boil their water will not make it safe if it contains toxic chemicals that enter the air. Boiling just transmits those substances into the air faster. "Do not use" orders can keep people safe until agencies can test the water. Before such advisories are lifted or modified, regulators should be required to carry out a full chemical screen of the water systems. Yet, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/aws2.1183" target="_blank">disaster</a> after <a href="https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/ew/c5ew00294j" target="_blank">disaster</a>, government agencies have failed to take this step.</p><p>Buildings should be tested to find contamination. <a href="https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2020/Q1/study-your-homes-water-quality-could-vary-by-the-room-and-the-season.html" target="_blank">Home drinking water quality can differ from room to room</a>, so reliable testing should sample both cold and hot water at many locations within each building.</p><p>While infrastructure is being repaired, survivors need a safe water supply. Water treatment devices sold for home use, such as refrigerator and faucet water filters, are not approved for extremely contaminated water, although product sales representatives and government officials may <a href="https://undark.org/2019/09/19/camp-fire-california-drinking-water-carcinogens/" target="_blank">mistakenly think</a> the devices can be used for that purpose.</p><p>To avoid this kind of confusion, external technical experts should be called in assist local public health departments, which can quickly become overwhelmed after disasters.</p>
<div id="71cf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e059d199e8368d282a31601e372e4dda"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1204068265980547075" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">The Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Committee signed off on an effort to expand the city's fire-re… https://t.co/fP8Z8mUq7R</div> — IntlCodeCouncil (@IntlCodeCouncil)<a href="https://twitter.com/IntlCodeCouncil/statuses/1204068265980547075">1575907219.0</a></blockquote></div>
Preparing for Future Fires<p>The damage that the Tubbs and Camp fires caused to local water systems was preventable. We believe that urban and rural communities, as well as state legislatures, should establish codes and lists of authorized construction materials for high-risk areas. They also should establish rapid methods to assess health, prepare for water testing and decontamination, and set aside emergency water supplies.</p><p>Wildfires are coming to urban areas. Protecting drinking water systems, buried underground or in buildings, is one thing communities can do to prepare for that reality.</p>
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By Zulfikar Abbany
"We don't have a definition of life," says Kevin Peter Hand, one early California morning when we speak via video. "We don't actually know what life is."