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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For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.
What Is PTSD?<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/veterans-refugees-and-victims-of-war-crimes-are-all-vulnerable-to-ptsd-130144" target="_blank">PTSD</a> can occur when someone is exposed to extreme exposure traumatic experience. Typically, the trauma involves a threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Along with war veterans, it happens to refugees; to victims of gun violence, rape and other physical assaults; and to survivors of car accidents and natural disasters like earthquakes or tornadoes.</p><p>PTSD can also happen by witnessing trauma or its aftermath, often the case with <a href="https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd" target="_blank">first responders</a> and <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-many-faces-anxiety-and-trauma/202006/invisible-wounds-the-frontline-heroes" target="_blank">front-line workers</a>.</p><p>All this adds up to tens of millions of Americans. Up to 30% of combat veterans and first responders, and 8% of civilians, <a href="https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/essentials/epidemiology.asp" target="_blank">fulfill the diagnostic criteria for PTSD</a>. And that criteria is not easily met: symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive trauma memories, difficulty sleeping, avoidance of reminders of trauma, negative emotions, and what we call "hyperarousal symptoms."</p>
Fireworks Can Trigger Flashbacks<p>Hyperarousal, a core component of PTSD, occurs when a person is hyper-alert to any sign of threat – constantly on edge, easily startled and continuously screening the environment.</p><p>Imagine, for instance, stepping down the stairs in the dark after hearing a noise; you're worried an intruder might be downstairs. Then a totally unpredictable loud sound explodes right outside your window.</p><p>For people with PTSD, that sound – reminiscent of gunfire, a thunderstorm or a car crash – <a href="https://theconversation.com/veterans-refugees-and-victims-of-war-crimes-are-all-vulnerable-to-ptsd-130144" target="_blank">can cause</a> a panic attack or trigger flashbacks, a sensory experience that makes it seem as if the old trauma is happening here and now. Flashbacks can be so severe that combat veterans may suddenly drop to the ground, the same way they would when an explosion took place in combat. Later, the experience can trigger nightmares, insomnia or worsening of other PTSD symptoms.</p><p>Those of us who set off fireworks need to ask ourselves: Are those few minutes of fun worth the hours, days, or weeks of torment that will begin for some of our friends and neighbors – including many who put their lives on the line to protect us?</p>
Who Else Is Affected?<p>Millions of others, though not diagnosed with PTSD, may similarly be affected by fireworks. <a href="https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics" target="_blank">One in five Americans</a> have an anxiety disorder, many with symptoms of hyperarousal. Also impacted are those with autism or developmental disabilities; they find it difficult to cope with the noise, or just the drastic change from life routines. Then there are people who have to work, holiday or not: nurses, physicians and first responders, who have to be up at 4 a.m. for a 30-hour shift.</p><h3>How to Reduce the Negative Impact</h3><p>There are ways to reduce how fireworks affect others:</p><ul><li>For those with PTSD, the unexpected nature of fireworks is probably the worst part. So at least make it as predictable as possible. Do it in designated areas during designated times. Don't explode one, for instance, two hours after the designated time window. And avoid setting them off <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/04/fireworks-ptsd-fourth-of-july-veterans-shooting-survivors" target="_blank">on the 3rd</a>. People are less prepared then.</li><li>If you're aware that a veteran or trauma survivor lives in the neighborhood, move the noise as far as possible from their home and give them prior warning. Consider putting a sign in your front yard noting the time you'll set the fireworks.</li><li>Remember, it doesn't have to be super loud to make it fun. Consider using <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/504964-its-time-for-silent-fireworks" target="_blank">silent fireworks</a>. And you don't have to be the one who lights the fireworks. Simply enjoy watching while your city or township does it safely.</li></ul>
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