Does anyone else have a family tradition of eating cabbage and black-eyed peas at the start of the New Year? Ideas on the origin range from the Romans to the Egyptians to Civil War soldiers. Cabbage is ultimately a symbol of economic fortune because the green leaves take on the appearance of money. However, it comes with its own array of micronutrients correlated with the color. Let’s dive right in!
- The antioxidant of vitamin C to fortify our immune systems and contributes to collagen development. Red cabbage so happens to be one of the chief vitamin C foods, carrying a whopping 85% of our daily needs in one cup. That’s more vitamin C than an orange! Green cabbage is still a valuable member at having 47% of our daily needs
- Vitamin K is another valuable crewmember aboard this leafy ship. Red cabbage hauls a rich source of this bone friendly vitamin, both preserving bone calcium and decreasing osteoporosis risk. However, green cabbage sails ahead by containing twice as much vitamin K cargo than red cabbage
- Red cabbage comes swinging back with twice as much iron as green cabbage. This micronutrient shuttles oxygen to our cells for daily functioning in life. Without iron, we could experience fatigue and anemia.
- The phytonutrients of red cabbage fight off inflammation scallywags, such as arthritis
- Vitamin A supports healthy skin, immune system, teeth, skeletal tissue, eyes, and mucous membranes. There’s ten times more vitamin A in red than green cabbage.
- Get your digestion in ship-shape with fermenting cabbage. Be it kimchi or sauerkraut, these fermented cabbages contain probiotics to provide smooth passageway through the gut
- Red cabbage’s anthocyanins have antioxidants that help reduce risk or reverse chronic, degenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Green cabbage does not hold this.
- Steamed cabbage has fiber components that bind bile acids for easier excretion and lower cholesterol levels.
Curious why red and green cabbage have differing colors? The darker leaves of red cabbage originates from soil pH levels and those anthocyanin antioxidants mentioned above. So yes, there are different nutrition levels for each cabbage variety, though they have a similar taste. And again, it’s a great food to buy when watching our doubloons!
Cooking for the Messdeck
Cabbage is commonly consumed steamed, braised or stir-frying or raw. Eating it raw will keep many of the beneficial nutrients. The more cabbage is cooked, the more it loses nutrients. However, as far as cooking methods go, steaming cabbage will help retain the greatest amount of micronutrients.
Both red and green cabbage will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Just store the cabbage head in a plastic bag and place in the crisper.
I must say, braised cabbage is a personal favorite cooking method of mine. Sliced cabbage + sliced onion + broth + heat = deliciousness! A whole head of cabbage hardly lasts 24 hours in my messdeck because it’s just that yummy! Have a try for yourself or branch off onto different ways of cooking cabbage.
Here’s a few recipe maps to start your culinary journey off for delectable treasure!