Red cabbage is a plant rich in nutrients that can protect your immune system and help to prevent several diseases. Packed with antioxidants, amino acids, and key vitamins, the dietary benefits of red cabbage have been widely studied. While it’s not uncommon to find red cabbage in the average contemporary diet, the fresh microgreens from this plant are more nutrient dense and can provide even greater health benefits.
From reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to preventing the growth of cancer cells, the benefits of red cabbage microgreens are both surprising and exciting.
Many ‘superfoods’ fail to live up to the claims, with little scientific research to back their efficacy. Red cabbage microgreens are different. Here are some of the most compelling health benefits that you can gain from incorporating red cabbage microgreens into your diet.
Vitamin C Immunity Boost from Red Cabbage Microgreens
Research has proven that microgreens are up to 40 times more nutrient dense than their mature counterparts . This can allow you to receive a huge nutritional boost when juicing or incorporating red cabbage microgreens into fresh salads and other raw-food recipes.
Highly concentrated Vitamin C in red cabbage microgreens helps to boost the immune system and protect you from common illnesses like cold and flu. People with high Vitamin C levels are also less at risk of developing eye disease and cardiovascular disease.
Your body also uses Vitamin C to produce collagen, which is an essential component of tissues in the body. Bone, joint, and overall skin health are improved with a regular source of Vitamin C.
Glucosinolates Found in Red Cabbage are Cancer Preventive
Sulfur-based chemicals like Glucosinolates are broken down when red cabbage microgreens are chopped, crushed, chewed, and digested. Byproducts like nitriles, isothiocyanates, and indoles are activated, and there is mounting evidence to show that these compounds can prevent or even help to treat cancer.
Isothiocyanates can prevent the development of cancer by inhibiting carcinogens that are introduced into the body through tobacco smoke or air pollution. Isothiocyanates are so powerful that they are now being developed for use in lung cancer pharmaceuticals [2, 3].
Because cruciferous vegetables like red cabbage microgreens can protect against DNA damage, reduce inflammation, and promote unhealthy cell death, they are considered to be amongst the most powerful natural cancer-fighting agents known today.
Vitamin U Found in Red Cabbage Microgreens Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
While not technically a vitamin, the chemical compound known as Vitamin U is abundant in red cabbage microgreens and can help to protect your stomach and promote gastrointestinal health.
The benefits of Vitamin U were first discovered in the 1950s when cabbage juice was found to help treat ulcers and protect the stomach lining in patients. In controlled trials, fresh cabbage juice containing Vitamin U was found to reduce peptic ulcer healing time to 10 days. The average healing time for patients treated by conventional means was as high as 37 days .
Gastric ulcer improvements were similar, with fresh cabbage juice reducing healing times to 7 days, from an average of 42 days. This leads us to believe that if you consume red cabbage microgreens, which are up to 40x more potent than the adult plant, you can see the same positive effects as the cabbage juice identified in the study.
Red Cabbage Microgreens Could Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases like Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of neurodegenerative disease and is the leading cause of dementia in aged persons. While Alzheimer’s is often associated with genetic and lifestyle factors that can damage the brain over time, it is now understood that diet could help to prevent it from developing.
Elevated amyloid plaques in nervous system tissues are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Laboratory testing has proven that red cabbage microgreen extracts can reduce amyloid plaque concentration by a significant amount, sometimes from 100% to just 9.6% in a controlled environment . While further study is needed to fully understand the relationship between microgreens and Alzheimer’s, introducing red cabbage sprouts into your diet today could significantly reduce your risk of neurodegenerative conditions later in life.
Anthocyanins in Red Cabbage Provide Several Key Health Benefits
Red cabbage and other dark foods like blueberry, cocoa, and pomegranate are rich sources of anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins do more than just color foods. They can inhibit the formation and growth of cancer tumors, limit oxidative stress in the body, and fight carcinogens that are ingested, inhaled, or absorbed by other means .
Oxidative stress has been linked to a plethora of diseases, ranging from Parkinson’s to Asthma, and Diabetes to Hypertension. A diet rich in anthocyanins could drastically limit the risk of developing cancer and other diseases.
You Could Maintain a Healthy Weight Range with the Help of Red Cabbage Microgreens
Early testing has revealed that red cabbage microgreens could help to reduce weight gain and keep cholesterol at healthy levels . The microgreens not only limit weight gain, but they also provide an antioxidant boost that can lower triglycerides in the liver.
Weight gain is a widespread problem in the developed world. Stress, low-quality nutrition, and sedentary lifestyles are leading to what is often labeled as an obesity epidemic. Although research is in the early stages, it is highly probable that daily or regular consumption of red cabbage microgreens could significantly improve health by controlling weight and cholesterol. By extension, microgreens will also improve heart health and limit the risk of diabetes, inflammation, and other common health problems.
A Simple Choice for a Healthier Future
Red cabbage microgreens meet all the criteria for what is traditionally considered to be a superfood. The difference, in this case, is that there is extensive scientific evidence to back up the claims.
From protection against disease to managing weight and cholesterol, there’s perhaps no other food as simple and effective. If you choose to live a healthier lifestyle with natural unprocessed foods, then red cabbage microgreens simply make sense.
Incorporating red cabbage microgreens into your diet could provide all the listed benefits, and our understanding of new health benefits is only likely to increase as more research is conducted in the coming years.
- Tiny Microgreens Packed with Nutrients. https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20120831/tiny-microgreens-packed-nutrients#1
- Inhibition of carcinogenesis by isothiocyanates. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11139137
- Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12094621
- Rapid Healing of Peptic Ulcers in Patients Receiving Fresh Cabbage Juice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1643665/
- Potential Properties of Plant Sprout Extracts on Amyloid β. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4939385/
- Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Investigative Approach. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/
- Red cabbage microgreens lower ‘bad’ cholesterol in animal study. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2016/acs-presspac-december-14-2016/microgreens-could-lower-bad-cholesterol.html.html