When it is said “you are what you eat” It should not be taken for granted. Often people desire some kind of looks, skin texture, size, weight and even healing but they find it difficult to achieve such, not knowing that a common farm produce is all they need. In this edition, we want to feature a simple, unique, common and cheap agricultural produce that is so neglected due to ignorance. May I introduce the CABBAGE!
WHAT IS CABBAGE?
Cabbage is a hardy, leafy vegetable.
Cabbage comes as a leafy biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. It comes in colours of green, red (purple), or white (pale green). Cabbage is classified as a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family and is round or oval in shape. It consists of soft inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world because of its health benefits, and can be prepared in a number of ways. Cabbage is said to belong to the group of cole crops, meaning, it is closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
GROWING AND HARVESTING CABBAGE
Cabbage can be difficult to grow if you don’t have the knowledge because it likes cool temperatures and can be a magnet for some types of garden pests. But, you can grow cabbages in your garden. It is simple! You may have two successful crops in one year with adequate planning.
To prepare the soil, till in aged manure orcompost. Cabbages can be grown near beans and cucumbers but not close to tomatoes The plant is propagated with the seeds. Plant 12 to 24 inches apart in rows, depending on the size of head desired. The closer you plant, the smaller the cabbages.
When seedlings reach about 5 inches tall, thin to make sure that they are still the desired length apart. Mulch thickly around the area to retain moisture. In 70 days, your cabbage is due for harvest. Harvest when heads reach desired size and are firm. Most early varieties will produce 0.5 to 2kg heads.Cut each cabbage head at its base with a sharp knife. After harvesting, bring inside or put in shade immediately.
To get two crops from early cabbage plants, cut the cabbage head out of the plant, leaving the outer leaves and root in the garden. The plant will send up new heads – pinch them off until only four or so smaller heads remain. When these grow to tennis-ball size, they’ll be perfect for salad.
HOW TO STORE CABBAGE
Cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than two weeks, wrapped lightly in plastic. Make sure it is dry before storing. In proper root cellar conditions, cabbage will keep for up to 3 months.Alternatively, leave them in a cool dry shade with adequate ventilation.
Cabbage is one such vegetable that can be added to a number of dishes and still be enjoyed just the same way with its amazing health benefits.Cabbage can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted, sautéed, or stuffed. To get the best out of this vegie, keep it simple and drizzle, roasted chopped cabbage with olive oil, cracked black pepper, and minced garlic.You can add shredded cabbage to a fresh green salad or chopped cabbage to any soup or stew near the end of cooking. You can as well make cabbage foofoo and serve with desired soup.
- CABBAGE STEW
There are various ways to prepare this but it obviously turns out yummy with minced meat, corned beef or fish.
- Place cabbage into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. …
Heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. …
Mix water and tomato paste in a small bowl until smooth; pour into the saucepan.
- Add in roughly chopped cabbage, carrot, garlic and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Cook it over medium high heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour 1 cup of hot water and cook until it boils. Bring it to the lowest heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- CABBAGE JUICE
- Cabbage juice can be used as food and as medicine. It is traditionally acclaimed as one of the best natural treatments for many ailments.
It is also very easy to make and store as you do not need any advanced equipment or special skills.
Choose and chop the Cabbage. Blend it in hot water at low speed for about 10 seconds. Pour the mixture into a jar and allow to sit at room temperature. Strain with mesh strainer and store in the refrigerator.
- Wash and cut your cabbage with other veggies, then run the juicer and your fresh cabbage drink is ready.
- CABBAGE SWALLOW
To prepare cabbage swallow, you need 1/2 head of cabbage (depending on size) and 2 tablespoons of Psyllium husk and water.
* Cut and wash the cabbage
* Boil with little water for about 5 minutes
* Strain water and blend cabbage till it forms a smooth puree.
* Pour puree into a pot and heat on low flame for about 3 minutes while stirring.
* While heating up, add Psyllium husk to bind the puree together and keep stirring with wooden spoon.
*Mold it like any other swallows.
Alas! Your cabbage swallow is ready to be served with a soup of your choice.
- CABBAGE WITH TAPIOCA
Tapioca or Abacha is a traditional Igbo delicacy that has gained international recognition as people across the globe enjoy it and applaud its rich nutrition value.
It is usually prepared with some local vegetables. Recent discovery shows that using cabbage on Abacha gives a special appeal and yet fortifies the dish with vitamins and other nutrients.
Knowing what you know now, it would be suggestive of wisdom if you make cabbage a “constant” in your kitchen.
NATURAL HEALTH WITH TOBY
CABBAGE AND HEALTH
It is said that every food is drug. The advice, to eat food as drug so as not to eat drug as food, can never be over flogged. The good thing about food is that they are not just natural but organic. With these qualities, one will never go wrong. Again, the pharmacists tell us every medicine is a potential poison. Eating natural food will not only improve health but also save us from potential illnesses that may emanate from use of medicines.
Let’s survey the medicinal and cosmetic values of the plant CABBAGE.
FOOD VALUE/ NUTRITION
Hope your family is fine. Cabbage is said to be a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is a healthy addition to your diet as it is high in antioxidants including flavonoids, zeaxanthin, lutein, choline, and beta-carotene. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, it also contains other various vitamins. A 100 gram serving of cabbage contains only about 25 calories, it proudly holds a place as a healthy addition to your diet. Cabbage is inexpensive and can practically work miracles.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CABBAGE
Cabbage has many antioxidants–particularly red cabbage, which is chock full of anthocyanins. Research shows that antioxidants can reduce inflammation, be protective against certain cancers and enhance brain function. They contain sulforaphane, which is a compound that reduces inflammation. This information is given by Professor of Clinical Phytoscience, Herbert Tilg. The research indicates that Cabbage is known to accumulate a build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves; one of the main components of that is glutamine. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, so consuming it can help to reduce inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.
The journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, published research suggesting that brassica vegetables like cabbage- which contain a relatively high content of glucosinolates, have anti-carcinogenic properties. This means that cabbage and other similar vegetables scavenge (collect) free radicals, which can be detrimental to overall health and are major contributors to cancer and heart diseases.
Cabbage is said to contain glucosinolates that can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds. This conversion helps in the prevention of various cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and colon cancer.
Red cabbage specifically has been proven to contain a number of anti-cancer compounds like lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane (glucosinolates derived isothiocyanate), which are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors that lead to cancer. This disclosure was validated in a study publishec in the journal of Pharmacological Research. The study examined a population of primarily Chinese women who showed a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were regularly added to their diet.
Supports the Digestive Tract
Cabbage is rich in fiber and helps the body retain water even as it maintains the bulkiness of the food as it moves through the bowels.
Lack of roughage in food can result in constipation, which is identified as the root cause of many other ailments such as stomach ulcers, headaches, indigestion, and a subsequent loss of appetite. The dangers of roughage or fiber deficiency may even extend to hundreds of mild to serious conditions, including eczema and premature aging.
A 2012 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology suggests that fiber, present in cabbage, helps bulk up the bowel movements and treat constipation.
Cabbage is proven to be a rich source of beta-carotene, so, many people, particularly, as they get older, turn to cabbage for its ability to prevent macular degeneration and promote good eye health and delay cataract formation.
Heart Health, Cholesterol & Immunity
A 2012 study lead by Dr. Piotr Duchnowicz of the University of Łódź in Poland, asserts that cabbage is rich in polyphenols, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering LDL cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, and preventing platelet build-up. Also, by binding the bile acids, cabbage helps to lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
Because of the high vitamin C content of cabbage, it helps in boosting the immune system and fighting off free radicals.
CABBAGE AND BEAUTY CARE
Skin Care & Vitamin C
Cabbage can cause a turn-around in your aging processes, leaving you feeling and looking healthy and young.
Research indicates that cabbage, which is a cruciferous vegetable has high vitamin C content which helps in boosting the immune system and fighting off free radicals. It is also said to be rich in antioxidants which play a major role in skin health and the body’s response to the aging process.
Dermatologists suggest that free radicals can be an underlying cause of wrinkles, skin discoloration, spots, and many other conditions.
Watching or losing weight is advisable especially as one grows older but the process or system of weight loss becomes an issue. It is always good to lose weight and still look/ be healthy.
Cabbage is usually recommended for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. Since cabbage has many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, including water and fiber, it is a healthy dietary option for people looking to eat healthier and shedding pounds. Dieticians say it is also low in calories, containing only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage. Given these beneficial traits, the fad “cabbage soup” diet is often used for those looking to lose weight fast.
Nutritionists however warn that cabbage is not nutritionally complete, and should be made a part of a balanced, healthy diet, not the main component!
Cabbage, being rich in sulfur and silicon, helps in preventing dry hair. It also has a high vitamin A content that acts as an antioxidant and promotes hair growth.
Cabbage has an abundant amount of beta-carotene. According to studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology, dietary beta-carotene has been positively linked with reduced chances of prostate cancer, which is an extra bonus on top of other anti-carcinogenic effects of cabbage!
Improves Brain Health
When you carefully separate a leaf of cabbage from the clove and spread it out, it does look like a picture of the internal structure of the nrsinfrlmbehind. That tells you that cabbage is a very powerful brain food! Experts disclose that the presence of vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage can give a strong boost to mental function and concentration. Vitamin K is essential for the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around some nerves cells. This wrapping is what protects the nerves from damage and decay. Therefore, consuming vitamin K containing foods can improve your defense against neural degeneration. It also appears that the nutrient uptake of cabbage is not limited by anything and that people can eat as much cabbage as they want. Cabbage, being rich in iodine, also helps in the proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, along with keeping the glands of the endocrine system in proper condition.
Cabbage, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, are great sources of minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These three essential minerals are integral in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and general bone weakening.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Red cabbage happens to be a good source of anthocyanins. A study by Professor Ailsa A. Welch and her team states that “Higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women.” Simply put, anthocyanin-rich cabbage helps lower blood pressure levels and prevents heart diseases.
Also, the presence of potassium in cabbage also makes it a wonderful way to protect yourself from elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Potassium is a vasodilator, which means that it opens up the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood, so it isn’t being forced in a stress-inducing way through constricted arteries and veins. Overall, it is a great shield against many types of dangerous conditions!
Cabbage is rich in sulfur, which is a very useful nutrient as it fights infections. A deficiency of sulfur can result in microbial infections and a greatly reduced healing speed. It also reduces the frequency and severity of ulcers.
From the foregoing, it is clear that cabbage is also one of the wonders of nature. Not just for being readily available, it is cost effective and not cumbersome to grow, or prepare. Why not make cabbage, your friend today (African Leaders project for 2063).