Health: that's why we should eat a lot more cabbage

Cabbage - Versatile and rich in vitamins: What are we actually eating?
There is hardly a vegetable that is as diverse as cabbage. Various varieties such as white cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and kohlrabi are found under the botanical name Brassica oleracea. They differ very much in terms of structure and shape.

Despite the differences, all subspecies of vegetable cabbage have one thing in common: They originally come from wild cabbage - a two-year-old plant that grows on the Mediterranean coast and the European Atlantic coast. In the first year of vegetation, this forms a rosette, i.e. a strongly compressed shoot with closely spaced leaves. After exposure to cold in winter, the sprout stretches and the plant begins to bloom.

White cabbage, red cabbage, pointed cabbage and savoy cabbage are classic types of cabbage that we harvest and eat as a rosette. Its leaf rosettes, which are tightly closed, especially in the case of white and red cabbage, form a firm, basic head with fleshy and lobed leaves. Not so firm heads, which are also somewhat smaller and conical, are typical of the pointed cabbage. The heads of savoy cabbage are even looser, the leaves of which curl at the edge and curl as a whole. The more or less curled leaves of the now very popular kale are also used. The green or red waxy leaves are attached to a sprout with strong stems. The kale belongs to the so-called leafy cabbage. The individual florets of the Brussels sprouts represent a kind of »mini cabbage«. These compact and walnut-sized leaf buds grow on a stem around 50 to 70 centimeters high in the area of ​​the leaf axils.

With cauliflower, broccoli and Romanesco, the fleshy inflorescences, which stand together in one head, are eaten as vegetables. In kohlrabi, it is the thickened and above-ground growing tuber, i.e. the compressed main sprout of the plant, that we use.

No matter which plant organ we eat: cabbage contains many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C or B vitamins, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, calcium and iron, kale also vitamin K and provitamin A. In addition, cabbage has plenty of fiber and secondary plant substances. The latter are said to have numerous positive properties. A regular intake is said to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol and blood sugar levels and support the immune system.

By the way: Mustard oil glycosides are responsible for the special taste of the cabbage. Spices such as caraway or fennel seeds help against the flatulence. When shopping, you should pay attention to fresh and undamaged goods. Cabbage is optimally stored at home in the refrigerator, but not together with fruit. Overall, cabbage is a healthy, diverse and, moreover, inexpensive pleasure! Heike Stommel, respectively

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