What is a Red Cabbage?
The red cabbage (purple-leaved varieties of Brassica oleracea Capitata Group) is a kind of cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut after preparation. Its leaves are colored dark red/purple. However, the plant changes its color according to the pH value of the soil, due to a pigment belonging to anthocyanins.
In acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish, in neutral soils they will grow more purple, while an alkaline soil will produce rather greenish-yellow colored cabbages. This explains the fact that the same plant is known by different colors in various regions. Furthermore, the juice of red cabbage can be used as a home-made pH indicator, turning red in acid and green/yellow in basic solutions. It can be found in Northern Europe, throughout the Americas, in China and especially in Africa. On cooking, red cabbage will normally turn blue. To retain the red color it is necessary to add vinegar or acidic fruit to the pot.
Red cabbage needs well fertilized soil and sufficient humidity to grow. It is a seasonal plant which is seeded in spring and harvested in late fall. Red cabbage is a better keeper than its “white” relatives and does not need to be converted to sauerkraut to last the winter.
Red Cabbage is also known as purple cabbage, it has a richer supply of anthocyanins, which can help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration and many other diseases.The red cabbage is low in calories, 1-cup serving of chopped raw purple cabbage contains only 28 calories.
Red Cabbage History
Red Cabbage, Brassica Oleracea Var. Rubra / Cruciferae (Brassicaceae) is native to southern Europe. At present, it is grown all over Europe. In Spain, this vegetable does not bear a significant economic and commercial interest because the productions are usually limited to the demand of the domestic market as a popular vegetable. Its culture spreads along the Mediterranean coast, from Barcelona to Murcia, being the central regions, Madrid and Toledo, the main producers, perhaps because of the special appreciation of the Madrilenian consumers towards this vegetable.
This vegetable is generally grown in most of the European countries, mainly France and Italy, as well as Africa and mainly in Minor Asia.
There is no data for such a species in the ‘Anuarios de Estadística Agraria del Ministerio de Agricultura’, since they include the two species of cabbage: Brassica oleracea var. capitata (varieties of cabbages of even leaves, headed cabbage, red cabbage, white cabbage) and Brasica oleracea var.bullata (cabbage of curly leaves, Savoy cabbage).
These two species amount to 343,600 t in the Spanish production, in which numerous Spanish provinces participate. However, most of the production comes from Pontevedra and Valencia. 67% of this yield is intended for marketing in fresh in the domestic market. Exports only represent 1% of the total production (MAPA 1991). The output is between 25 and 50 tons per hectare.
Since there are no specific data available on this species (Red cabbage) the global data of cabbages in the world are shown below. In 1998, the world-wide production of cabbages of all type totalled 48,241 thousand tons.
Red Cabbage Nutrition
One of the main reasons why red cabbage is such a popular vegetable addition to meals is the wealth of phytochemicals, antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These essential components include thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and the B vitamins. Its organic compounds are almost too many to list, but its antioxidants like anthocyanins and indoles are extremely valuable for human health.
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Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 31
- Fat 0.2 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 27 mg – 1% RDA
- Potassium 243 mg – 6% RDA
- Carbohydrate 7 g – 2% RDA
- Dietary fiber 2.1 g – 8% RDA
- Sugar 3.8 g
- Protein 1.4 g – 2% RDA
- Vitamin A 22% RDA
- Vitamin C 95% RDA
- Calcium 4% RDA
- Iron 4% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 10%
- Magnesium 4%
While green cabbage is the most commonly eaten variety, red cabbage offers more nutritional benefits as well as a hearty, robust flavor. Red cabbage contains a type of group of phytochemicals or compounds found in plant foods with disease-fighting properties known, collectively, as polyphenols. Polyphenols may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Red cabbage is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber and a rich source of several vitamins.
Coagulate with Vitamin K
Proteins that participate in blood clotting depend on the presence of vitamin K to complete their part of process. Other vitamin-K-dependent proteins regulate bone mineralization. Long-term deficiency of vitamin K increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and cancer, according to research published in the April 2012 issue of Food and Nutrition Research. You’ll get 28 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K from 1 cup of chopped red cabbage.
Basic Nutrient Stats
One cup of raw red cabbage, chopped, or about 89 g provides 27 calories, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 24 milligrams of sodium. Red cabbage is rich in several vitamins, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and manganese. Red cabbage, in addition to polyphenols, red cabbage is rich in beta-carotene, which offers antioxidant benefits.
One cup of raw, chopped red cabbage provides 993.2 international units of vitamin A, meeting 19 percent of the recommended daily value, or DV, for this nutrient. Most of its vitamin A is in the form of beta-carotene — the form found in most brightly-colored vegetables and fruits. Vitamin A enhances immunity, aids in growth and development and promotes healthy eyesight. One cup of this veggie offers 50.7 milligrams of vitamin C, or 84 percent of the DV, and 40 micrograms of vitamin K, or 56 percent of the DV. Vitamin C enhances immune system function, promotes gum health and aids in wound healing and collagen production. Vitamin K is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and blood clotting.
Amount: 25.8 mg
Daily Value: 43%
One cup of raw red cabbage, chopped, provides 216.3 milligrams of potassium, or 9 percent of the DV, and 0.217 milligrams of manganese, or 10 percent of the DV. Many foods, particularly meats, dairy products and produce, are rich in potassium and cabbage is no exception. Potassium, a major mineral, is important for regulating heartbeat and blood pressure as well as promoting fluid balance within the body. Manganese, a trace mineral, is involved in energy metabolism, or converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy for cells to utilize.
Red cabbage is rich in a particular polyphenol group called anthocyanins. A 3-ounce serving of raw red cabbage provides 196.5 milligrams of polyphenols — 28.3 milligrams of which are anthocyanins. The anthocyanin and vitamin C content of red cabbage is much greater than that of green cabbage. According to Ronald Wrolstad, Oregon State University professor of food science and technology, experimental evidence exists that shows certain anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.
Preparation and Cooking
Remove the outer leaves of the head of cabbage and, even though the inside of cabbage is typically clean, you may still wish to clean it to remove any leftover debris. To do so, cut the inner head into chunks and rinse. You may slice, chop or shred this vegetable prior to cooking, but be aware that over-cooking vegetables, such as red cabbage, destroys many of the vitamins and other beneficial compounds. To retain the most nutrients, it is best to cook in a small amount of water. Light steaming is an effective cooking method.
Health Benefits of Red Cabbage
1. Prevents Cancer Risk
Red Cabbage is rich in antioxidant, which neutralizes free radicals which are responsible for various diseases including cancer and heart disease. Red cabbage contains anthocyanins and indoles (antioxidants), indoles have been connected to reducing breast cancer in women in a number of studies.
2. Eye Care
Red cabbage has Vitamin A which helps to keep eyesight healthy and prevents macular degeneration and cataract formation. Vitamin A can also be converted into beta-carotene, which is very important for maintaining eye health as you age. The high levels of vitamin A are not only good for your skin, but also for your eyes. Vitamin A helps keep the eyesight healthy and prevents macular degeneration and cataract formation. It can also be converted into beta-carotene, which is very important for maintaining eye health as you age.
3. Aids in weight loss
Red cabbage is very low in calories, but high in dietary fiber and has a wealth of important vitamins and minerals. Basically, this means that it gives you more bang for your buck, leaving you feeling full and taking care of your nutritional needs, without encouraging you to eat more food or overeat from empty calories. This can be a great addition to your daily diet if you are trying to lose weight, maintain a diet regimen, or simply improve your intake of calories.
4. Treats Ulcers
Red cabbage contains a large amount of a specific amino acid called glutamine. This specific amino acid is very good for reducing the inflammation and pain associated with ulcers in the gastrointestinal system. Red cabbage juice is specifically the best treatment for this condition and has been used as a home remedy for a very long time. Red cabbage contains a large amount of a specific amino acid called glutamine. This specific amino acid is very good for reducing the inflammation and pain associated with ulcers in the gastrointestinal system. Red cabbage juice is specifically the best treatment for this condition and has been used as a home remedy for a very long time.
5. Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C in red cabbage is an important antioxidant which stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which form the first line of defense for the immune system. Vitamin C is also important in the formation of collagen, which keeps our bodies and cells connected and solid. Red cabbage is a wealth of vitamins, but none is as important as vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is an important antioxidant and is a massive element of our immune system. It stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which form the first line of defense for the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin C is important in the formation of collagen, which keeps our bodies and cells connected and solid.
Red cabbage contains calcium, magnesium, manganese which are essential minerals in bone growth and mineral density that protects against osteoporosis, arthritis, and various other types of inflammation. The high concentrations of certain essential minerals make red cabbage one of the best vegetables to eat to ensure healthy bone growth and development. Like other vegetables in the Brassicaceae family, red cabbage is rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, and other important minerals that contribute to bone growth and mineral density that protects against osteoporosis, arthritis, and various other types of inflammation.
7. Protects from Alzheimer’s Disease
Memory and cognitive loss in patients with alzheimer is caused by a certain type of plaque, red cabbage has anthocyanins that reduce the occurrence of the plaque.
8. Skin Care
The antioxidants in red cabbage helps reduce the signs of aging that can occur due to free radicals. Antioxidants keep the skin fresh, tight, and flexible, reducing the wrinkles and age spots.
Red cabbage also contains Vitamin A which is beneficial for skin health, regrowth of skin cells, protection from sun damage, and the elasticity of the skin.
9. Promote healthy digestion
Red cabbage provides dietary fiber which significantly promotes the digestion tract function. Fiber add bulk to the stool and make it easier to absorb by the intestine.
10. Heart Health
Red cabbage has potassium which play important role in keeping normal heart beat. Fiber and the antioxidant in red cabbage also can reduce the number of bad fat or Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood which can increase the risk of heart disease.
There are a number of aspects in red cabbage that makes it ideal for keeping you looking young. Antioxidants do more than protecting you from the impact of free radicals in terms of critical disease; they also help reduce the signs of aging that can occur due to free radicals. Antioxidants keep your skin fresh, tight, and flexible, reducing the wrinkles and age spots that so commonly occur. Furthermore, the high levels of vitamin A in red cabbage is very beneficial for skin health, regrowth of skin cells, protection from sun damage, and the elasticity of the skin.
12.Elixir of Youth
Red cabbage can indeed keep you looking youthful through many of its compounds. For instance, antioxidants help to lessen the aging signs that can result from free radicals. They likewise keep the skin tight, fresh, and supple. Moreover, the generous amounts of vitamin A in red cabbage are great for healthy skin, the regeneration of skin cells, sun damage protection, and overall elasticity. Red cabbage is also loaded with sulphur, an element needed for keratin production, a protein that creates strong, healthy hair, nails and skin.
13. Manage Hypertension
Red cabbage is quite abundant with potassium, which improves blood circulation. Potassium also absorbs excess sodium, which is linked with high blood pressure.
How to Select And Store Red Cabbage
All varieties of cabbage are available year-round in most markets. They weigh in from one to seven pounds. Cabbage heads should be large and compact (not fluffy), heavy for their size, with tender green leaves showing no evidence of damage or insect nibbles.
Fresh cabbage will have a generous amount of wrapper (outer) leaves. Greengrocers will pull off wilted outer leaves as the cabbage ages. Check the bottom of the cabbage to be sure the leaves are not beginning to separate from the stem, an indication of age. The Savoy cabbage variety will not feel as heavy as standard varieties, since the leaves are not as tightly furled.
Look for cabbages that have bright colour to them. Cabbage comes in either a green or red color. When picking out green cabbages, look for those that are shiny and bright, almost lime, green. Red cabbages should be a deep maroonish-purple color. Feel the outside to make sure that the cabbage is firm to the touch. If you feel a cabbage and it feels soft and spongy rather than firm and dense, your cabbage might be rotten on the inside. Only pick out cabbages that are firm or hard to the touch.
Pay attention to the leaves. When you are picking out a cabbage, look for cabbages that only have a few leaves hanging free from the rest of the head. If your whole cabbage looks like its come a little undone, and there are many leaves that are not tightly pressed to the stem (or center) of the cabbage, that cabbage might have a weird texture or flavor.
You should also look for leaves that are crisp rather than soft. Soft leaves means that the cabbage is a little old or has had damage done to it.
Avoid any cabbages that shows signs of discoloration or rotting. If the leaves are heavily damaged or there are a lot of blemishes, or dark spots, on the cabbage, you should not buy it. These characteristics are generally associated with worm damage.
Know the difference between large and small heads of cabbage. Generally, larger heads of cabbage will have a milder flavor than smaller, more compact heads of cabbage. If you are new to eating cabbage, or are trying to get yourself to like it, pick larger heads that will hit you with less of that cabbage-y flavor.
You should also keep in mind that a cabbage picked after a frost will be sweeter than one picked before a frost. If you are purchasing your cabbage from a farmers market, ask the person selling cabbage if their farm has had a frost yet.
Store the whole head of cabbage in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week, two weeks if it is fresh from the garden. But remember, the older it gets, the stronger the flavor and odor will be. The looser-leaved Savoy variety should be used within a few days.
Cabbage will lose freshness rapidly once the head is chopped, so plan on using it within a day. If you only need half a head, place the remaining half in a plastic bag and shake a few drops of water onto the cut side. Close the bag and refrigerate. The cut half should last another few days if it was fairly fresh when you cut it.To freeze cabbage: Cut into coarse shreds and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water.
Remove, drain, and chill. Pack into airtight containers and freeze up to one year. Once thawed, frozen cabbage will only work well in cooked applications. Canned sauerkraut should be used within six months. Fresh sauerkraut from the market should be used within one week. Cooked cabbage may be refrigerated in a covered container for up to four days.
Keep your cabbage whole until you plan to use it. When you cut cabbage in half, it begins to lose its vitamin C.
If you absolutely must store half of a cabbage, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Store the cabbage in the crisper of your fridge. Keeping your cabbage cold will help it retain its nutrients and crisp texture. Place inside a plastic bag first.
It should stay in prime condition for up to two weeks. If you have purchased Savoy cabbage, only store it in your refrigerator for one week. Use it after the week is up or else it will begin to go bad. Discard the outer leaves before you use your cabbage. This is especially important to do if any of the leaves have withered during storage or travel. Rinse the leaves and use as required. Enjoy!
Tips for Serving Red Cabbage
Red cabbage, purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut … call it what you will – this is how to cook with red cabbage in six delicious ways so you can enjoy the surprisingly versatile brassica in the kitchen this winter.
A stalwart of the vegetable drawer, red cabbage is a survivor and coupled with its vibrant color and affordability, it’s about time it shed its frumpy image and let it show you what it’s got. There are plenty of possibilities for experimenting with red cabbage in the kitchen, either raw or cooked, adding color and crunch to winter recipes, it’s also perfect paired with cheese, pork, duck, game and even fish.
Nutrition In Red Cabbage
Red cabbage also packs a nutritional punch. The vibrant color gives away the game, indicating a greater presence of vitamin A and iron. Plus it’s full of vitamin C – especially when eaten raw – as well as antioxidants. What’s not to like?
How To Cut Red Cabbage
If you’re never tackled slicing up a cabbage before here’s how to break it down:
How To Cook Red Cabbage In 6 ways
First up, when you cook with red cabbage you’ll need to lock in that wonderful colour to avoid it becoming an offputting blue or brown post-cooking – achieve that by adding an acidic element like lemon juice or vinegar, which compliments the slightly sweet taste of cooked red cabbage.
1. Braised Red Cabbage
One of the simplest recipes to try, Jamie Oliver gets stuck into pumping wonderful winter flavours into this easy recipe for braised red cabbage, winning us over with this sumptuous side dish.
2. Raw Or Cooked Red Cabbage In Salads
Whether raw or cooked, red cabbage is one of the best ingredients for winter salads. When raw it adds crunchy interest, while cooked, it adds extra sweetness. Find the recipe here for a crunchy red cabbage with apple and walnuts.
3. Red Cabbage As a Taco/Sandwich Filling
Not only is red cabbage perfect for salads, but also delicious when shredded and stuffed into sandwiches, wraps, whether meat or vegetarian. Here’s a mouthwatering menu for chicken and cabbage tacos over at Food and Wine.
4. Red Cabbage To Accompany Meat
Red cabbage is a natural ally to all things pork, whether you’re talking cold cuts or a crispy pork belly, or bacon. Try this hearty recipe for beer marinated pork with red tenderloin from Bon Appetit.
5. Red Cabbage With Cheese
Try pairing cabbage with nuggets of quartirolo cheese (an Italian cheese from Lombardy) or you can try Jacques Pepin’s recipe for red cabbage, pistachio and cranberry salad with blue cheese.
6. Red Cabbage With Fish
Excellent with meat, good with the cheese, but among the most unexpectedly successful pairings with red cabbage is fish. Take the unusual salad above from David Bez’s salad book, where red cabbage is mixed with squid, carrots, chives, olives and sesame.
Red cabbage also works surprisingly well with fish from oily salmon to white fish like halibut. Try Martha Stewart’s recipe for crisp salmon with braised red cabbage and mustard sauce for or a tasty mid-week dinner fix.
7. Red Cabbage Strudel
This vegetarian strudel is chock-full of flavor thanks to the pairing of sautéed red cabbage with wine, onions, pear, pine nuts, butter and herbs. It’s a delectable main course that will no doubt help diners appreciate the virtues of red cabbage.
Negative Effects Red Cabbage
Red cabbage should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women as its effects are not well known in such cases. Nursing infants can develop colic if the mothers even sparingly consume this vegetable. Hypothyroidism is a condition which develops when the thyroid gland under performs. This condition can get deteriorated if the person suffering from such consumes red cabbage. Furthermore, diabetic people should check their consumption of this vegetable as it affects the blood sugar level in diabetics
Cabbage contains significant quantities of riffinose, an indigestible sugar. This sugar is a type of complex carbohydrate that passes through your intestines undigested and can cause flatulence. Other symptoms associated with flatulence that may result after eating cabbage include belching, abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Green cabbage contains 5.8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, reports Michigan State University. The insoluble fiber in cabbage increases the movement of waste in your digestive tract. Eating too much fiber can contribute to symptoms of diarrhea or block your intestines. Additionally, individuals undergoing cancer treatment may need to avoid eating cabbage, as this vegetable can exacerbate diarrhea often caused by chemotherapy. Consult your treating physician about cabbage consumption if you are undergoing this type of treatment.
Cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K, a vitamin that helps your blood clot. Eating too much cabbage can interfere with blood-thinning medications, but a 2-cup serving of green cabbage should assist in providing the desired amount of vitamin K without inducing negative effects. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for males and 90 micrograms for females, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. One cup of green cabbage contains 53 micrograms of vitamin K, while the same serving of red cabbage contains 34 micrograms. According to the University of Michigan Health System, consuming a consistent quantity of foods high in vitamin K and limiting your vitamin K intake to the recommended daily allowance can assist in preventing harmful interactions. Consult your physician about consuming vitamin K foods if you are taking a blood-thinning medication.
Consuming high quantities of cabbage might cause hypothyroidism, according to Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine deficiency coupled with high consumption of cabbage, such as 1,000 to 1,500 grams per day, can result in a lack of thyroid hormone. Glucosinulates are compounds containing sulfur and nitrogen that occur abundantly in cabbage. Chemical reactions with these compounds may interfere with the production of your thyroid hormone or cause the release of a certain ion that competes with iodine uptake.
Your thyroid gland needs iodine to function properly. If there are competing processes limiting iodine quantities, this may contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. However, cabbage consumption independent of iodine deficiency does not increase your risk of hypothyroidism, reports Linus Pauling Institute.