Thursday, March 7

Healing Foods - Cabbage & Broccoli

This is the first instalment in my healing food series based on information that I have sourced from Miriam Polunin's rather awesome book Healing Foods, A Dorling Kindsersley Book first published way back in 1997. In this amazing concise yet information packed book Polunin shares 50 foods that do amazing things for your body. She also explains how some foods lend themselves to aiding various conditions and areas of health.

The first healing foods we are going to look at are cabbage and broccoli. These belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Other members of this family include cauliflower, brussel sprouts, curly kale, kohlrabi, and mustard greens. The family is named after the cross shape of their four petalled flowers. Many all round nutrient boosters are found in cruciferous vegetables.

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Often overlooked as bland and tasteless, raw green cabbage is actually a rich source of folate. Making it ideal for women planning pregnancy as ample folate levels lessen the risk of spina bifida in baby.

Raw cabbage juice is believed to be a traditional remedy for helping peptic ulcer sufferers. Sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, has been used to improve digestion and gut health.

Studies now suggest that even a single serve of cabbage, be it cooked, raw or otherwise, can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Broccoli has always been one of my staple greens because while I didn't know why it was good, I just knew it was. After reading this book however I now know what is so awesome about these beautiful green trees and will be eating even more of them.
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This green wonder food is high in antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamins C and E. Broccoli is an all round super food jam packed with folate, calcium, iron and zinc, to name but a few.

Both cabbage and broccoli can have the following health benefits
  • reducing the risk of cancer
  • help lower risk of heart disease and stroke
  • lessen the risk of spina bifida
  • may cut risk of cataracts
Cabbage may also have the added benefits of speeding up the healing of ulcers and helping improve digestive system. While broccoli is believed to help combat anaemia due to the high levels of folate and iron.

However it should be noted that both cabbage and broccoli can reduce iodine absorption. Therefore those that consume more than three serves a week should ensure that they are eating iodine rich foods. Seafood, especially shellfish and seaweed are quite high in iodine levels.

Both vegetables also contain 'goitrogens' which may cause swelling of the thyroid and as such those with a thyroid dysfunction need to eat with caution or avoided. Apart from that though both these healing foods should be eaten liberally.

For those concerned about the flatulence that is sometimes associated with cabbage cooking with carminative spices, such as dill and fennel will help.


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Please remember I am not a professional, this is not advice,
just some stuff I have read and wanted to share.
The best medical advice always comes from a professional,
so make sure you double check with yours.

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