Five health benefits of cabbage and a coleslaw recipe

If you are looking for reasons to enjoy lots of cabbage, check out these five great health benefits.

health benefits of cabbage, Asian coleslaw recipe

Julie Daniluk, R.H.N.

Are you looking to get back on the rails this month? The average person puts on 2 to 3 pounds over the holidays and sadly never takes it back off. Repeating this trend for 20 years can add up to some serious health risks. Instead of reaching for the crash diets that never work, I’m getting back to basics and focusing on dramatically increasing my green veggies.

For many people, cabbage is synonymous with detoxification and weight balance. It cleanses the liver and it’s only 17 calories a cup! So cuddle up to more cabbage this winter.

If you are looking for reasons to enjoy lots of cabbage during a winter cleanse, check out these five great health benefits:

1. Cabbage juice can be a miracle healer for the GI tract. Many studies show that drinking fresh cabbage juice can heal ulcers much faster than conventional treatments.

2. Cabbage can fight breast cancer. The cabbage is part of the popular cruciferous family of vegetables that contain molecules called isothiocyanates. These molecules are especially known for their anti-cancer properties and have an affinity for fighting leukemia, breast, prostate and lung cancers.

3. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K.  Our bones depend on vitamin K for strength.  All types of cabbage are an excellent source of this fat soluble vitamin that helps in the mineralization of our bones. A deficiency of vitamin K can cause minerals to be deposited into other body tissues, rather than in our bones, and can lead to damage such as the hardening of blood vessels.

4. Cabbage contains antioxidants. Cabbage has high levels of polyphenols – a large group of molecules recognized for their antioxidant power.  One of the great things polyphenols does is protect our bodies from oxidative damage, especially our skin.  Researchers show that people with a diet high in polyphenols experience less damage from UV rays than those with poor polyphenols intake.

5. Cabbage contains essential fatty acids. Cabbage has a surprisingly good content of essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially alpha-linolenic acid (a type of Omega 3). EFAs are needed more in people with inflammatory conditions – research shows that EFAs significantly improve inflammation in cystic fibrosis.


Asian coleslaw

This salad is packed with detoxifying Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytochemical that has proven anti-cancer properties. Daikon, a spicy radish from Japan, is high in vitamin C and assists the liver to emulsify fat.

2 cups (500 mL) red cabbage, shredded
1 cup (250 mL) daikon radish, thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) carrots, julienned
4 cups (1 L) nappa cabbage , shredded
1/2 cup (125 mL) black sesame seeds

Dressing Ingredients
1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) rice syrup or honey
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup (85 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1. Layer sliced salad ingredients and top with black sesame seeds.
2. Mix dressing ingredients together and combine with salad and serve.

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts the Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her soon to be published first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process.

For more amazing recipes visit’s recipe section.

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