Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Cool Cabbage

The cabbage; a St. Patrick’s Day favorite is a great vegetable that should be included in your diet during the rest of the year. St. Patrick’s Day is a fun and festive time that celebrates an occasion with traditional favorites such as corned beef and stewed cabbage. The cabbage becomes a comfort food that people are drawn to because of taste, familiarity and tradition.

During the rest of the year it’s important to remember the great health benefits from the cabbage. No matter the color of green, white or purple, they’re loaded with vitamin C and studies have shown it has cancer-fighting components that help prevent colon and rectal cancer. They’re loaded with tons of phytochemicals and antioxidants that help your body fight against free radicals.

Though foods are always better in their whole state, many are enhanced by slight cooking methods. Cabbage, in the form of tea, can be used in many eastern remedies to cure things like the whooping cough, constipation and common colds and, believe it or not, even frostbite. Studies have shown that by concocting and steeping a few ingredients with the cabbage, a tea is created that can fight off these typical ailments.

Cabbage is part of the cruciferous family; the leaves create a cross formation at the base. For instance, the brussel sprout, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens and kohlrabi are just a few on the long list. They offer some of the great properties that cabbage offers but are slightly more popular. These should be added, along with the cabbage, to your weekly menus.

Whether it’s chopped in a salad, steamed with other vegetables or sautéed with meats, cabbage is a terrific additive to many dishes and by reading the ingredient list on popular recipes you’ll find it’s already prevalent. Examples are pulled pork sandwiches with cabbage slaw, garden salads and mu shu chicken or pork.

The cabbage, forgotten for most of the year, is a prized vegetable on St. Patrick’s Day. By transferring some of those feelings of comfort to the vegetable the rest of the year may help you eat it on a more regular basis. There are plenty of health benefits that will encourage you to make an extra effort to include cabbage into your weekly eating routine and, believe it or not, it’s easier than you think.

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