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Loving God more. Loving others more. Living obediently in Christ.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cabbages, anyone?



Cabbages of every kind are a staple food around the world.  This cruciferous vegetable is easy to grow organically or, if purchased at the market, requires low pesticide spray making it a healthful food choice for everyday.  Cabbage is economical as well.  It is inexpensive and goes a long way.  It is probably considered at great "winter" food because it can keep a long time in cold storage.  

Cancer-fighting benefit The nutritional value of cabbage is commonly thought to be little or nothing because its caloric value is low; however, this is a common misconception.  Cabbage is rich in many phytochemicals that offer cancer prevention. As cabbage varies, from green and red to savoy, so do the amazing health benefits.  The phytochemicals known to exist in cabbage are helpful for every type of cancer, not exclusive to breast, colon, bladder and prostate.  Someone who is eating vegetables to fight cancer should clearly consume from every variety of the cabbage family in order to benefit from the incredible spectrum of helpful agents.  The following quote is from the World's Healthiest Foods website (link below): "Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates."

Preparations  Cabbage is a great base for just about any dish.  Chop it up fine and add it to soup, allowing the nutrients to remain in the broth.  It is most nutritious to eat raw in a salad or "slaw".  Replace noodles as a base in spaghetti with cabbage that has been lightly steamed.  Stir-frying is just as effective as steaming because the nutrients remain in the dish with which it is prepared.  Juicing cabbage is the best way to get the richest concentration of cancer fighting agents - in fact, juiced green cabbage has been used successfully for treating stomach ulcers.

Important nutritional value  Every 3.5 oz of cabbage has 49mg of calcium.  Bok Choy is a variety of cabbage and it contains more absorbable calcium than cow's milk.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges, it is rich in vitamins B1, B5 and B6 and it contains minerals such as potassium, manganese  iron and magnesium.  But the highest nutrient available in cabbage is vitamin K.  As more discoveries are made in the function of vitamin K, scientists are finding that it plays a vital role in our overall health.  Vitamin K is necessary to aid in bone maintenance and has recently been discovered to have protective benefits for brain function.  In search of a pharmaceutical to treat brain (neurodegenerative) diseases, the following abstract of a study indicates that vitamin K is able to rescue dying cells. 

Historically known for its role in blood coagulation and bone formation, vitamin K (VK) has begun to emerge as an important nutrient for brain function. While VK involvement in the brain has not been fully explored, it is well-known that oxidative stress plays a critical role in neurodegenerative diseases. It was recently reported that VK protects neurons and oligodendrocytes from oxidative injury and rescues Drosophila from mitochondrial defects associated with Parkinson's disease. In this study, we take a chemical approach to define the optimal and minimum pharmacophore responsible for the neuroprotective effects of VK. In doing so, we have developed a series of potent VK analogues with favorable drug characteristics that provide full protection at nanomolar concentrations in a well-defined model of neuronal oxidative stress. Additionally, we have characterized key cellular responses and biomarkers consistent with the compounds' ability to rescue cells from oxidative stress induced cell death.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23327468

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