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If You Want Good Health, Go For Cabbage

Cabbage has a long history of use both as a food and a medicine. It was developed from wild cabbage, a vegetable that was closer in appearance to collards and kale since it was composed of leaves that did not form a head.

It is thought that wild cabbage was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. It was grown in Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations that held it in high regard as a general panacea capable of treating a host of health conditions.

While it’s unclear when and where the headed cabbage that we know today was developed, cultivation of cabbage spread across northern Europe into Germany, Poland and Russia, where it became a very popular vegetable in local food cultures. The Italians are credited with developing the Savoy cabbage. Russia, Poland, China and Japan are a few of the leading producers of cabbage today.

Cabbage has a round shape and is composed of superimposed leaf layers. It is a member of the food family traditionally known as cruciferous vegetables and is related to kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts. All cruciferous vegetables provide integrated nourishment across a wide variety of nutritional categories and provide broad support across a wide variety of body systems as well. Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage.

Researchers now realize that different types of cabbage (red, green, and Savoy) contain different patterns of glucosinolates. This new knowledge means that your broadest health benefits from cabbage are likely to come from inclusion of all varieties in your diet.

Cabbage in general turns out to be especially good source of sinigrin. Sinigrin is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research. The sinigrin in cabbage can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate, or AITC. This isothiocyanate compound has shown unique cancer preventive properties with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. In one recent study, short-cooked and raw cabbages were the only types of cabbage to show cancer-preventive benefits. Long-cooked cabbage failed to demonstrate measurable benefits. New research shows that steaming is a better cooking method than microwaving if you want to maximize the health benefits of glucosinolates found in cabbage. That’s because two minutes of microwaving destroys the same amount of myrosinase enzymes as seven minutes of steaming, and you need those myrosinase enzymes to help convert cabbage’s glucosinolates into cancer-preventive compounds.

You will want to include cabbage as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy cabbage and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.

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.

Cabbage ranked in WHFoods rating system as an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A (which comes from its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). But in terms of antioxidants in the newer, phytonutrient category, cabbage is impressive, even among cruciferous vegetables. Polyphenols rank at the top of the list for phytonutrient antioxidants in cabbage. In fact, one group of researchers has described polyphenols as the primary factor in cabbage’s overall antioxidant capacity. Even white cabbage (a very lightly-colored form of green cabbage and the most commonly eaten variety.) provides about 50 milligrams of polyphenols in a half-cup serving. Red cabbage is even more unique among the cruciferous vegetables in providing about 30 milligrams of the red pigment polyphenols called anthocyanins in each half cup. (These anthocyanins qualify not only as antioxidant nutrients, but as anti-inflammatory nutrients as well.) The antioxidant richness of cabbage is partly responsible for its cancer prevention benefits. Without sufficient intake of antioxidants, our oxygen metabolism can become compromised, and we can experience a metabolic problem called oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress can be a risk factor for development of cancer. Without sufficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised, and we can experience the problem of chronic inflammation.

Given the roles of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation as risk factors for cancer, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory richness of cabbage would provide anti-cancer health benefits without the addition of cabbage’s glucosinolates. But glucosinolates are cabbage’s trump card with regard to “anti-cancer” benefits. The glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from cabbage’s glucosinolates act to protect us against cancer through a variety of different mechanisms. In some cases, they help regulate inflammation by altering the activity of messaging molecules within our body’s inflammatory system. In other cases, they improve our body’s detoxification system and leave our cells with a smaller toxic load. But the bottom line is decreased risk of cancer from consumption of cabbage and its glucosinolates. One study, showed impressive reduction of breast cancer risk in women consuming large amounts of cabbage. (In this particular study, this reduction in risk was associated with consumption of at least 4 cabbage servings per week, in comparison with the once-per-week serving consumed by women with higher breast cancer risk.)

Long-established in health research is the role of cabbage juice in helping heal stomach ulcers (called peptic ulcers), but more recent studies on cabbage have looked at the overall health benefits of this food for the stomach and digestive tract as a whole. Present-day studies make it clear that cabbage contains a variety of nutrients of potential benefit to our stomach and intestinal linings. These nutrients include glucosinolates (and the anti-inflammatory isothiocyanates or ITCs made from them), antioxidant polyphenols, and the amino acid-like substance called glutamine. In the case of ITCs, digestive tract benefits include proper regulation of bacterial populations of Helicobacter pylori inside the stomach. These bacteria are normal stomach inhabitants, but their populations can become too large and they can latch into the stomach lining in an undesirable way. The ITCs made from cabbage’s glucosinolates can lower the risk of these unwanted stomach events.

You can count on cabbage to provide your cardiovascular system with valuable support in the form of cholesterol reduction. Researchers understand exactly how this process takes place. Your liver uses cholesterol as a basic building block to produce bile acids. Bile acids are specialized molecules that aid in the digestion and absorption of fat through a process called emulsification. These molecules are typically stored in fluid form in your gall bladder, and when you eat a fat-containing meal, they get released into the intestine where they help ready the fat for interaction with enzymes and eventually absorb up into the body. When you eat cabbage, fiber-related nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of your body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, your liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon your existing supply of cholesterol, and as a result, your cholesterol level drops down. Cabbage provides you with this cholesterol-lowering benefit whether it is raw or cooked. However, a recent study has shown that the cholesterol-lowering ability of raw cabbage improves significantly when it is steamed. In fact, when the cholesterol-lowering ability of steamed cabbage was compared with the cholesterol-lowering ability of the prescription drug cholestyramine (a medication that is taken for the purpose of lowering cholesterol)

Nutritional Profile; Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C. It is also a very good source of fiber, manganese, and folate. Cabbage is also a good source of molybdenum, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1), and calcium.

It’s worth making a special note about the omega-3s found in cabbage. Ordinarily, we simply do not think about this cruciferous vegetable as a source of omega-3s. For that, we do not think about cabbage as source of any type of fat. And we are right in this overall type of thinking. Cabbage is not a fatty food! But among the little bit of fat it contains, there is a surprising amount of one particular omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. There is actually far more ALA in 100 calories of cabbage than there is in 100 calories of salmon! While fish like salmon do contain most of their omega-3s in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) rather than ALA, the amount of total omega-3s in 100 calories of cabbage (520 milligrams) is still substantial in comparison to the amount of total omega-3s in 100 calories of salmon (798 milligrams). The past 5 years of greatly expanded research on cruciferous vegetables and inflammation points to the omega-3 content of cruciferous vegetables as a potentially critical component of their unique health benefits.

As described earlier in this food profile, cabbage is also a unique source of several types of phytonutrients. Its overall antioxidant activity is most likely due to its unusual polyphenol content. Cabbage is also unique for it rich supply of glucosinolates. These phytonutrients can be converted by the body into sothiocyanates that have special detoxification and anti-cancer properties.

Dr. Tonifelix C. Manu

(PHYTOTHERAPIST)

 

Notwithstanding some political challenges, he has through his administrative conquest reduced many fake revenue collectors that have also discredited the council in the past.

As we all know, music is the food of the soul even in the worst state of Saul the then ruler of the Israelites, he tasked the young David whom he wanted to kill to play music for his metaphysical calmness. Hon. Chimbiko’s entrance in the music world is a fulfillment of one’s heart desire, with great dexterity and a way of using music to help the less privileged as it is done in the developed countries of the world.

The presentation of Twenty Thousand (N20,000) cheque to many pregnant women was indeed a charity work. The foundation was in commemoration of Late Mrs. Caroline Akarolo, wife of Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo, Mayor of Port Harcourt City.

Furthermore, there was a transition of gloomy scenario to a brighter prospect were his political associates also help in donating to the launch “Reality” some of them danced to the lyrical tunes of reggae dished out by the mayor himself.  On the contrary of what represents the symbol of Nigerian “Hip-Hip” music which is an aberration to our cultural norms and values, there was the absence of nudity, sexual exuberance which is a demonstration of neo-colonialism and an invitation of mental slavery and servitude as the characteristics of Nigerian music industry today.

The Nigerian “Hip  Hip” music video has a high concentration of pornography which irritate a just mind. More importantly, most of our “future wives” dance half-naked as a prize for celebrity.

Without much circumlocution, there is a clear evidence that the launching of “Reality” album was a day of reckoning where the Mayor of Port Harcourt, Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo thicks audience from Tract 1 to the last part of it. In the word of the great Reggae I con Late Robert Nesta Bob Marley and “Time will Tell”.

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