Savoy cabbage or Brassica oleracea is a curly cabbage that’s native to the coastal, southern, and western parts of Europe. This veggie species also includes other cultivars such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage. The savoy cabbage comes in a variety of shapes — round, conical, flattened, and oval. However, it does look unique when compared to other types of cabbage. This is mainly because of its deep green, crinkled, loosely-layered leaves. It even has a soothing smell compared to the other varieties.
This cool-season biennial vegetable has been widely used in Chinese and Polish cuisines. What makes the savoy cabbage truly stand out as a cooking and dietary ingredient is the fact that it is rich in many vital nutrients. Consequently, it is now a major part of various recipes and cuisines.
Nutritional Benefits Of Savoy Cabbage
Common varieties of savoy cabbage that are grown during the peak season of April to November are:
- Savoy King
- Savoy Ace
- Quintal D’Alsace
- Savoy Queen
Regardless of the type, savoy cabbage boasts a wide array of health benefits. This is mainly because it is free of fat and cholesterol. More importantly, it is an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins like A, K, C, and B6. In addition, it is a rich source of proteins, fibers, iron, manganese, folate, thiamin, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Savoy cabbage also provides a low amount of calories.
With so many nutritional benefits on offer, it’s no surprise why the savoy cabbage is one of the most sought-after superfoods today. Need more convincing? Let’s tell you just how the savoy cabbage improves your health.
1. Improves Oral Health
You’re prone to cavities and gum diseases when you’re on a diet that’s low in vitamins such as C, A, D, and K. Eating vitamin-rich foods will promote the mineralization of your teeth and bones, which then facilitates the elimination of harmful bacteria in your mouth. As a rich source of vitamins and minerals, the savoy cabbage can prevent bacteria from damaging the enamel, thereby preventing tooth decay.1
2. Aids Weight Loss
The savoy cabbage is a popular vegetable in dietary and fitness circles with fewer calories and the least fat when compared to other vegetables. In fact, 100 g of raw savoy cabbage contains just 27 calories! This is what makes this powerful veggie an important part of hypocaloric diets and a must if you’re looking to lose weight.
3. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
Besides being free from fat and low in calories, savoy cabbage contains absolutely no cholesterol and is low in saturated fat content. More importantly, its vitamin C and K content is ideal for your cardiovascular health. These vital nutrients direct calcium into your bones instead of your arteries and fight atherosclerosis, a key risk factor associated with heart diseases.2
4. Promotes Brain Health
Free radical damage and the resulting oxidative stress badly affects your body’s cells. The damage caused to your cells because of oxidative stress can lead to more complications or serious health conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. When you eat savoy cabbage, its vitamin K content acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and prevents oxidative stress.3
5. Fights Cancer
Savoy cabbage is said to possess anti-cancerous properties as it is packed with glucosinolates that are precursors to biologically active isothiocyanates. In fact, these glucosinolates have the potential to neutralize carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and inhibit cancer cell proliferation.4
In addition, vitamin K in savoy cabbage enhances your liver function and reduces the risk of colon, prostate, nasal, stomach, and oral cancer.5 6
6. Boosts Digestion
Savoy cabbage is a great source of dietary fibers. To ensure proper digestion of foods, it is vital that you have the right amount of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers absorb water and convert the ingested food into a vicious and gelatinous substance. They then ferment the bacteria in your digestive tract, which also enhances digestion.
On the other hand, insoluble fibers provide bulk to stool and speed up the time it takes for it to be excreted as waste. This prevents bloating, indigestion, and constipation. Also, drink plenty of water to boost your digestive system.7
7. Reduces The Risk Of Allergies And Asthma
As savoy cabbage is rich in folates, it is just what you need if you’re suffering from any allergy or asthma. An increased intake of folates can protect you from cardiovascular ailments as well as colon and uterus cancer.8 9
8. Protects The Skin
Savoy cabbage keeps your skin looking young and healthy, with the antioxidants in the form of vitamins B2, B3, and C. These antioxidants help protect the skin from damage and premature aging due to free radicals.10 11
9. Detoxifies The Body
Savoy cabbage is an excellent detoxifier that purifies blood and removes toxins, mainly free radicals and uric acid. These toxins are the main cause of rheumatism, gout, arthritis, skin diseases, and eczema. The veggie’s ability to detoxify comes from its high concentration of vitamin C and sulfur.12 13
10. Reduces Muscle Aches
Savoy cabbage reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (the soreness of your muscles post-workout) and provides relief from pain to an extent. While we’re not so sure exactly how it does this, a diet consisting of cabbage is said to be beneficial in these areas.
How you prepare the cabbage might have a say in this. For example, when preparing sauerkraut, certain bacteria start to ferment the sugars in the cabbage, which releases lactic acid. This could be a factor in reducing onset muscle soreness.14
So there you have it, savoy cabbage is a wonder food with a host of benefits. If you haven’t been using this veggie so far, find ways to add it to your daily diet and see how your health improves.
|↑1||Essential Vitamins and Minerals. Department of Health and Human Services.|
|↑2||Heart-healthy eating. National Institute of Health.|
|↑3||Isothiocyanates. Oregon State University.|
|↑4||van Poppel, Geert, Dorette TH Verhoeven, Hans Verhagen, and R. Alexandra Goldbohm. “Brassica vegetables and cancer prevention.” In Advances in Nutrition and Cancer 2, pp. 159-168. Springer US, 1999.|
|↑5||Rouzaud, Gabrielle, Sheila A. Young, and Alan J. Duncan. “Hydrolysis of glucosinolates to isothiocyanates after ingestion of raw or microwaved cabbage by human volunteers.” Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers 13, no. 1 (2004): 125-131.|
|↑6||Huntington, Ellsworth. “Eat Cabbage to Fight Cancer.”|
|↑7||Szoltysek, Katarzyna, and Szymon Dziuba. “Ecological foods as major health quality and well-beeing determinants in humans.” Актуальные проблемы современных наук 7, no. 2007 (2007).|
|↑8||Szoltysek, Katarzyna, and Szymon Dziuba. “Ecological foods as major health quality and well-being determinants in humans.” Актуальные проблемы современных наук 7, no. 2007 (2007).|
|↑9||Cabbage helps cure ulcers and prevents colon cancer:. Daffodil International University.|
|↑10||Binic, Ivana, Viktor Lazarevic, Milanka Ljubenovic, Jelena Mojsa, and Dusan Sokolovic. “Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).|
|↑11||Tabassum, Nahida, and Mariya Hamdani. “Plants used to treat skin diseases.” Pharmacognosy reviews 8, no. 15 (2014): 52.|
|↑12||Hodges, Romilly E., and Deanna M. Minich. “Modulation of metabolic detoxification pathways using foods and food-derived components: a scientific review with clinical application.” Journal of nutrition and metabolism 2015 (2015).|
|↑13||Melega, S., D. Canistro, G. R. De Nicola, L. Lazzeri, A. Sapone, and M. Paolini. “Protective effect of Tuscan black cabbage sprout extract against serum lipid increase and perturbations of liver antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes in rats fed a high-fat diet.” British Journal of Nutrition 110, no. 6 (2013): 988-997.|
|↑14||Yarahmadi, Masoome, Gholamreza Askari, Mehdi Kargarfard, Reza Ghiasvand, Mohsen Hoseini, Hajar Mohamadi, and Ali Asadi. “The effect of anthocyanin supplementation on body composition, exercise performance and muscle damage indices in athletes.” International journal of preventive medicine 5, no. 12 (2014): 1594.|