Purple cabbage is also called as red cabbage and is a member of the Brassica family, which also includes Brussels sprouts and broccoli. It is a variety of the leafy head cabbage that grows close to the ground and contains many leaves, which are used in cooking.
Since purple cabbage has a relatively high ratio of nutrients and vitamins to calories and fat, it is a great choice for people who follow a strict diet to curtail the calories. Often, raw purple cabbage is chopped and added to salads. Squeezing a few drops of lemon juice when it is cooked helps preserve its unique purple color.
Let’s look at the nutrients that this colorful leafy vegetable has to offer.
Purple cabbage is an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose or maintain weight. 90 percent of its weight is due to its high water content. Foods that contain high-water and low-calorie content aid in weight loss as you can consume a considerable quantity and still gain only a few calories. Foods that are high in water content also make your stomach feel full and keep you well-hydrated. A single cup of raw purple cabbage or 1/2 cup of cooked purple cabbage contains only about 22 calories.
Potassium is essential for the body to maintain its fluid level and prevent it from fluctuating to unhealthy volumes. Your body requires potassium to build proteins, break down and use carbohydrates, and to build muscles. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming 4.7 grams a day in order to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium also prevents the heart muscle stress by supporting the contraction that causes the heartbeat. One cup of chopped purple cabbage contains 216 milligrams of potassium.1
Dietary fiber is important to prevent excess cholesterol from entering the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine. The fiber facilitates the absorption of the cholesterol and helps in removing it through the waste elimination process. A single serving (1 cup) of chopped purple cabbage provides 2 grams of fiber, or 8 percent of the 25-grams of the daily recommended intake (DRI) according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Purple cabbage is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.
Vitamin A is important to maintain good eyesight and healthy skin. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin A may also help reduce the risk of developing cancer as vitamin A plays a crucial role in regulating cell growth and differentiation. It is essential for effective blood clotting, and it aids in the formation of bone, muscle and kidney proteins. A single cup of raw purple cabbage has 16 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement.2
The vitamin C content in purple cabbage is nutritionally significant. A 1-cup serving provides 51 milligrams or 85 percent of the 60-mg daily requirement. Cooking reduces some of the nutrients and eating it raw is more beneficial. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant, which protects the cells from the DNA and compositional destruction that metabolic toxins often cause. The body’s immune system also requires vitamin C to perform optimally. It is also necessary for synthesizing the protein collagen, which helps maintain strong tendons, ligaments, skin, bones and cartilage, and aids in the healing of wounds. Iron absorption in your intestines is also enhanced by vitamin C.3
Compared to the other fat-soluble vitamins, very small amounts of vitamin K circulate in the blood and is rapidly metabolized and excreted. The adequate intake of vitamin K as recommended by the Office of Dietary Supplements is 120 mcg for males and 90 mcg for females. Vitamin K deficiency could also reduce bone mineralization and contribute to osteoporosis.4 One cup of raw purple cabbage gives you 33 percent of the vitamin K that you need daily.
The pigments that give this vegetable its distinct purple color are called anthocyanins, which are highly beneficial for the body. These antioxidants may reduce cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve immune function and vision. They also help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer by scavenging harmful free radicals in the body. As these compounds usually function along with other phytochemicals and are not easy to isolate, more research is necessary to determine the exact role of anthocyanins in human health.
|↑1||Potassium In Diet. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library Of Medicine. 2017.|
|↑2||Vitamin A. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. 2016.|
|↑3||Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. 2016.|
|↑4||Vitamin K. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. 2016.|