Cabbage belongs to the group of plants known as cruciferous vegetables. If you have downloaded our Gallbladder Shopping List, you may have noticed that it belongs to the “do not eat” list. The only reason why I placed cabbage under the ‘do not eat’ category is that cruciferous vegetables may cause gas and bloatedness. If you have an active gallbladder problem or you are currently experiencing GI symptoms, eating too much cabbage may make your discomfort worse. On the other hand, if you want to stay healthy, cabbage may be a great functional food to include in your daily diet. It is a good idea to start by eating a small amount of cabbage or taking a cup of cabbage juice; notice how your body responds, and if you remain pain-free, you can slowly increase the amount of the vegetable you consume until you know you can eat a full portion without discomfort.
This versatile vegetable may be eaten raw, steamed, or fermented. Having ready-to-eat fermented cabbage (also known as sauerkraut or kimchi) is very convenient for many people who can’t always prepare home-cooked meals. Just exercise caution when eating or juicing cabbage if you have thyroid problems. Cabbages (especially when raw) are rich in goitrogens that may interfere with the absorption of iodine and normal thyroid function.
Six Cabbage Juice Benefits
Red and purple cabbages are rich in anthocyanin, an extract that possesses a variety of therapeutic roles, including liver-protective properties. But if you only have access to the green ones, those also have documented benefits. A 2021 study on the protective effect of cabbage juice against lead-induced liver and kidney damage showed that cabbage juice consumption might help prevent or delay liver and kidney dysfunction. It lowers the serum concentration of urea, creatinine, ALP, AST, and ALT, markers of liver damage. Regular cabbage juice intake also helps reverse the physical changes in the liver caused by lead toxicity.
Green, leafy vegetables are known for their antioxidant properties. Cabbage, in particular, contains choline, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and various flavonoids. When consumed regularly, cabbage juice upregulates natural antioxidants in the liver, such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione.
Cabbage juice contains compounds that may help combat chronic inflammation. Animal and human studies have shown that regular intake helps improve inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract and spleen. Cabbage extract ointment is a home remedy to improve inflammatory skin conditions.
A 2008 animal study on the properties of cabbage juice showed that intake for 60 days reversed the negative effects of diabetes in rats. Aside from lowering blood glucose levels, it also restored kidney function and supported healthy weight loss.
One study compared two groups of individuals – one consumed cabbage juice daily, and another didn’t. With all other factors controlled, those who took cabbage juice regularly had lower cholesterol levels. Another study on animal subjects showed that cabbage extract positively influenced cholesterol metabolism. Ingestion of cabbage extract reduced blood cholesterol, enhanced bile acid, and effectively suppressed liver cancer growth in rats.
Even before modern medicine, many alternative health practitioners used cabbage juice to aid gastrointestinal conditions. In recent decades, the anti-ulcer property of cabbage has also been documented. Studies show that cabbage juice contains an anti-peptic ulcer factor (vitamin U) which prevents the development of histamine-induced peptic ulcers in guinea pigs. In humans, administering cabbage juice sped up the healing time of gastric ulcers from 7-10 days compared to standard therapy, which usually yields results within 37-42 days.
Cabbage Juice Preparation
If you have a high-powered juicer, preparing cabbage is just the same as how you make your other fruit or vegetable juices. If you only have a blender, it will take a few more minutes but it’s still easy peasy.
- Wash green cabbage leaves thoroughly. You may also use red cabbage, if that is the variant available.
- To make 2-3 cups of cabbage juice, prepare 3 cups of chopped cabbage leaves.
- Blend the cabbage leaves and add 1 cup of distilled water.
- Once blended really well, use a strainer to get rid of the visible chunks and keep the liquid for consumption.
- For additional taste or flavor, you may also try adding any of the following: lemon, apple, pineapple, or honey.
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Asiwe, J. N., Kolawole, T. A., Anachuna, K. K., Ebuwa, E. I., Nwogueze, B. C., Eruotor, H., & Igbokwe, V. (2022). Cabbage juice protect against Lead-induced liver and kidney damage in male Wistar rat. Biomarkers, 27(2), 151-158.
Cheney, G. (1949). Rapid healing of peptic ulcers in patients receiving fresh cabbage juice. California medicine, 70(1), 10.
Ha, H. J., & Lee, C. B. (2014). Antioxidant and anti-inflammation activity of red cabbage extract. Culinary science and hospitality research, 20(2), 16-26.
Kataya, H. A., & Hamza, A. A. (2008). Red cabbage (Brassica oleracea) ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5(3), 281-287.
Komatsu, W., Miura, Y., & Yagasaki, K. (1998). Suppression of hypercholesterolemia in hepatoma-bearing rats by cabbage extract and its component, S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide. Lipids, 33(5), 499-503.