• "When I think about cabbage, it really is one of the most versatile vegetables going around. Why would we not want to use it?” (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
"When I think about cabbage, it really is one of the most versatile vegetables going around. Why would we not want to use it?”
Yasmin Noone

27 Jun 2022 - 5:41 AM  UPDATED 27 Jun 2022 - 5:41 AM

You may not receive a full serve of iceberg lettuce when you order a fast food burger these days. But don't fret. Lettuce-gate had one benefit. It shone the spotlight onto another, more affordable vegetable: cabbage. For that, cabbage lovers around the country are grateful.

Spokesperson for Dietitians Australia, Themis Chryssidis, believes that we should embrace the opportunity to eat cabbage, as it is a nutritious vegetable that’s currently in season.

“Winter is actually when we should be consuming vegetables like cabbage,” says Chryssidis, an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

“Quite often, the vegetables that grow in winter are higher in the vitamins and minerals we need during the winter. So it makes good sense to eat cabbage now.”

“Cabbages are really high in vitamin C."

Mother Nature certainly knew what she was doing when organised for cabbages to flourish in the peak of cold and flu season.

“Cabbages are really high in vitamin C. Roughly speaking, one cup of cabbage can provide you with more than half of your daily recommended vitamin C intake.”

Vitamin C not only helps to boost your immunity but it’s a powerful antioxidant that may protect against heart disease, certain cancers and vision loss. 

Cabbages are also rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K assists in making the various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and bone-building. One cup of cabbage provides almost 85 per cent of your recommended daily intake of the vitamin.

The cruciferous vegetable contains vitamin B6 and folate.

Let's not forget about the benefits of eating such a fibre-filled ingredient. Cabbages are known for being a great source of gut-friendly insoluble fibre, which may help to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

“Eating cabbages regularly is a very affordable way to meet some of your nutritional goals: that’s for sure.”

Split roast cabbage served with rice

To achieve the caramelised edges, deep flavours, and sweet-and-savoury magnificence of this cabbage dish, the cabbage is fried cut-side down in olive oil then wrapped in foil and roasted.

What cabbages can do for you

The health benefits of cabbage seem to keep coming. Breastfeeding women across the globe have used green cabbage leaves as an effective home-based remedy for mastitis for hundreds of years.

Meanwhile, cabbage leaves are a popular natural remedy for sprains.

Research has demonstrated that cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain many different antioxidants, linked to the reduction of chronic inflammation.

Studies also show that cabbage contains a potential cancer-fighting compound, sulforaphane. The consumption of cruciferous vegetables like cabbage has been linked with a lower risk of some cancers.

“So in my opinion, the fact that cabbage is currently affordable – well, that’s a win.”

Around the world, on a cabbage leaf

While some people are yet to appreciate the wonders of cabbage in their diet, cabbage has actually been the epicentre of many traditional meals across the world.

The crunchy vegetable is highly valued when served as sauerkraut in Germany, Eastern Europe and Alsace (France). Bacon and cabbage is a traditional staple of Irish cuisine, while bean curd and cabbage is a popular Chinese meal.

“I remember eating cabbage as a child [who grew up in a Greek household]. It was mainly sautéed with caraway seeds,” Chryssidis says.

Kimchi, eggplant and cauliflower tacos

"Cooking vegetables by roasting just enhances their flavour. Roasting reduces the water content so you end up with something gorgeously intense, with more bite and texture. This is just what a taco needs: texture. Add something creamy, something crunchy, and something to be the hero and you have the perfect taco."

Cabbage is the foundation of the fermented Korean product, kimchi, which is often paired with Korean chicken on gourmet burgers. It also goes well on a pulled pork burger when used in coleslaw.

“Cabbage plays a strong role in so many people’s lives. It’s a vegetable that has been eaten in various dishes from around the world for thousands of years.

“So in my opinion, the fact that cabbage is currently affordable – well, that’s a win.”

Chryssidis recommends buying cabbage and eating the ingredient while it is in season. He adds that if you haven’t yet learned how to cook with it, now is a good time to start experimenting with the vegetable.

“You can ferment it, sauté it, grill it and even roast it in the oven. When I think about cabbage, it really is one of the most versatile vegetables going around. Why would we not want to use it?”

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