Cabbage comes in three main categories: Red, Green and Savoy (crinkled leaves). Most cabbage prefers cool weather and requires a long season. This is why most, but not all, cabbage is planted in mid summer and harvested in late fall.
All cabbage is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber. It is a cruciferous vegetable, and has been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers, especially those in the colorectal group. This is possibly due to the glucosinolates found in cole crops, which serve as metabolic detoxicants, or due to the sulphoraphane content, also responsible for metabolic anti-carcinogenic activities. Purple cabbage also contains anthocyanins, which in other vegetables have been proven to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Along with other cole crops, cabbage is a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Research suggests that boiling these vegetables reduces their anti-carcinogenic properties.
It is best to eat cabbage raw. If you like coleslaw, this is an excellent way to prepare cabbage. Lightly steaming cabbage is also a good way to prepare cabbage and maintain it’s healthy benefits.