Why red cabbage is a real ‘superfood’
We’ve all heard of the term ‘superfood’ – the so-called plant-based foods that can change your life and heal your body in an instant! Isn’t that amazing? I’m the last person to say that vegetables do not have benefits, however the notion of ‘superfood’ is a myth! Superfood is nothing more than a marketing term. Even after the term was banned in the EU in 2007, an increase in sales of products marketed as ‘superfoods’ grew by over 200%. The term has definitely impacted our purchasing.
A healthy diet is and cannot be accomplished by only consuming ‘superfoods’. A healthy diet is a diverse diet. Diversity of plants to be a bit more specific. A large diversity of fruits and vegetables will increase your health dramatically, every fruit and vegetable have specific benefits that help and improve your health.
Some foods however do have a lot of benefits, not just nutrition wise but also in colour and flavour. Let’s take a look at one of my personal favourite ingredients to work with.
I really love working with red cabbage and for good reason. Many people remember red cabbage as the vegetable that was cooked for eternity on a stove with some apple and potato mash; it lost its beautiful vibrant dark red/purple colour and tasted very average. (Well, that is my memory of it at least.) Luckily times have changed and we discovered many more great ways of working with this beautiful product.
Have you tried roasting red cabbage in an oven? Slice the cabbage up into small pieces, sprinkle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top and you will be surprised by the amazing umami flavours that are released – crispy, flavourful, caramelized and simply delicious. Not only that, but it also looks amazing. Not only roasted in the oven but also pickled in a fresh salad or even stir-fried in an Asian dish. This vegetable can hold its ground in many ways.
How about nutrition?
Red cabbage is a vegetable full of nutrients. It comes from the same family as cauliflower, broccoli, kale and brussels sprouts. Red cabbage is full of good quality carbohydrates, potassium, dietary fibres and lots of vitamins and other essential minerals. Perfect for people who struggle with weight loss. The dark colour of the vegetable indicates a higher level of antioxidants then regular vegetables. Did you know that all dark coloured veggies have a higher level of antioxidants? (Sweet potato, eggplant, purple kale etc. etc.)
Research has shown that consuming red cabbage can lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. This veggie is high in dietary fibres and will keep you satiated for longer by slowing down digestion which prevents food craving and helps weight loss. The rich number of antioxidants and vitamin C is great for your skin! Did you know that there is more vitamin C in a red cabbage then an orange? It therefore is also a great food to help your immune system.
We can definitely say that red cabbage is a very special food – it is delicious, tasty, colourful and very healthy. However, is it a superfood? Personally, I don’t think so as you can’t rely on one food to meet all your body’s needs. I do think that incorporating more red cabbage in your diet could be a good thing however it is all about diversity. Research from Dr. Rob Knight who did an extensive study on microbes and microbiome and gut health has shown that the consumption of 30 different plants in each week gives you the best change of a healthy diet. So, next time you step into your greengrocer’s, consider getting a big selection of different produce, and of course a red cabbage.
Would you like to see our dishes with red cabbage? Click here