In addition to the low-calorie and high-fiber qualities that cabbage is most often recognized for, and aside from the its benefits as a fermented food that we have covered in great deal as you might imagine, there are some interesting new studies that show cabbage lends some surprising health benefits to the female population.
Cabbage is a rich source of phytonutrients, in particular indole-3-carbonole (I3C) and sulforaphane, which are major players in the antioxidant and detoxification process throughout your body. On a whole these phytonutrients help break down and eliminate cancer-causing substances.
Specificially, I3C helps both improve estrogen detoxification and promote natural production of the most benign form of estrogen. Since both the amount and type of estrogen in a female’s body has been linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer, eating more I3C rich foods can help decrease your risk.
Sulforaphane helps increase the actual production of antioxidants and enzymes that detoxify the body. Recent studies also focus on the power of sulforaphane to stop the growth of breast cancer cells later in growth.
In addition, other compounds called isothiocyannates have been linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer due to their activation of liver enzymes that help cleanse carcinogenic substances from the body. They have also been shown to impact the way estrogen is metabolized and the way your body responds to the hormone.
As icing on the cake, research on these compounds also suggests that finely dicing or fermenting cabbage before eating it makes its beneficial nutrients more available to your body during digestion and activates beneficial enzymes that help these cancer-fighting processes take place.
So, next time you reach for a head of cabbage, or hopefully a jar of Firefly’s fermented foods, think about it both as a deliciously crunchy food that belongs at any backyard BBQ or summer dinner, but also a food that will fight for the healthy of your body with every bite!