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One Major Effect of Eating Cabbage, Says Dietitian

This cruciferous vegetable is actually packed with antioxidants.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Cabbage gets kind of a bad rap when it comes to veggies. Whether it's because people assume it's kind of bland, or simply don't know how to prepare it, it's a veggie that is often slept on.

But when you think about it, it's actually one of the main ingredients in some super yummy dishes like coleslaw, kimchi, and eggrolls thanks to its crunchy texture. Plus, it's a staple on St. Patrick's day as a side with corned beef. It's also classified as a cruciferous vegetable, in the likes of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

"Cabbage is an amazing vegetable because it's low in calories and high in polyphenols and antioxidants including vitamin C," says Amber Pankonin, MS, RD, registered dietitian, and owner of the food blog Stirlist. "It's also high in fiber which makes it more filling, and it can take on other flavors making it perfect for stir fry or casseroles."

So if you have been sleeping on cabbage, it may be time to wake up. Because one major side effect is that it could help prevent certain types of cancers and reduce inflammation, and that's because it packs an antioxidant punch.

"Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause oxidative stress which could cause cancer, heart disease, or macular degeneration," says Pankonin. "A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage might help reduce the risk of chronic disease."

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When there is an overload of free radicals in the body, it can lead to oxidative stress, which has been found to lead to the development of chronic disease in humans. Antioxidants counteract oxidative stress, which is why cabbage is a great addition to your diet.

Specifically, cabbage may also be effective in preventing colon cancer. One 2018 study published in Immunity, found that mice that were fed cabbage had a positive immune response in the gut that protected it from inflammation, and hence cancer.

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According to Pankonin, besides the fact that it might reduce your cancer risk and fend off chronic diseases, it's also a smart choice when it comes to your wallet.

"As a Culinary Dietitian, I love cabbage because not only is it nutritious, but it's also super affordable, easy to prepare, and accessible for most people to purchase," she says.

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