Purple Cabbage also known as the Red Cabbage is a nutrient-rich vegetable having dietary fibres, an enormous amount of Vitamins, good quality carbohydrates, potassium and other essential minerals. It has a high level of antioxidants.
It is consumed throughout the globe. It belongs to Kingdom Plantae, Order Brassicales, Family of Brassicaceae, Genus Brassica and Species B.oleraceae.
The original version of Purple or Red Cabbage is supposed to have been first grown in the Mediterranean region.
Romans have also written about cabbage in Natural History in which they stayed its medicinal properties.
Mediterraneans also contributed to developing cultivars of cabbage that could withstand a warmer temperature than it’s original. At starting, purple or red Cabbage was best liked when eaten raw by addition of a little vinegar. Later on, the versatility of the product added to its further applications. It was then brought to America in the 1540s. From then it is being used globally.
The purple or red cabbage after preparation is known as Blaukraut. The colour of its leaves is dark red or purple. Anthocyanin is said to be found in Purple Cabbage which in turn lower the risk of heart-related problems and cancer. Due to the presence of anthocyanin, depending upon the pH of the soil, the plant changes its colour.
If the pH of the soil is acidic the colour of plant’s leaves is red, in neutral conditions the colour turns to purple and in alkaline conditions the colour is somewhat greenish-yellow. The pH of soil varies from region to region, hence this plant is known by different colours from region to region.
WHERE DOES THE COLOR IN CABBAGE COME FROM?
The Purple colour in Purple Cabbage comes from Anthocyanin. The pigment molecules are generally found in leaves, petals of plants. These are plant pigments known as flavonoids and are responsible for the occurrence of various colours in different plants.
1. Juice of Red Cabbage at homes can be used as a pH indicator. As stated above, in acid (pH<7) the colour would be red and in base (pH>7) the colour would change to greenish-yellow.
2. While cooking, the cabbage turns blue in colour.
3. To maintain it’s red colour, one is supposed to add vinegar.
Red/Purple Cabbage can be found throughout America, Europe, China and Africa.
It has high levels of Vitamin C (44% of Daily Value per 100gm amount) and Vitamin K (72% of Daily Value per 100gm amount ). Research on phytochemicals of the Red/Purple Cabbage is under process.
Studies say it may protect us from colon cancer.
Certain health benefits related to Purple Cabbage are-
1. IMMUNITY BOOSTER
It is said to have a higher amount of Vitamin C than orange. Besides this, it also contains Vitamin A and antioxidants which are good for your eyesight and helps to flush out toxins from body respectively.
2. MAKES YOUR BONES AND MUSCLES STRONG
It prevents joint pain and inflammation. As stated above, it contains several Vitamins and Minerals which help in strengthening your bones and muscles.
3. AIDS IN DIGESTION
Due to low calories, it greatly aids in the digestion process. Moreover, the presence of dietary fibre helps in preventing food cravings
4. GOOD FOR SKIN
Presence of antioxidants keeps your skin wrinkle-free. It makes your skin glow and looks fresh for a long time.
5. MAINTENANCE OF BP
Since its rich in Potassium so Consuming Purple/Red Cabbage is good for people having problem of High Blood Pressure.
6. FIGHTING AGAINST INFLAMMATION
Purple or Red Cabbage helps in fighting against inflammation. Study on an artificial model of the human gut has shown that consuming Red or Purple Cabbage reduced markers of gut inflammation by 40%.
Another sulphur compound known as sulforaphane has anti-inflammatory effects. Adults suffering from arthritis were reported to have less knee pain after consuming Purple Cabbage for about 4-5 weeks.
7. FIGHTS AGAINST CANCER
Sulforaphane and anthocyanins- These two compounds present and are believed to be anti-cancerous. Studies show that consumption of Red Cabbage Reduces Colon Cancer by 18%.
8. IMPROVES THE GUT HEALTH
It is believed to improve gut health. As stated above, it helps in reducing gut inflammation. Due to the presence of high fibre content, it adds bulk to the stool and reduces the chances of constipation.
However, more research is needed to say more.
9. AMOUNT OF IRON CONTENT
We know that Iron is an essential part as it is the component of a protein known as Myoglobin. Myoglobin is responsible for storing Oxygen in our body. The proteins and enzymes in our body depend upon the iron content to synthesize DNA.
When we compare Iron content of Purple or Red Cabbage with Green Cabbage we can notice that Purple or Red Cabbage has double amount of Iron than Green Cabbage.
HOW CAN WE INVOLVE PURPLE/RED CABBAGE IN OUR DIET
It is an incredibly versatile vegetable. You can eat it in the following ways-
1. Can be fried with some seasoning.
2. Side dish with baked items
3. Complimentary dish with grilled items
4. Addition of olive oil can add to its taste
5. Apple cider vinegar can also be added
6. Purple/Red Cabbage can be cooked the same way as that of our regular Green Cabbage
7. You can add it to your Chinese dishes like Noodles, Manchurian
8. You can steam and have it
9. Can be steamed and used to fill dumplings
10. Can be braised with red wine
11. Have with beets as a side dish
12. Can be added to soups
13. You can use purple cabbage as a garnishing ingredient.
14. Purple or red cabbage can also be used in the form of a fermented product.
Purple cabbage is a great source of beneficial plant compounds and offers one of the highest amounts of health-promoting antioxidants per unit cost.
Thus, Purple Cabbage has a powerhouse of health benefits.
So we can say that Green Cabbage is very good for consumption but purple or red cabbage offers a far more nutritional profile. It has numerous health benefits and is a versatile food product.
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Professional Enthusiast persuing BSc. Food Technology from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology