As a child of the 1950’s Mom would lovingly offering me the center core of cruciferous cabbage every time she made slaw. A little salt and Mom’s sweet gift became crunchy culinary nirvana; Bible belt soul food.
Cabbage is one of the oldest known vegetables. The ancients were on to something exceptional when they began cultivating cabbage. In the East, pots containing cabbage dating back to 4,000 B.C. have been found in Shensi province in China.
The noble cabbage first appeared somewhere in the Mediterranean. Ancient Romans praised it for its plethora of medical attributes. Flourishing with luscious vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and selenium, fiber, and chlorophyll, as well as antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals, carotenoids, lingnans, and indole-3-carbinol, (take a deep breath) these nutritious foods are super! Isothiocyanates stimulate our Earth Suit to break down potential carcinogens, preventing our normal cells from becoming cancerous cells. Pretty cool, eh? Only cruciferous vegetables contain the nutrient isothiocyanates which has been associated with a decrease in lung cancer. Nonsmokers will also benefit since second-hand smoke is so widespread.
Cruciferous vegetables are what help reduce homocysteine levels which reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Homocysteines are an amino acid derived from animal protein and have nothing to do, however, with anyone associated with the Sistine Chapel.
Are you eating enough cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, rutabagas and Kale? Listen up, men, corn and green beans won’t cut it. The government's set goal of getting 75 percent of Americans to eat two servings of fruits and having half of the population consume three servings of vegetables each day by 2010, said Dr. Larry Cohen of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In scientific reality, we should consume a minimum of 7 to 13 portions of a variety produce daily. Did someone say Salad Bar?
Each portion is considered a half cup and it’s easier to accomplish that you think. One cup equals a portion of leafy greens, such as cabbage. Raw is best. Heard someone recently say that they hate the smell of cooked cabbage and the only way he would eat it if it was redolent of bacon and cooked to oblivion. That’s no way to treat one of Nature’s star healing attractions, is it?
Many of us spend our life either taking preventive measures, or living life recklessly with the attitude that “I’m gonna eat all the steak I want, ice cream, greasy burgers, and smoke all the cigarettes I want so I can enjoy my life. Gotta die from sumthin, right? I may not live as long as you tree hugging, dirt eaters, but I sure am going to enjoy the time I have by eating steaks whenever I want” Whatever! That’s OK, if you are hell bent on self-destruction. Not wanting to be negative, but it is a scientific fact. Heavy meat consumption, little or no vegetables or fruit in the diet, whiskey, gravy and fast food, for example, considerably shortens one’s gift of life.
Our Creator wants us to feel good, using His tools. As you purchase or harvest your first batch of cabbage consider its illustrious history as medicine to the ancients.
Cabbage in America is drowning, submerged in a viscous pool of deadly, deified mayonnaise. We add vinegar, sugar and spice, onion and carrot, then accompany it with fried chicken cooked in pork fat. Darned tasty combination, however, ask yourself, is taste the only criteria that decides what you eat?
Next time, try preparing Sweet and Sour Style Slaw with a fun vinegar, salt and pepper, Stevia powder sweetener, celery seed, grated carrots, green onion, and some diced red peppers. Deliciously crisp, clean, and ready to defend our loved ones.