Cabbage Juice – Health Benefits, Side Effects & Recipe
Cabbage juice is far from the most common vegetable juice available but it happens to be packed with beneficial nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. Cabbage juice is a mildly flavored juice derived from cabbage leaves, which belong to a number of different cultivars in the Brassica oleracea species. It is widely cultivated around the world for its hearty, nutrient-dense leafy heads, which are popularly used in culinary preparations, from salads and stews to pickled forms and health juices. To make cabbage juice, you should use the dense middle of the cabbage head, although you can also throw in a few of the outer leaves. The flavor of cabbage juice is also mild, making it ideal for subtly blending with other vegetable or fruit juices.
The juice from cabbage leaves is packed with nutrients, which surprises many people. A single glass of cabbage juice can deliver significant amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, glutamine, phosphorus, iodine, vitamin A, B-family vitamins, vitamin E and various phytonutrients, enzymes and antioxidant compounds. When you choose to juice cabbage, rather than eat it, you will be missing out on the dietary fiber cabbage is rich in. Next time you want to try a simple, inexpensive and nutrient-rich vegetable juice, prepare your own cabbage juice at home and enjoy its many surprising benefits!
Health Benefits of Cabbage Juice
Some of the most impressive health benefits of cabbage juice include healing the skin, balancing hormone function, detoxifying the body, boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, aiding in weight loss efforts, and stimulating cognition.
Skin Conditions: This juice is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C and E, all of which can help improve the health and appearance of your skin. This juice can flush out free radicals from the surface of the skin and reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and blemishes, while giving your skin a healthy glow.
Detoxify: Famed as a diuretic substance, people have been drinking cabbage juice to get rid of toxins in the body for centuries. Glucosinolates are found in cabbage juice, which can help eliminate many of the toxins, unnecessary hormones and enzymes from the body. It also helps to flush out the liver and the kidneys, which removes even more damaging toxins from the body.
Weight Loss: Cabbage juice is extremely low in calories, coming in at only 18 calories in a glass. However, this juice is also quite nutrient-dense and can help your body feel full. This will lower your risk of snacking between meals and overeating, making this type of vegetable juice an ideal part of a weight-loss diet.
Immune Health: With a solid content of vitamin C and other immune-strengthening minerals, in addition to unique antioxidants, this juice can be a great shield for the immune system. Furthermore, some of the trace active ingredients can counter the release of histamines in the body, which reduces the workload of your immune system.
Cholesterol: Numerous studies have found that regular consumption of cabbage juice can help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels, which is the “bad” form of fat that can lead to heart issues. By balancing your cholesterol levels, this juice can help with weight loss and improve heart health.
Stomach Issues: This is what cabbage juice is most famous for, balancing the acidity levels in the stomach and reducing the presence of stomach ulcers. Due to the presence of sulforaphane and other natural enzyme, the mucus lining of your stomach will be strengthened and it will be much harder for peptic ulcers to form. In fact, studies have shown that drinking 4-6 cups of cabbage juice per day can eliminate stomach ulcers in under two weeks.
Brain Booster: Research has connected some of the active ingredients in cabbage juice, namely the anthocyanins and vitamin K, to improved brain function and lower depositions of plaque in the neural pathways. In combination with the other antioxidants in this beverage, you can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Hormone Function: There is a significant amount of iodine found in cabbage, which means that this juice can help to regulate and monitor your thyroid gland and hormone production. This is an essential mineral in which many people are deficient, but if you want to reduce your chances of developing hyper/hypothyroidism, this juice is precisely what you need.
Cancer Prevention: There are a number of unique antioxidants in cabbage juice, including sulfuric compounds and isocyanate, both of which can prevent carcinogens from negatively impacting cells and preventing oxidative stress. Research has linked these active ingredients to lower levels of multiple cancers, including colon, stomach and prostate cancer.
Blood Pressure: This mild juice offers a healthy dose of potassium, which means lower blood pressure due to its function as a vasodilator. This can reduce strain and tension in your blood vessels and arteries, which thereby lowers your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke, while also improving muscle function and nervous system communication.
Side Effects of Cabbage Juice
There are very few side effects to drinking cabbage juice, although it is important to note that some people experience an increase in gas and bloating, while others report an increase in gut inflammation. Finally, when consumed in excess, the level of iodine could potentially disrupt thyroid function, but only when the juice was consumed in very large amounts. Most of these side effects can be readily avoided if you practice moderation.
- Flatulence and Bloating: Some of the active ingredients in cabbage juice, namely sulfuric compounds, may interact poorly with the bacteria in your gut, resulting in an increase in gas. This can lead to bloating and discomfort, but rarely lasts very long. Try a smaller amount of cabbage juice if you experience this side effect.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: On a similar note, people with IBS have reported that drinking more than the recommended amount of cabbage juice results in a worsening of symptoms, including diarrhea, discomfort and inflammation of the gut.
- Thyroid Function: If you are drinking a significant amount of cabbage juice, perhaps to eliminate a stomach ulcer, there is a chance that you could affect your thyroid gland. While iodine is essential for the production of hormones and the regulation of the thyroid, too much can be dangerous. If you have hyper/hypothyroidism, speak with your doctor before making this juice a regular part of your diet.
How to Make Cabbage Juice
Since cabbage juice is a relatively obscure product for most grocery stores, making your own at home is the most popular method, and also lets you be creative with what you include in the recipe. As mentioned, cabbage juice is notoriously bland, so adding some extra fruits, vegetables or spices is definitely encouraged. Purple/red cabbage tend to be slightly sweeter, making it a better option if you plan to mix the juice with other fruits.
- 1 medium-sized green/red cabbage, chopped and cubes
- 1/2 apple, peeled and cored
- 1 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1 cup of water, filtered
Step 1 – Properly wash and prepare all the ingredients (slice, core, peel, chop)
Step 2 – Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until the consistency is a smooth puree.
Step 3 – Place cheesecloth over the top of a bowl or container and strain the cabbage mixture through the cheesecloth.
Step 4 – Press or squeeze the cheesecloth to get all of the remaining juice into the container.
Step 5 – Serve chilled, garnish with a cabbage leaf and enjoy!