Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
As a doctor, I’m often asked about the benefits of eating cabbage and how it relates to diabetes. Are you wondering if this is just another ‘superfood’ myth? Well, I’m here to tell you that there are indeed some pretty convincing health benefits associated with consuming cabbage and managing diabetes!
Is Cabbage Good for Diabetes?
Here are my top 4 reasons why cabbage is indeed a superfood for diabetes:
- Cabbage is low in calories but high in antioxidants which can help reverse oxidative stress.
- Cabbage contains valuable vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, K, iron, and magnesium that have been known to improve blood sugar levels.
- Eating cabbage regularly has been linked to improved digestion and weight loss, both key factors in managing diabetes.
- Research shows that eating cabbage may also reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and even cancer risk – all great news for those living with diabetes.
15 Benefits of Eating Cabbage in Diabetes
#1 Controlling Blood Sugar levels
Cabbage has many anti-hyperglycemic properties and antioxidants which work together to naturally combat diabetes. These elements help to reduce blood sugar levels, making them a natural remedy for those struggling with this chronic condition.
#2 A Healthy Heart’s Best Friend
Cabbage is great for keeping your heart healthy. The anthocyanin found in red cabbage can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Even eating small amounts of flavonoid-rich food can decrease the chances of death due to heart issues. Plus, cabbage contains high levels of polyphenol which helps reduce blood pressure and prevents the build-up of platelets.
#3 Protects from Radiations
3, 3-diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound found in cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables that helps protect during radiation therapy. It boosts red and white blood cell counts, as well as platelet levels in the blood – all essential for successful healing. Moreover, DIM acts like an organic shield to defend cancer patients’ tissues.
#4 Improves kidney functions
Looking for a natural remedy to help with diabetes? Look no further than cabbage! Eating cabbage can help regulate your blood sugar levels and maintain healthy kidney function. Studies have shown that when your blood sugar gets too high, your kidneys work overtime to flush out the excess sugars through urine, leading to dehydration and other problems. Cabbage helps keep your body hydrated and prevents the thickening of the blood, allowing your kidneys to do their job properly. So make sure you add some cabbage to your grocery list – it could save you from a lot of health risks down the road!
#5 Prevents cancer
Cabbages are packed with sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound that has been proven to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Plus, its pigment apigenin works to shrink tumors in size. Talk about powerful!
#6 Helps in weight loss
If you’re looking for low-calorie foods, cabbages are at the top of the list. With their great fiber content, they’ll help promote proper digestion and the removal of toxins from your body. And what’s even better is that cabbage has one of the lowest glycemic indexes (below 55), meaning eating it won’t cause any sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels.
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#7 Digestion and immunity
Not only does cabbage improve physical health, but it also boosts your digestive health and immune system. Fermenting cabbage unleashes enzymes which allow for easier absorption of nutrients and vitamins into your body. The fibers found in cabbage aid in bile production and excretion, keeping your gut clean and preventing constipation.
Additional benefits of Cabbage in Diabetes
- It helps in causing a lower risk of cancer.
- Excess of stomach acid
- Morning sickness
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Stomach pain and stomach ulcers
- Intestinal ulcers
- High cholesterol
- Breast engorgement in breastfeeding women when applied cabbage extract on the skin.
How to add Cabbage to your Diabetic Diet?
Make sure the leaves of the cabbage are tight and bulky in size. The cabbage with loose leaves indicates that they are old. You can keep the cabbage in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
There are many ways to eat cabbage. You can eat cabbage raw, boiled, steamed, stuffed, or roasted. Ensure that the cabbage is not overcooked, or else it will start to leave a sulfurous odor. The longer the cabbage is overcooked stronger, the smell becomes.
Note – cabbage helps to reduce inflammation due to the presence of antioxidants.
Don’t worry if the cabbage is overcooked because it is safe to eat overcooked cabbage, but it has a sulfurous odor.
- Add the boiled cabbage to your salads, add the lemon juice, and the dash of salt in it.
- You can also prepare the cabbage juice by adding some other vegetables with it and blending it.
- You can also add cabbage to your dal and curry to get all the benefits.
- Include the vegetable in your diet and add it as a side dish of cabbage thrice a week.
- Add cabbage to your soups.
- Shred the cabbage into your salads
These are just some ideas to add cabbage to your diet. You can also do more of this and add some tasty cabbage preparations into your diet to reap all its benefits.
Are there any Risks to eating Cabbage, if you have diabetes?
Eating excessive cabbage can also affect the blood sugar level in diabetic patients. Cabbage is indeed an ideal vegetable for diabetic patients, but eating it excessively might increase the risk.
Cabbage is safe if it is taken in medicinal amounts. Overall there is a low-risk factor of adding cabbage to your diet. The absence of vitamin K in the blood increases the risk of excessive bleeding.
Using cabbage for weight loss has many benefits, but the weight lost by adding cabbage soups will return once you start to eat normally again. So try to make an ideal diet by consulting your doctor.
Many people face problems while digesting cruciferous vegetables, so you can also add small portions of these vegetables.
Note – do not forget to add cruciferous vegetables to your diet if you are a diabetic patient as it can do wonders for your health.
It is crucial to add a variety of foods to your diet rather than concentrate on only one food to maintain good health and prevent disease. Add a variety of food items that have low GI (Glycemic Index).
Important note – if you start to eat blood thinners, then don’t suddenly increase or decrease the intake of food items that contain Vitamin K. (Vitamin K helps in blood clotting after injury).
It is essential to add a variety of food items to include in your diet to maintain your health. Given below are the food items with low GI that are safe for diabetic patients:
- Green beans
These healthy options are rich in many nutrients, which will help promote healthy body functions and keep you healthy. Kale is considered the king of all gre
What is the Nutritional Value of Cabbage?
Cabbage has many nutritional benefits that benefit diabetic patients and help any individual improve his health.
According to the studies, 75grams of cooked cabbage contains:
- 4gms of carbohydrates, which include 2gm of sugar and 1gm of fiber.
- 1gm of protein
- 11 milligrams of magnesium
- 17 calories
- 22 micrograms of folate
- 81.5 micrograms of vitamin K.
Seventy-five grams of cooked cabbage give you 30-35% of your daily vitamin C needs. Along with this, it provides a lesser amount of calcium, vitamin B-6, thiamin, and potassium.
It also contains the flavonoids such as apigenin, kaempferol and quercetin as well as the antioxidants such as beta-carotene, choline, zeaxanthin and lutein.
Note – Red cabbage contains more of these compounds than green cabbage.
Cabbage also contains plant sterols, which are beneficial in reducing LDL cholesterol. Cabbage contains a compound named phytosterols, which block the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract and reduces LDL cholesterol.
It also contains potassium, which relaxes the blood vessel walls that tend to lower blood pressure.
Interesting Fact – red cabbage is an excellent source of potassium. And potassium keeps the blood pressure in a healthy range.
en vegetables because it is rich in many nutrients and provides more amounts of vitamins A and K.
Nutritional Facts related to Cabbage and Diabetes
- Cabbage is rich in vitamin c, vitamin k, and other nutrients.
- Potassium-rich cabbage helps in maintaining blood pressure in the normal range.
- Cabbage contains almost 40% of soluble fiber, which helps lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol by binding it into the gut and preventing its absorption.
- Antioxidants and anti-hyperglycemic properties present in the cabbage help excessively diabetic patients.
- For diabetic patients, cabbage is an ideal vegetable as it acts as natural medicine.
- Cabbage also contains insoluble fiber, which helps in healthy digestion.
These are some of the essential cabbage facts, which are all necessary for any diabetic patient to look for.
Following your diet is very important for any diabetic patient, but this is the natural way that will help you to get rid of all your medications if you are lucky enough. Add cabbage thrice a week to your diet as the side dish or the main dish and reap all the benefits from this cruciferous vegetable.
Do not forget to add fruits and dry fruits to your diet as they are a rich source of other nutrients.
Always add those food items into your diet, which has low GI so that the blood sugar level remains in the healthy range.
- The insoluble fibers present in the cabbage add fuel to the friendly bacteria and promotes regular bowel movements.
- According to the research, adding an extra amount of spinach, cabbage, and broccoli reduces the risk of diabetes.
Vegetables that are low in starch are considered best for diabetes patients because there is a low risk of increasing blood sugar levels. For any diabetic patient, it is essential to prioritize your weight and blood sugar level.
Safety tips for diabetic patients:
- Always be prepared for emergencies.
- Wear shoes in the house and avoid the chance of injury
- Store glucose tablets in your refrigerator and stock some glucose in your car too.
- Make a file- list all your allergies and medical condition, including the medications and dosages and the number of your health care. This will be needed in an emergency so that your emergency responders will get your health information.
These are some of the tips you need to follow and consult the doctor to know more precautions and tips, which are very important to follow. Do not skip any of these tips and add more safety concerns if needed.