Are you upset about alarmingly high levels of cholesterol? You might be busy researching foods that can help lower your cholesterol. Cabbage is one such cheap and best option. It is a cruciferous vegetable and belongs to the Brassicaceae family just like broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens.
Let’s check out the various benefits of cabbage and how it is effective in curbing cholesterol.
How Does Cholesterol Pose A Risk To Your Health?
Before getting into the benefits of cabbage, first, let’s try to understand the term cholesterol in depth. For building healthy cells, your body needs cholesterol. However, higher levels of cholesterol elevate the risk of heart disease.
Types Of Cholesterol
There are mainly two types of cholesterol. They are
1. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – Often known as the bad cholesterol, it constitutes most of your body’s cholesterol.
When your LDL cholesterol levels are high, then there is a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
2. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – Popularly known as the good cholesterol, it absorbs cholesterol and supplies it back to your liver. Eventually, the liver flushes it out of your body.
The benefit of HDL cholesterol is that it reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
You might have also heard about the term triglycerides. They are fats from the food you consume that are carried in the blood. Though both triglycerides and cholesterol are fatty substances, triglycerides are fat, but cholesterol is not.
How Does Cabbage Play A Role In Lowering Cholesterol?
The presence of two substances in cabbage aids in bringing down unhealthy levels of cholesterol. They are
1. Soluble fiber
2. Plant Sterols
1. Soluble fiber – Soluble fiber has proven to be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, i.e. bad cholesterol. It binds with cholesterol in the gut and prevents it from being absorbed into the blood.
It is a rich source of soluble fiber. You might be surprised to know that 40% of the fiber contained in cabbage is soluble. Studies show that those who consume 2–10 grams of soluble fiber per day have experienced a drop in their cholesterol levels by roughly 2.2 mg per deciliter.
2. Plant Sterols – In cabbage, there is a substance by the name of phytosterols. These are plant compounds that are similar to cholesterol structure-wise.
Phytosterols lower LDL cholesterol by preventing the absorption of cholesterol in your digestive tract. Research shows that those who increased the consumption of phytosterol intake by 1 gram per day have benefitted from a decrease in LDL cholesterol concentrations by as much as 5%.
Cabbage And Triglycerides
Try to add cabbage to your menu as it is a non-starchy vegetable. It is rich in fiber and contains proteins. The best part is that they are low in calories.
Increasing the intake of non-starchy vegetables such as cabbage and cutting down the consumption of foods such as rice, bread, potatoes, and pasta that contain starch will lead to a decrease in triglycerides.
You will get cabbage in various shapes and colors such as white, purple, red, and green.
Other Health Benefits Of Cabbage
1. cabbage is a rich source of nutrients
2. It helps reduce inflammation
3. cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C
4. It helps enhance your digestion
5. Keeps your heart healthy
6. Helps lower your blood pressure
7. cabbage is a rich source of Vitamin K
Apart from the health benefits, there are many other attractive reasons that make cabbage a favorite among cholesterol patients.
- It is quite delicious and easy to afford.
- With cabbage, you can cook a variety of dishes such as coleslaw, kimchi, pancakes, colcannon, and a lot more.
- You can either eat it raw, cook it or add it to a wide range of dishes such as soups, salads, slaws, and stews.
- You can even ferment it and make sauerkraut.
Hope you had a good read on how cabbage comes as an aid in bringing down your cholesterol levels. As discussed earlier, it comes with many other health benefits that make a strong reason to include cabbage on your menu.