Cabbage: A nutritional powerhouse

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Cabbage just doesn’t get enough attention. But few foods are as inexpensive, delicious and detoxifying as cabbage. Here’s how to make the most of it.

Cabbage, but particularly Savoy cabbage, has wonderful anti-cancer properties since it’s an excellent source of sinigrin, shown to help protect against colon and prostate cancers. And all types of cabbage can help lower cholesterol. The fiber in cabbage binds with bile in the lower GI tract, helping bile to be more easily excreted.

As a cruciferous vegetable, cabbage is an alkalizing veggie, important for maintaining the body’s pH balance. Cabbage is also a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory food; red cabbage in particular.

Some studies are showing that the cooking technique matters; by eating cabbage raw, steamed or quickly sautéed, more of its nutrients are preserved. But another preparation — boiling cabbage and drinking the juice — is a soothing tonic for the GI tract that can relieve the symptoms of IBS and bloating. Sauerkraut and kimchi are also excellent for digestion.

So let’s check out some cabbage recipes!


Kimchi is a Korean condiment made of fermented cabbage, radish, scallion, and spices. It tastes great alongside rice, meats, and veggies. Making it at home does take some time — it needs about a week to ferment — but it’s very easy to make. Kimchi typically calls for Napa cabbage, which has a mild flavor. You can have kimchi on any phase.

Sautéed bok choy

Bok choy is a Chinese cabbage. It has a more oblong shape and has green leaves on one end. This recipe for Sesame Stir-Fried Chinese Greens sautées up quickly. Remember to substitute tamari for the soy sauce. Skip the oil if you’re making it for Phase 1 or 2.

Chinese chicken salad with sesame dressing

A restaurant-style favorite, this Asian-inspired chicken salad is a quick, all-in-one, adrenal healing Phase 1 lunch and a great use for leftover chicken breast.

Cleansing cabbage soup

This Healing Cabbage Soup is a great way to get the cleansing and digestive benefits of cabbage by eating both the cabbage and the broth it creates. You can use it on Phase 1 and Phase 3.

Classic cole slaw

Actually, this recipe from SmittenKitchen.com is much better than the gloopy cole slaw you might remember from your youth. Use safflower mayonnaise, or make your own easy FMD-friendly mayo for Phase 3 of the Fast Metabolism Diet.

Slow-cooker cabbage rolls

Few foods better fit the comfort-food profile than cabbage rolls. This Stuffed Cabbage recipe is especially simple for a Phase 1 dinner.


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