Is red cabbage good for your heart?
Cabbage, especially red cabbage, seems to raise levels of beta-carotene, lutein, and other heart-protective antioxidants. It also helps lower something called “oxidized” LDL, which is linked to hardening of the arteries. And since it eases inflammation, it can help prevent heart disease.
You may have seen red cabbage as a colorful vegetable being added to healthy salads for enhancing the taste and making the salad look deliciously attractive. However, did you know that red cabbage is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and, to top it all, low in calories? This nutritious vegetable also contains anthocyanin that give it its trademark purple and red colour.1
The intake of foods that contain anthocyanin has been linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, among other things.2,3
Let’s begin by knowing a little more about what is high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
The force exerted by the blood against the walls of your arteries is called blood pressure. This pressure is represented by two numbers called systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the force by which the heart pushes blood out into the body, and diastolic pressure is the force present in between heartbeats (when the heart is at rest). In a healthy person, the blood pressure is generally around 120/80, with 120 being the systolic and 80, the diastolic blood pressure.4
If your systolic pressure is 140 or higher and the diastolic pressure is 90 or higher, you will be considered to have hypertension or high blood pressure.4
How can red cabbage help in lowering blood pressure?
Diet plays a major role in the regulation of high blood pressure. According to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, food items lower in calories but rich in nutrients and fibre can help lower your blood pressure.5
Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, is a good source of fibre; vitamins A, B6, C, and K; and potassium.1,6
Different varieties of cabbage have high nutritional content and are also low on calories. To be precise, half a cup of cabbage contains only about 14 calories.1
This means they are an excellent choice for individuals who are trying to lose weight and lower their blood pressure since obesity is also linked to developing hypertension.7,8
Red cabbage is rich in anthocyanin. Studies have reported that a higher intake of foods rich in anthocyanin can cut down the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce blood pressure.1,2
The effect that anthocyanin have on our blood vessels enables them to promote heart health and reduce the risk of heart diseases. This water-soluble pigment also has many other benefits for our health such as reducing inflammation, helping in fighting microbes, improving brain function and providing protection from cancer.9,10
We bet you did not suspect this vegetable to be of such value to our health.
Red cabbage is rather easy to integrate into your diet. You can eat it raw in your salad, sauté with other vegetables or steam and use as a filling for dumplings or parathas. Red cabbage not only adds vibrancy and an earthy taste to your food but also improves its nutritional value.3
So, go ahead, add the crunchy goodness of red cabbage to your diet and find your way to better health.