Cabbage – Everything About This “Big Green Ball”

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is a juicy and leafy green plant and a cousin to other brassicas like Broccoli and Cauliflower. It has classically become a part of European cuisine. And some of the famous dishes where cabbage is used are dishes like sauerkraut and kimchi. The plant is often pickled as well, although that’s mostly true for Chinese culture.

Because cabbage is stuffed with vitamin C and K, we’ve used it for medicinal purposes in the past as well. Using it as an antidote to mushroom poisoning or as a laxative are only a few of its uses. It’s also been used to treat pneumonia and ulcers, but unfortunately, the latest research shows no real medicinal properties.

So, what’s the real story behind this fascinating and often delicious vegetable? Let’s have a look at what the cabbage plant is!

Common NameCabbage
Botanical NameBrassica Oleracea Var. Capitata
Plant TypeBiennial / Annual
Size (Fully Grown)Height 12 – 14 Inches (30 – 36 cm) And Width 18 – 24 Inches (45 – 61 cm)
Sun ExposureAbout Six To Eight Hours Per Day (Full Sun)
Soil TypeA Fertile, Well-draining Soil That Contains Plenty Of Organic Matter
Soil pHFrom 6.5 To 6.8
Flower ColorStriking Colors Of Red, Purple, Pink, And Green
U.S. Hardiness Zones1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, And 9
Native AreaSouthern Europe

Now to keep your interest intact, let’s consider some fun facts about this plant.

How Many Cabbage Varieties are there?

Believe me or not, but there are over 400 varieties. YES, you heard it right, 400! From round to conical, with flat or curly, tight, or loose leaves with colors ranging from green, white, red, to purple, this plant is considered one of the most diversified ones. But of course, to be concise, we believe that these are the most famous types.

  1. Kale
  2. Bok Choy
  3. Romanesco
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Red Cabbage
  6. Napa Cabbage
  7. Green Cabbage
  8. Savoy Cabbage
  9. Brussels Sprout
  10. January King Cabbage
  1. Murdoc
  2. Promise
  3. Celebrate
  4. Super Elite
  5. Savoy Faire
  6. Green Lunar
  7. Spring Crisp
  8. Tropic Giant
  9. Thunderhead
  10. Grand Vantage

History And The Origins Of The Cabbage Plant

Unfortunately, we do not have any specific information about cabbage’s first appearance because many plants also belong to the “brassicas” family. But, we know that it descends from the “brassicas” family, and west cabbage is known to be one of the first ones to be domesticated in Europe.

By the time of early Rome, cabbage became a typical food in Egypt. Greeks called it “krambe,” while the Romans called it “brassica” or “olus.”You might be surprised to hear that the plant was considered a luxury in Rome. The plant was also used for medicinal purposes such as a relief to gout, headaches, and poisonous mushroom ingestion symptoms.

Here are some further exciting facts about cabbage linked with its history and origin:

  1. People have grown cabbage longer than almost any other vegetable recorded.
  2. In ancient China, people sold cabbage as a cure for all bald men.
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The Many Benefits Of Cabbage

The importance of this plant in our day-to-day life is fascinating and enthralling so let’s dive into the various ways you can enjoy it.

A Substantial Part Of Our Diet

Along with being a super healthy plant, cabbage is one with many different uses. There are tons of forms you can consume it in, whether it’s raw or in salads. You can even cook it and add it to various dishes such as soups, stews, and slaws.

Besides, cabbage may be chopped and added to fancy foods, including noodles and pasta, as a taste enhancer. This versatile veggie is used in Malouf salad (also known as cabbage salad) and fermented and made into sauerkraut. Moreover, the affordable price of it is the cherry on the cake!

It Contains A Plethora Of Health Benefits!

Many of us suffer from maintaining normal blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. Believe me or not, but diet is one of the primary factors that can positively or negatively affect these problems.

So, here's some good news for those having to tackle these issues! Cabbage contains 0.035 ounces (about one gram) of fiber for every ten calories. This fact helps you get a feeling of satiety without having to overeat. Moreover, it carries various nutrients that help you keep your intestine and stomach lining in healthy measures.

“But Wait, There’s More!”

“A magic wand for those losing weight.” That might be the right expression to describe cabbage. While managing stress levels, cutting back on inflammatory foods, and finding time to exercise may be an extreme hassle in today’s busy routine that everyone has. Thus, I have an astounding disclosure for such people who are hooked up in their daily lives!

Cabbage, due to its rich vitamin C and vitamin A levels, has significant anti-inflammatory properties. The regular intake of water-rich cabbage will aid the body in releasing excess fluid and water weight. And guess what? The consumption of this healthful low-calorie vegetable will allow you to see the weight-loss results a lot sooner! Isn’t that amazing? You’ll get your ‘perfect summer body’ in half the time!

Having considered the many benefits the plant has, I’m sure you would be very curious to know how it’s grown!

How To Grow Cabbage?

This exceptional plant also needs excellent conditions to prosper. For starters, the soil pH should be somewhere between 6.5 and 6.8. The soil also needs to be fertile, well-drained, and contain plenty of organic matter.

What Does Cabbage Need For Optimal Growth?

To be specific, light and temperature have a significant impact on your favorite plant’s development and maturation. When the “head” has a diameter of 4 to 10 inches (about 15 to 25 cm), the plant is mature, and it’s time to harvest it.

To give you some estimate about the time from seed to harvest, it usually takes between 80 to 180 days to mature. But, remember that the “head’s” formation may be hindered in case of insufficient sunlight. Thus, cabbage needs sunlight for 6 to 8 hours per day so it can develop fully.

Temperature

As you might already know, growing in warm climates produces the best yields, which applies to cabbage. The best part is that we can grow this plant in a wide range of temperatures ranging from 55 to 75°F (about 13 to 24°C).

Is it Safe To Eat / Consume Cabbage?

As we know by far, cabbage has an immense nutrient value with high doses of vitamins C and K. Eating it may even lower the risk of getting some diseases, but does this all sound too good to be true? Let’s find out and get to know some common medical conditions that need caution from you.

Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

Yes, yes, and yes again! And the best part is that health specialists even recommend you to eat cabbage during pregnancy. But very often, good things also come with a disadvantage, which applies to cabbage.

As we know, vegetables growing outside are all prone to different kinds of bacteria and diseases, so it’s best if you only eat cabbage that has been cooked. The biggest reason to be cautious is to avoid an illness called listeria, which is a significant cause of premature delivery or even miscarriage.

Children

Like we discussed before, it’s recommended to cook this plant before you eat it, and because kids that are only eight months old can eat cabbage, that “work phase” is especially important.

Cooking isn’t the only thing you should do if you decide to use this plant in your child’s diet. Pureeing is also an essential task to do because otherwise, your kid might not be able to swallow the food well enough.

People With Allergies

An allergy to cabbage is extremely rare but still possible, and even severe reactions can become a reality. Some of the symptoms that a person with an allergy may face include itching, redness, abdominal pain, and even vomiting.

People With Diabetes

I know that diabetes is a medical condition that requires you to always think about the stuff you eat. But, luckily, I have some good news for you. Cabbage, along with many other vegetables like carrot, broccoli, lettuce, and celery, are suitable for people with diabetes due to their low-GI-score. And, as a reminder, the lower the GI-score, the better.

People With Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, or, in other words, under-active thyroid gland, is a medical condition where your thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone (let’s not talk about the reasons here) to keep your body running normally.

The reason why I’m warning you about this is that cabbage might even worsen it. So, if you suffer from a medical condition like this, try to avoid cabbage at all costs.

Pets

Cabbage is a beneficial plant, and even your pets can enjoy it. The reason for this is because cabbages are rich in antioxidants, and they also help your pet digest their food better. But there is one disadvantage that I need to tell you about, which is quite awkward for us but the animals don’t seem to mind.

The one I’m referring to is caused if your cat/dog eats a lot of cabbage and isn’t used to it yet. As you might already guess, the thing I’m referring to is gas. At first, remember to give small amounts, only as a topping on pet food, to introduce it slowly.

Featured image credit – © 2222 – stock.adobe.com

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