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Is cabbage good to juice?

Introduction

Cabbage juice has become an increasingly popular health drink in recent years. Some proponents claim that drinking cabbage juice can provide a range of health benefits, from detoxification to cancer prevention. But is cabbage juice really good for you? In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the potential benefits and downsides of juicing cabbage.

Nutrition in Cabbage Juice

First, let’s examine the nutrition profile of cabbage juice. Cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Juicing cabbage helps concentrate these nutrients into an easy-to-consume beverage.

Some of the top nutrients found in cabbage juice include:

Nutrient Benefits
Vitamin C Powerful antioxidant that supports immune function
Vitamin K Important for blood clotting and bone health
Folate Essential for cell growth and DNA production
Potassium Supports heart health and fluid balance
Glucosinolates Sulphur-containing compounds with anticancer effects

Cabbage juice is low in fat and calories, yet packed with hydrating fluids and nutritious compounds. Drinking just one cup of cabbage juice can provide a significant amount of your recommended daily intake for many essential vitamins and minerals.

Potential Health Benefits of Cabbage Juice

Research suggests that the nutrients and plant compounds in cabbage juice may offer several potential wellness benefits:

May promote gastrointestinal health

Cabbage juice contains insoluble fiber from the cell walls of cabbage leaves. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and may help food pass more quickly through the digestive tract (1). This may relieve constipation for some people. The fiber in cabbage juice can also promote growth of beneficial gut bacteria (2).

Rich in antioxidants

Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain glucosinolates, a group of sulfur-containing antioxidants. During juicing, glucosinolates get converted into compounds called isothiocyanates which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (3). The vitamin C in cabbage juice also provides antioxidant effects to help neutralize free radicals.

May support detoxification

Isothiocyanates from cabbage juice stimulate detoxification enzymes in the liver and increase the elimination of toxins through urine (4). Drinking cabbage juice may support the body’s natural detoxification processes. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

May have anticancer benefits

Studies show cabbage juice and its components exhibit antitumor and anticarcinogenic activities. Isothiocyanates inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells in laboratory studies (5). The high antioxidant content of cabbage juice may also prevent DNA damage that can lead to cancer. More human research is needed.

Potential Side Effects of Cabbage Juice

Cabbage juice is generally safe when consumed in moderation. However, there are a few potential side effects to be aware of:

Nutrient deficiencies

Drinking only cabbage juice in an attempt to detox or cleanse can lead to nutritional deficiencies since cabbage lacks many essential vitamins and minerals. Be sure to include a balanced diet.

Blood clotting issues

Cabbage contains vitamin K. In rare cases, excess vitamin K can interfere with blood thinning medication. Speak to your doctor if taking blood thinners like warfarin.

Gas and bloating

The fiber and glucosinolates in cabbage juice may cause gas, bloating, cramps and loose stools when consumed in large amounts. Start with a small serving size.

Goitrogens

Cabbage contains goitrogens, compounds that may disrupt thyroid function by interfering with iodine uptake. This is mostly a concern for those with existing thyroid issues.

Pesticide exposure

To avoid consuming concentrated pesticide residues, choose organic cabbage when making homemade juice. Wash cabbage thoroughly before juicing as well.

How to Juice Cabbage

Here are some tips for making fresh, nutritious cabbage juice at home:

– Choose green or purple cabbage heads that are firm and heavy. Avoid cabbage heads with wilted leaves.

– Remove the tough outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into chunks that will fit through your juicer’s feeding tube.

– Run the cabbage pieces through your juicer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Alternate cabbage with milder produce like cucumber, celery or apples.

– Drink the juice right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

– Start with a small serving size, like 1/4 – 1/2 cup per day. Gradually increase the amount as tolerated.

The Bottom Line

Cabbage juice provides concentrated nutrition and health-promoting compounds like vitamin C, potassium and glucosinolates. It may support gastrointestinal health, detoxification and antioxidant status. However, excess consumption may cause side effects like gas, nutrient deficiencies and thyroid issues for sensitive individuals. Enjoy cabbage juice in moderation as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Speak to your healthcare provider before making significant changes.

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904635/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4366000/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4127822/

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4009209/