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Red cabbage is similar to white cabbage in its nutritional profile with one remarkable exception: its vibrant red-purple coloring.
Its color is due to a group of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are powerful natural agents and can offer protection from many illnesses. (1)
The good news is that the anthocyanin content is retained when preparing raw red cabbage juice, and just 1 glass (200 ml) of daily consumption of this juice can do a world of good. (2)
Health Benefits of Red Cabbage Juice
Consuming red cabbage juice offers these health benefits.
1. Reduces the risk of chronic illnesses
Most chronic illnesses such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and heart diseases often involve an underlying inflammation in the body that contributes to these diseases.
Recently, research has found the role of food, particularly antioxidants, in protecting the body from inflammation and thereby reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.
Among these antioxidants, anthocyanin, which is abundantly found in red cabbage, has been found to reduce inflammatory markers in the body, prevent oxidative stress, and reduce the immune cells that can attack the body’s own cells and cause autoimmune disorders. (3)
2. Improves blood glucose levels
Red cabbage has been found to benefit the symptoms of diabetes by managing blood glucose levels to prevent their increase.
In animal studies, the use of red cabbage extracts was effective in reducing blood glucose levels, the need to frequently urinate, and weight gain. (4)
This study suggested red cabbage juice to be a worthwhile addition to a diabetic person’s diet.
3. Reduces blood cholesterol
The effect of red cabbage on an atherogenic or high-fat diet is well studied. In animal studies, the consumption of red cabbage prevented the rise of blood lipid levels such as cholesterol and reduced the risk of damage to the liver and heart. (5)
In a more recent study, red cabbage reduced the levels of total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides while also increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body. (6)
4. May reduce obesity
The ability of red cabbage anthocyanins to reduce the risk of weight gain in people with diabetes and manage blood cholesterol levels can also work effectively to reduce obesity or weight gain in healthy individuals.
Red cabbage contains substances that inhibit the action of the enzyme α-glucosidase, which is involved in increasing blood glucose levels and causing weight gain. (7) Medications that utilize this action are also used to improve the outcome of diabetes.
5. Can reduce the appearance of aging on the skin
The extremely high vitamin C and vitamin K content of red cabbage can be beneficial for skin health.
Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen, which prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a healthy plump appearance. It is also a natural skin-lightening agent and can prevent and manage hyperpigmentation. (8)(9)
Vitamin K is a strong antioxidant that can improve the appearance of the skin and can aid the healing of wounds, making it useful in the treatment of and recovery from acne scars. (10)
You can also use red cabbage juice as a topical spray or face mist.
6. Can improve sleep
Animal studies have found red cabbage extracts to have a mild hypnotic effect, thus improving sleep and its overall quality. (11) This is beneficial for people suffering from an inability to fall asleep or those who experience poor quality of sleep.
7. May reduce the risk of cancer
Antioxidants are important biological compounds that can prevent oxidative damage in the body. Since free radicals (which cause oxidative damage) are responsible for converting healthy cells into toxic cancerous cells, preventing their action is important in reducing the risk of cancer.
The compound sulforaphane in red cabbage as well as its strong anthocyanin content prevents the formation and spread of cancer cells. (12)
Nutritional Profile of Red Cabbage
About 100 g of red cabbage can provide: (13)
- 12% of the daily RDA for vitamin B6
- A whopping 63% of the daily RDA for vitamin C
- 32% of the daily RDA for vitamin K
- 11% of the daily RDA for manganese
How to Make Red Cabbage Juice
You can easily make red cabbage juice by following these steps:
- Blend half a head of cabbage (or around 100 g) with 1 cup of water.
- Strain the mixture.
- Consume the juice.
Adding 3–4 cherry tomatoes to the cabbage for blending can enhance the absorbability of anthocyanins. (14)
Most-Asked Questions About Red Cabbage Juice
What time of the day should I drink red cabbage juice?
The best time to consume any vegetable juice is early in the day.
Does red cabbage juice have side effects?
Red cabbage juice can cause indigestion in people who cannot fully digest carbohydrates. So, if you experience gas or bloating with the consumption of raw cabbage, avoid its juice.
Which cabbage is better, red or white?
Both varieties of cabbage have a similar nutritional profile with a little difference in the amount of nutrients in each. The major difference comes from the abundantly rich anthocyanin content in red cabbage, which makes it a stronger source of antioxidants.
In this regard, red cabbage may be a better choice for you.
Is red cabbage good for the eyes?
Due to its antioxidant properties, red cabbage can prevent free radical damage to the eyes and ultimately reduce the risk of eye diseases such as macular degeneration or cataracts.
Can red cabbage help in hair growth?
The antioxidant content of red cabbage can aid in hair growth. Simply boil a few leaves in water and rinse your scalp with it.
What is the main difference between red and white cabbage in terms of effectivity?
Red cabbage is a stronger antioxidant and can offer a higher level of protection against diseases than white cabbage. It also has a higher vitamin C and vitamin K content than white cabbage, making it a richer source of these nutrients.
Red cabbage juice, like its white counterpart, is a great source of vital nutrients that can prevent chronic illnesses and improve several outcomes of health. Just one serving (200 ml) of red cabbage juice can prevent weight gain, improve the appearance of the skin, and protect against cancer.
Moreover, adding cherry tomato while juicing will increase the absorption of anthocyanin, augmenting its efficacy.