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  • Writer's pictureGemma

Cabbage & Coconut Delight

Researchers have now identified nearly 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols in cabbage, all of which have demonstrated antioxidant activity. This impressive list of antioxidant phytonutrients in cabbage is one key reason why an increasing number of studies link cabbage intake to decreased risk of several cardiovascular diseases.

Cabbage turns out to be an especially good source of sinigrin. Sinigrin is one of cabbage's sulfur-containing glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research. The sinigrin in cabbage can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate, or AITC. This isothiocyanate compound has shown unique cancer preventive properties with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

It's also worth noting that a second glucosinolate found in cabbage—glucobrassicin—can be converted into two cancer-protective compounds. These two compounds are indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM)...Preclinical studies suggested that anti-oestrogenic activities of I3C and DIM might help reduce the risk of hormone-dependent cancers.

Prolonged exposure to oestrogens is thought to play a role in cancer development through liver enzyme CYP mediated generation of oestrogen reactive metabolites that can damage DNA...It is thought that compounds in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are able to support a healthy distribution of oestrogen metabolites ... favouring the protective pathway of 2-OH and directing away from the potentially harmful 4-OH and 16-OH pathways.

Food as medicine.

Include cabbage as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits. An optimal intake of cruciferous vegetables would be 1-1/2 cups per day, or about 10 cups per week.

Cabbage & Coconut Delight


2 tbsp coconut oil

3/4 tsp black mustard seeds

6 curry leaves

3/4 savoy cabbage shredded

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic

1–2 green chillies seeded and chopped

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

40g desiccated coconut

2/3 tsp sea salt

juice of ½ lemon, plus 1 cut into wedges to serve


Heat a wok until its hot. Add the coconut oil, then add he mustard seeds and curry leaves until seeds start to crackle. Add onion for about 10 mins until soft and start to caramelise, then add garlic and chillies and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.

Add the cabbage and coconut and keep tossing and turning for around 4-6 mins. Add the sea salt and turmeric, squeeze over the lemon juice. then take off the heat.

This can be served as a side dish to another curry dish or the perfect vegan meal if you add in some fermented tofu or tempeh. Alternatively you can serve it with a nice piece of wild salmon ... as always I try to add some more veg in and have steamed some seasonal asparagus.

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