Recently the word “superfood” has entered into the lexicons of Americans. (I have to give credit to my friend Julie for helping to popularize it.) However, the way we apply the term to foods has been ad-hoc and inconsistent, at best. Typically, we use the term for exotic and expensive sounding foods such as acai, goji berries, sea-buckthorn and the like. Depending who you talk to, you might also hear kale and quinoa described in such glowing terms. However, rarely will more generalize foods, such as iceberg lettuce be described as “super,” even if it is a health promoting food. Another food that is often ignored, but certainly deserves more attention, and is clearly entitled to the entry of the exclusive membership of "superfoods" is cabbage.
Considering how much attention kale has been getting recently, it is surprising that it’s superfood cousin, cabbage, has been left on the sidelines. Perhaps cabbage needs it's own Ryan Gosling meme.
This is especially surprising considering there are over 400 articles on cabbage and the role it can play in cancer prevention and treatment. According to one study done on cancer cells in a petri dish, cabbage was one of the best vegetables for cancer prevention displaying the ability to kill multiple types of tumor cells (in part, thanks to the high amount of sinigrin an antioxidant found in cabbage); cabbage has also been shown to lower cholesterol in multiple studies, and red cabbage was awarded the “best bang for your buck” by Dr. Greger because of the high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as well as because of red cabbage's low price point. On top of all of this, cabbage is incredibly versatile, and can be added to just about any dish and prepared in nearly anyway!
This Spicy Thai Cabbage Salad is the perfect way to get more superfoods into your life!
For the salad:
1 ½ cups green or savoy cabbage, shredded
1 ½ cups purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrot, shredded
1 cup zucchini, shredded
3 stalks celery (optional)
1 large handful fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup peanuts or cashews (leave out if making a nut-free version)
Fresh or dried mint to taste
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon hemp seeds
The dressing will keep for about one week in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and toss to mix thoroughly.
In a high-speed blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour over the tossed salad ingredients, mix well, and enjoy.
As always the information presented in this blog is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as specific medical, nutritional, lifestyle, or other health-related advice.