Monday, April 23, 2012

Cabbage - the magic vegetable

When I went through the process of identifying the foods that I was eating that aggravated my psoriasis and eliminated them from my diet, I continued the process and went into a cleansing cycle of a couple of weeks. Most of what I had in that period was fruit and fruit juices.

After the cleansing cycle I got into the habit of having oatmeal for breakfast, lunch of coleslaw with wholewheat bread and margarine then dinner of grilled chicken or fish with vegetables. The coleslaw was made primarily from finely chopped cabbage and carrots with mayonaise thinned with 2% milk. It happened more by accident than any other reason that I settled on coleslaw for lunch. It was a happy accident for me because it might have been a major factor in clearing my psoriasis.

Since then, as I learned progressively more about good and bad dietary habits, I read of the good things that cabbage and the cabbage family can do for good health. The whole family is known as cruciferous vegetables and they all have similar characteristics, some stronger than others. They include the various types of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, collards, mustard greens and aragula, among others.

These vegetables are all chock full of anti-oxidants, which clean up dangerous free radicals in your body, helping to fight off cancer and other diseases. The darker the colour, the stronger the anti-oxidants are likely to be. They are also full of fibre, to help with digestion by cleaning out the intestines and helping with elimination.

All of these vegetables can be eaten chopped or shredded in salads, pickled (think of sauerkraut) steamed or included in stews, chop suey, stirfry etc. They should not be over-cooked, to maintain their healthy characteristics; they are best slightly crispy.

These vegetables are also among the best for supplying calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and others to your body in a natural form. Make cruciferous vegetables a part of your diet to help with a wide range of ailmants, particularly those that are related to the imune system.