Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, there’s more good news about green-colored food, especially green foods that are cruciferous vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, kale and collard greens. As a group, this family of vegetables contain fiber; vitamins C, K and A; and folate. Studies have found diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

One of the most powerful health benefits from cruciferous vegetables is the protection from certain cancers, including cancers of the breast, lung, liver and colon. Studies show cabbage contains 11 of the 15 vegetable compounds that are thought to help prevent certain cancers. In a recent study of broccoli, the compound sulforaphane appeared to kill breast cancer cells that help tumors grow. Other substances in broccoli seem to inhibit prostate cancer cells. Because of their powerful protection from cancer, health experts recommend eating at least three servings of cruciferous vegetables each week.

Cabbage has also been found to offer a health benefit for the heart. The soluble fiber found in cabbage may help lower cholesterol. New studies have found that slightly steamed cabbage may lower cholesterol even more than raw cabbage.

Add more green health benefits with one of these simple ideas using cabbage:

  • The healthy reuben. Use low-fat Thousand Island dressing, rye bread, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray and deli slices of turkey instead of high-fat corned beef.
  • Stir-fry. Cabbage has a mild taste and can be added to any stir-fry.
  • Add crunch to your lunch! Add extra crunch to your salads, soups, wraps or sandwiches by topping them off with thinly sliced cabbage.
  • Top your taco. Pump up the veggies in your taco by topping with a mixture of shredded red and green cabbage, along with your tomato and taco sauce.


Hot & Sour Slaw

4 servings, a generous 1 cup each.

This slaw, a combination of cabbage, red bell pepper, scallions and

bamboo shoots, is tossed with a dressing full of the classic flavors of

Chinese hot-and-sour soup. Serve with grilled pork tenderloin and

a glass of Riesling.

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon prepared ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

3 cups shredded Napa or green cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/3 cup sliced scallions

1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained and thinly sliced

  1. Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, oil, ginger, white pepper and crushed

red pepper in a large bowl. Add cabbage, bell pepper, scallions and

bamboo shoots; toss to coat.

PER SERVING: 64 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol;

7 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 112 mg sodium; 189 mg potassium. NUTRITION BONUS: Vitamin C (80% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2 | Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat


Talk to a Hy-Vee dietitian or go to www.hy-vee.com and click health for more information. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.