Cabbage is an incredibly versatile cold-weather veggie. It’s a tough one to grow due to its affinity for cool weather, but determined gardeners will find it a worthwhile challenge. Technically cabbage can successfully take root in USDA zones 1-9. There are more than 400 varieties out there, so you can experiment with different types and find the one that’s right for your garden. The most popular types are green, red, and Savoy, but gardeners should consider planting Blue Vantage and Cheers varieties, which are particularly resistant to disease.
Whether you’re enjoying an abundant cabbage harvest this season, or just picking up these lovely green vegetables at your local market, you can take comfort knowing you’re doing your body a favor. Cabbage is packed with nutrition. It’s also got a fascinating, rich history. Next time you bite into this leafy green, keep in mind these interesting facts:
1. Ancient roots. Cabbage has been cultivated for longer than almost any other vegetable on record. To be precise, more than 6,000 years! It originated in Shensi Province, China, sometime around 4,000 B.C.
2. Elixir for Baldness. In ancient China (roughly 1000 B.C.) scrolls touted cabbage as a magic cure-all for bald men. It’s hard to say if there’s any truth in this claim, but no one can deny cabbage is chock full of nutrients that promote good health.
3. Vitamin C Galore. Cabbage contains a high concentration of Vitamin C. That means it cuts out toxins in your body, preventing skin disease, arthritis, and rheumatism. Go for red cabbage when you have Vitamin C in mind. It contains double the content of regular green cabbage.
4. Beauty promoter. Healthier hair, skin and nails are just some of the benefits of eating this leafy veggie on a regular basis. Cabbage’s high sulfur content translates to keratin production, and the result is feeling good inside and out.
5. Cancer deterrent. Eating cruciferous veggies like cabbage has been scientifically proven to lower your risk of developing cancer.
6. Smart snacking. At 33 calories per cup, you’ll never have to feel guilty for chowing down on cooked cabbage. Plus, it’s high in fiber and low in fat! A winning combination.
7. Headache Relief. Rid yourself of that terrible migraine by drinking raw cabbage juice daily, or placing a warm compress filled with crushed cabbage on your forehead. Might sound crazy, but many headache sufferers swear by this technique!
8. Natural tie-dye. Red cabbage makes an excellent all-natural dye in food or on fabric. Try dying your easter eggs baby blue this year with a simple red cabbage dye made with these instructions.