Savoy cabbage and related headed cabbage (Brassica oleracea) are leaf vegetables that belong to the brassica family.
Native to Europe, this wild plant was bred through the centuries into many sub-species that are extremely diverse.
It has been a staple food for Europeans since the Middle Ages and many health benefits are attributed to this plant.
Savoy cabbage and its health benefits
- Cabbage has been acknowledged to be very effective in treating lung and chest disorders for a very long time. Boiled cabbage was also used to soothe inflammatory digestive tract diseases, dysentery and ascites connected to liver cirrhosis.
- Today, cabbage is part of the “top ten” healthy foods: used for weight-loss diets, is is known for its antioxidant properties and is recommended for its high fiber and trace element contents.
- Savoy cabbage is a very good source of vitamin C which protects skin integrity, heals wounds, protects cells from premature ageing due to free radicals, and enhances immune system activity.
- Headed cabbage is a good idea in cases of various dyspeptic disorders (heartburn, hiatal hernia, regurgitation, hepatobiliary dyspepsia). It soothes pain due to gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and gastritis.
- Cabbage naturally regulates digestive tract functions.
- Cabbage is a great source of calcium which is crucial for bone health, muscle contraction, regulating of arterial blood pressure, wound-healing and signal transmission in the nervous system.
- With the potassium it delivers, Savoy cabbage reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- With elevated vitamin and mineral contents, cabbage is a life-changer in case of anemia.
- Topical use of raw cabbage helps heal wounds and alleviates rheumatism, headaches, sciatic pain and painful joints.
- A diet of Savoy cabbage ensures quick and substantial weight loss. The “cabbage soup” diet (cabbage broth, tomatoes, garlic, onions, bell pepper, carrots, celery and parsley) morning, lunch and dinner must however never last more than a week.
Growing Savoy cabbage for its health benefits
- Plant your Savoy cabbages in a ventilated, rather moist area with full sun but sheltered from excessive heat. Savoy cabbage requires rich, deep, well-drained soil. Over the summer, take care not to let the soil dry up deep down.
- You can also plant your cabbage in a pot, in containers at least 10 inches (25 cm) across. It should settle in just fine.
- While it is still young, watch out for slugs and snails, they are merciless. Plants that wilt may be attacked by cabbage whiteflies. When the weather is moist, cabbage downy mildew attacks and leaves turn yellow. Flea beetle, weevils, cabbage moth, aphids and other white worms are among the enemies of Savoy cabbage.
- Vegetable patch: how to grow Savoy cabbage
Savoy cabbage in the kitchen and its properties
Savoy cabbage is delicious when raw, in a salad. It can also be eaten cooked, for example in hot pots, soups or stuffed. Pairing it with fish is also very successful.
For persons who have weak intestines, what is best is to blanch the cabbage in boiling water for about 10 minutes before following the desired recipe. You can also add cumin or green anise seeds in the boiling water to ease digestion.
Savoy cabbage nutritional content
20 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). Savoy cabbage has high vitamin C, potassium and sulfur contents.