The first time I shopped for lettuce, I came home with cabbage.  Okay, you can stop laughing now. In my defense, they do look very similar.  But unlike lettuce, cabbage is classified as a cruciferous vegetable. It is related to other cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.  Cabbage has many nutrients and benefits, but this article will focus on its cancer fighting properties.

Cabbage contains 30 different antioxidant compounds.  Antioxidants neutralize chemicals in the body called free radicals.  Free radicals damage body cells, which increases the risk of developing cancer.  It is the job of the immune system to get rid of damaged cells and cancer cells. Antioxidants prevent cell damage, which supports the  immune system by reducing its workload. If there is a deficit of antioxidants in your body, then they can also damage your breasts, skin (causing wrinkles), joints (causing arthritis), and arteries (causing atherosclerosis).   Consuming cabbage will help your body to neutralize these free radicals, thereby reducing inflammation, cell damage, and tissue degeneration.

Cabbage has other phytochemicals witch help protect against cancer:

  • Sulforaphanes-  a sulfur compound that has anti-cancer effects
  • Apigenin- was shown to decrease the tumor size of aggressive breast cancer in mice
  • Anthocyanin-  found in red and purple cabbage.  Protects red blood cells.  


Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are good food to include in your diet.  If you have hypothyroid or any other thyroid condition, then cruciferous vegetables should be limited to 3 servings/week.  Cruciferous vegetables can suppress thyroid function.  Although cabbage is considered a healthy food, for some it may not be, because of sensitivies and allergies.  Dr. Phelts performs a simple test to see if you may be sensitive are allergic to cabbage.  He then performs a non-invasive technique to desensitize your body to it.  Give us a call if you want to find out which foods you may be allergic to (212) 286-2012.


Dr. John W Phelts, D.C. in New York, NY.  We are near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes.  

November 05, 2019