Cabbage is chock-full of nutrients including vitamin C and indoles, important cancer-fighting compounds. In addition, red cabbage also contains anthocyanins, the purple pigment with strong antioxidant activity commonly found in blueberries. In the winter months, cabbage is anabundant nutritional resource when other fresh produce is either expensive or unavailable. This recipe calls for a lot of salt, but it is used in this dish to soften the cabbage. Then it is thoroughly rinsed off so the recipe doesn’t provide too much sodium. This coleslaw is colorful and makes a delightful accompaniment to any meat, fish or vegetarian main dish. The garnish of minced scallions and toasted sesame seeds brings out the flavor of the slaw and adds additional crunch.
Food as Medicine
When cabbage is sliced or chopped, anti-carcinogenic compounds called glucosinolates are formed, but cooking breaks down the enzyme that creates these compounds, stopping their production. So to maximize its healthful properties, cabbage should be eaten raw (as in this recipe) or cooked for less than five minutes. Cabbage is also heart-healthy: raw or cooked, cabbage reduces cholesterol levels, though steaming produces the greatest cholesterol-lowering benefits.
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