CABBAGE FAMILY BRASSICACEE
Pliny the Elder wrote “Cabbage has countless virtues and countless authors have been interested in it, to the point that complaining about the bad smell it makes when it is cooked is really disrespectful”.
More than 300 types of cabbage and broccoli are known from the Brazilian family, or cruciferous, and are credited with reducing the risk of several types of cancer.
Research shows that consumption of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts can lower cancer risk in the lung, pancreas, bladder, prostate, thyroid, skin, stomach and breast.
The anti-cancer substances in crucifers are glucosinolates. In their structure they have a sulfur molecule which produces the typical odor already mentioned by Pliny.
Glucosinolate is a form of protection for plants because it gives the typical bitter taste, discouraging insects and herbivorous animals.
The protection against tumors comes from some compounds including isothiocyanates, thiocyanates and nitriles which have the ability to stimulate hepatic enzymes, which favor the disposal of toxic substances, and even reactivate the p53 gene which has the task of blocking the proliferation of tumor cells.
Indole, on the other hand, is the substance that seems to reduce the risk of hormone-dependent tuomors, such as breast cancer. In broccoli, moreover, is present in great quantities sulforaphane, whose antitumor anion joins the bactericidal one, the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori, bacterium responsible for chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer and stomach tumors.
Brassicaceae contain vitamin C
The purple cabbage, inotlre, unlike broccoli or Brussels sprouts, contains anthocyanins, pigments that give it the typical color and give it the scepter of longevity smartfood.
How to eat it? preferably raw.
The anthocyanins in fact are lost after frying (more than 60%) and also after boiling (more than 50%), the same after heating in a microwave.
The best cooking is steaming which eliminates only about 17% of anthocyanins.
Frying and boiling also destroys vitamin C and glucosinolates, whereas microwaving and steaming do not do much damage.
Ultimately, cabbage should be eaten raw, but it can be pureed in a pot, for too long and with too little water.