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Savoy cabbage: anticancer and beneficial for the intestine – Italian Cuisine


It is the protagonist of tasty winter specialties, such as cassoeula and pizzoccheri, but is used, unexpectedly, even in gastronomic cultures completely different from ours, such as the Japanese one, for other preparations, such as the famous "frittata" of Kansai, the okonomiyaki .

Let's talk about the savoy cabbage, also called cabbage of Milan, or cabbage verzotto, a precious ingredient in the kitchen, both for its versatility and for its beneficial effects on our health. Like all crucifers, in fact, see cauliflower, it has important anticancer properties, thanks to its content in antioxidants and antimutagen substances.

Anti-cancer vegetable, beneficial for the intestine

161115He explains it Francesca Spiga, nutritionist biologist "The cruciferous women they are characterized by effective substances (dithiolites and indole-glucosinolates) that are effective against many toxic agents able to favor the onset of cancer pathologies. They also stimulate the formation of glutathione, a molecule capable of neutralizing the effect of numerous harmful organisms. But perhaps few know that theanticancer effect of the cabbage is also enhanced by its capacity of stimulation of intestinal transit, favored by the presence of fibers and in particular of cellulose. If it is consumed quickly blanched and seasoned with oil and lemon it facilitates intestinal transit, avoiding the prolonged stagnation of harmful substances in contact with the intestinal wall, from which some cancers may originate ".

Helps fight osteoporosis and diabetes

171985Dr. Spiga adds that the qualities of the cabbage do not end here. Given the optimal balance between different minerals and vitamins C and E, facilitates calcium absorption at the intestinal level and its deposit at the level of the bone, thus helping to counter the phenomenon ofosteoporosis. Therefore particularly indicated in the menopausal woman. Due to its iodine content, it has a stimulating effect on the thyroid gland, which results in activation of different body areas, including a stimulation of the pancreas to secrete insulin. That's why in case of diabetes represents a valid ally (such as the potato).

Better to avoid in case of thyroid problems

171988Precisa Spiga "It should be avoided instead in the case of thyroid disease, particularly in the presence of hypo-functioning of the thyroid, since it possesses “gozzigene” substances, that is able to make iodine unavailable for the formation of thyroid hormones, a condition from which the formation of goiter can originate. However, with cooking the goitogyne substances are almost completely inactivated, it is estimated that in the first 2 minutes of cooking more than 50% of these substances are lost until they reach over 70% in less than 10 minutes of cooking ".

Attention to table combinations

6648In general, however, for everyone, it is good to pay attention to some pairings at the table, just to avoid excess of iodine able to block the thyroid (such as cabbage and fish, cabbage and algae associations). Particular attention should put people on therapy with oral anticoagulants, because like all green leafy vegetables, it contains a lot of vitamin K, whose intake must be limited. However, despite the various contraindications, with some tricks on cooking and on the portions, given the numerous benefits or, there is no reason to give it up.

In the kitchen you can indulge yourself

7194But how does it lend itself better in the kitchen? Illustrates Dr. Spiga "The cabbage can be consumed in many ways. Steamed, as soon as blanched, in risotto (risotto with cabbage is a dish particularly common in mountain areas and functionally balanced) or in pairing with meat. Delicious in the rolls, which can be made in the most disparate versions, even for vegetarian regimes. For a functional nutrition project of which I am a part, Cucineinsincrono, I prepared a dish of vegetarian cabbage rolls based on products from my territory (or Sardinia), such as Sardinian pecorino and seasonal ingredients, such as the reduction of pomegranate. Healthy and at the same time tasty, as well as simple to cook ".

Elisa Nata
February 2018
updated to March 2019

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