Cancer-fighting Asian Cabbage Slaw
Eating cabbage has huge health benefits particularly in cancer prevention because cabbage is loaded with phytonutrient antioxidants. Cabbage (in addition to other vegetables in the cruciferous family cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, collards and kale) is rich in the phytonutrient antioxidant called glucosinolate. When consumed, the glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers.
You’ll want to include cabbage as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. But do try to eat it as raw as you can. Some studies demonstrate that cooked cabbage fails to provide benefits.
One of my favorite ways to eat cabbage is sliced thinly in salads like coleslaw. Unfortunately classic coleslaw is high in fat. The healthier alternative to mayo-laden coleslaw is Asian Slaw. I’ve developed this particular version over the last few months and it has become a favorite. This is a great salad to have on hand in the refrigerator. The entire salad does not need to be eaten at once. It lasts for a couple days in the refrigerator.
I’ve included parsley in my recipe because of the beautiful color and the nutrients that it adds. Parsley is rich in many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin-A, beta-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-E, zeaxanthin and lutein (both help prevent age-related macular degeneration), and cryptoxanthin (which is converted to Vitamin A and acts as an antioxidant). The herb is also one of the best sources of vitamin-K (a potent bone builder and heart protector) and folates.
Carrots are a nice addition for their sweetness, bright color and the nutrients they add, especially the cancer preventative carotenoids with their important antioxidant benefits. Carrots rank high on the list of antioxidant vegetables in terms of their carotenoids.
In addition to all the cancer preventative nutrients cabbage has, one cup of cabbage has only 20 calories. And each one-cup serving of raw cabbage contains 43% percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C and a huge 66% DV for vitamin K.
To make the preparation easier I recommend the use of a mandoline to slice the cabbage. The Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline, V-7000, White gets rave reviews. You’ll want to store your slaw in glass containers instead of plastic ones. Research suggests that all plastics may leach chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer. BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen found in many plastic products. Its estrogen-like activity makes it a hormone disruptor that can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body’s hormonal balance. I like the Pyrex 6022369 Storage 14-Piece Round Set, Clear with Blue Lids set.
Asian Cabbage Slaw
6 Tbs olive oil
6 Tb rice wine vinegar
3 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of one small lime
2 Tbs sugar
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 head of cabbage sliced thinly (I use a mandoline)
5 green onions, sliced thinly
2 carrots, grated
1 cup minced parsley
Roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to garnish
Combine the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake to blend. Refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend for several hours. Meanwhile combine vegetables except pumpkin seeds in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve pour entire bottle of dressing over salad and toss. Top each serving with roasted pumpkin seeds.