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How Much Cabbage Juice A Day For Ulcers

by Lyndon Langley
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How Much Cabbage Juice A Day For Ulcers

How Much Cabbage Juice A Day For Ulcers

Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked in all sorts of ways — sautéed, braised, pickled and juiced. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, calcium, iron and fiber. And while it’s most commonly associated with its namesake role as a main ingredient in coleslaw, there are plenty of other tasty uses for this leafy green. In fact, if you’ve ever had a traditional German Sauerkraut dish, you may have already tried some form of cabbage at some point. But perhaps more importantly, many cultures worldwide use cabbage medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including infections, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and even cancer.
So what does it take to make such an effective medicine? The answer lies within the plant’s own makeup. “The active components responsible for healing are actually found in the leaves,” says Dr. David Eisenberg, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. “There are small amounts of vitamin C, carotenoids, phytonutrients and minerals in the stems and roots.”

While there isn’t any conclusive scientific evidence proving that cabbage juice will heal ulcerative colitis, research shows that eating foods rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and selenium has been linked to reduced risk of developing ulcerative colitis. One randomized double-blind trial conducted by researchers at Harvard University found that people who consumed between five and seven servings per week of fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants experienced fewer attacks of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome than those who didn’t eat them [sources: Chen et al., 2007; Draelos]. Another study showed that women who ate three or more servings of broccoli a week had 50 percent lower rates of breast cancer recurrence compared to women who ate less than one serving.

With so much science behind it, it makes sense that modern medicine would turn to cabbage juice as part of their arsenal against digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis. But how exactly does cabbage juice work? Read on to find out.

What Are Antioxidants?

Oxidative damage occurs when free radicals react with healthy cells in your body. Free radicals consist of unbalanced molecules that attack cell membranes, DNA and proteins, damaging tissues and sometimes killing cells outright. Luckily, our bodies produce antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals before they do any real harm. When we consume antioxidant-rich foods, however, our body absorbs antioxidants into our bloodstream where they continue the battle against free radicals. This process allows us to reap the health benefits of antioxidants without worrying about ingesting too many.

Antioxidants are classified based on their chemical structure and function. Vitamin C, selenium, zinc, manganese and copper fall under the category of water-soluble antioxidants which means they’re easily absorbed through your skin and mucus membranes. Folate falls under the category of fat-soluble antioxidants, meaning they need lipids (fats) to be absorbed. Carotenoids and flavonoids are further broken down into subcategories. Beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein belong to the group of carotenoid antioxidants, whereas catechins, epicatechins and anthocyanins are considered flavonoid antioxidants.

Cabbage contains both types of antioxidants. Its vitamin C content ranges anywhere from 0.4 milligrams per 100 grams to 1.2 milligrams per 100 grams depending on the type of cabbage. The same goes for its folate content which varies slightly according to the variety of cabbage used but typically hovers around 15 micrograms per 100 grams. As far as total antioxidant capacity is concerned, one cup of chopped red cabbage yields nearly 200 milligrams of total polyphenols, roughly the equivalent of 25 cups of cooked kale.
Now that we know how cabbage juice works, let’s talk about how to get the most bang for your buck.

Getting Your Daily Dose Of Cabbage Juice

When it comes to using cabbage juice to fight off illnesses and diseases, the dosage really matters. If you drink just half a glass of cabbage juice, you won’t see any benefit whatsoever. However, drinking enough juice to fill up a 16 ounce soda bottle is going to give you quite a bit of relief. So how much should you drink? According to Dr. Eisenberg, the amount of cabbage juice you should consume depends on whether you’re trying to prevent an illness or treating an existing condition.
For preventing chronic conditions like ulcerative colitis, gastroenteritis, traveler’s diarrhea or food poisoning, he recommends drinking 2 ounces every hour. For acute conditions like fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, he advises consuming 8 ounces every hour. Although this seems like a lot, keep in mind that each person’s tolerance level is different, and you shouldn’t force yourself to finish an entire gallon if you don’t want to. Instead, start slow and gradually increase your intake over time. You’ll likely experience better results if you stay consistent rather than switching back and forth between frequent doses and infrequent ones.

However, before you rush out to purchase a juicer to make your own cabbage juice, you might want to consider buying bottled varieties instead. Not only are they usually cheaper, they often contain added ingredients like flavorings, sweeteners and preservatives. Also, if you’re looking to avoid additives altogether, you could always try making your own organic juice. Just cut open a head of cabbage, remove the outer leaves, slice off the core and place the rest of the cabbage inside a clean cloth sack. Then simply squeeze until you reach the desired thickness.

The next big question: Is cabbage juice safe to drink? Find out on the next page…

Is Cabbage Juice Safe To Drink?

You’d think that since cabbage juice is made from actual cabbage, it wouldn’t cause any side effects. Unfortunately, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Drinking large quantities of cabbage juice can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Why this happens remains unclear, but theories range from the presence of lectins, enzymes that bind to specific sugar structures, to the bacteria Clostridium perfringens.

Lectins are toxic proteins that occur naturally in plants, particularly members of the Brassica family, but not everyone reacts to them negatively. Lectins are thought to play a key role in defense mechanisms that allow plants to ward off pathogens and parasites. They’re typically destroyed during processing because heat kills off the lectin activity. Still, even though it doesn’t affect everyone, cabbage juice still contains a potent dose of lectins.

Another theory suggests that the fermentation process removes the protective effect lectins possess, causing intestinal distress in susceptible individuals. This is supported by studies showing that fermented cabbage products, like sauerkraut, are beneficial in relieving symptoms related to certain gastrointestinal problems like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

If you prefer to go the safer route, you can choose pasteurized juices that are guaranteed to be free of any harmful microbes. Pasteurization involves heating liquid to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Because of this, the nutritional value of the juice is preserved and no additives are needed to preserve taste or texture. While pasteurized juices are generally safe to drink, they aren’t necessarily healthier than juices that are unpasteurized. Unpasteurized juices tend to be higher in nutrients, but this benefit is offset by the increased likelihood of contamination. If you choose to buy unpasteurized juice, look for brands that clearly state that they are produced with pasteurized juice.

If you’re interested in learning more about the potential benefits of cabbage juice, check out the links on the following page.

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