September 23rd, 2011
By: Tara Green
Sauerkraut combines the health benefits offered by all cruciferous vegetables (a category which includes cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as cabbage) with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.
Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cabbage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled.
The fermentation process used to make sauerkraut was probably first developed centuries ago simply as a means of preserving vegetables for easy consumption throughout the winter. The health benefits derived from pickling vegetables were already well-known to early civilizations. Historical evidence suggests laborers on the Great Wall of China consumed a version of the pickled cabbage dish 2,000 years ago.
Traditional Chinese has long prescribed sauerkraut juice as a home remedy for many common ailments . The armies of Genghis Khan most likely first brought the dish to Europe. The Roman army traveled with barrels of sauerkraut, using it to prevent intestinal infections among the troops during long excursions.
In periods and cultures when natural healing methods fell into disuse, people consumed fewer fermented foods and were subject to more illness. Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) killed many British sailors during the 1700s, especially on longer voyages. In the late 1770s, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the world without losing a single sailor to scurvy, thanks to the foods his ship carried, including sixty barrels of sauerkraut.
Mainstream health experts began to pay renewed attention to sauerkraut after a study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2002. Finnish researchers reported that in laboratory studies,a substance produced by fermented cabbage, isothiocyanates, helped prevent the growth of cancer.
Even before the laboratory study, however, alternative health experts extolled the healing benefits of sauerkraut because of the lactic acid bacteria produced as a side-effect of the pickling process.
Healthy human colons contain many beneficial bacteria which feed on the waste left over from our digestion, creating lactic acid. Without these beneficial bacteria the human digestive system becomes home to harmful parasites and yeasts, resulting in the condition of candida.
Sauerkraut provides a high density source of a wide range of beneficial live bacteria which assist in the digestive process. Consuming a serving of sauerkraut can give your body as much of a health boost as many of the expensive probiotic drinks and supplements sold in stores. However, most commercially sold sauerkraut have lost most of their beneficial bacterial organisms. To gain the most benefits from sauerkraut, you may want to purchase it freshly made, or learn how to make your own.
If you want to explore recipes for making sauerkraut and other fermented dishes, an excellent place to start is with Sandor Ellis Katz’s Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live Culture Foods.
In his book, Katz points out that “Fermentation not only preserves nutrients, it breaks them down into more digestible forms.” Katz, who also wrote The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements, recommends not only eating sauerkraut but drinking the juice which he calls “a rare delicacy and unparalleled digestive tonic.”
October 21st, 2010
By: Lynne Peeples
Eating lots of carrots and cruciferous vegetables — collard greens, cabbage, broccoli — could reduce breast cancer risk, particularly an aggressive form common among African American women, suggests a large new study.
The researchers looking at data from the ongoing Black Women’s Health Study did not find a similar benefit from fruit intake.
Previous studies of the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and breast cancer in white women have led to conflicting results, and no prior research has investigated this link separately among African American women, lead researcher Dr. Deborah A. Boggs, of Boston University, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.
Boggs noted her team’s earlier work showing that a so-called “prudent diet” high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish led to a lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers among African American women.
The ER-negative form of breast cancer, which is insensitive to the hormone estrogen, is more common in this population than among white women. It is also more difficult to treat and more often fatal than estrogen-sensitive cancers.
Overall, breast cancer is the second leading cancer-killer for both African American and white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 1 in 8 American women will develop the disease at some point in life, although age, heredity and environmental factors can increase an individual’s risk.
Boggs and her colleagues wanted to find out whether fruits and vegetables drove the beneficial effect they saw in women eating the prudent diet and whether specific varieties are particularly protective.
They tracked the diets and health of more than 50,000 African American women from across the U.S. for 12 years. About 1,300 of the women developed new cases of breast cancer during that period, 35 percent of them ER-negative.
The researchers found, however, that women who ate at least two servings of vegetables a day had a 43 percent lower risk of ER-negative breast cancer compared with women who ate fewer than four servings of vegetables each week.
Further, they identified certain types of vegetables that appeared to reduce the risk of all types of breast cancer, including broccoli, collard greens, cabbage and carrots.
Women who ate three or more servings a week of carrots, for instance, had a 17 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who ate carrots less than once a month.
The results for all vegetables held after accounting for other potential breast cancer risk factors, such as physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and education level, as well as consumption of other components of the prudent diet, the researchers report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Still, it is too early to determine if this is a true cause-and effect-relationship, they note. High vegetable consumption could mark a healthier lifestyle in general or some other unknown mechanism that accounts for the apparent protection. Vegetables’ cancer-staving power needs to be confirmed in further studies, the researchers write.
“Most Americans do not meet the recommendation of five servings of vegetables per day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and African Americans in particular eat fewer vegetables on average than do whites,” said Boggs.
“It is clear that, in addition to potential protective effects against breast cancer, higher vegetable consumption can lead to many health benefits, including lower risk of cardiovascular disease,” she added. “Therefore, we recommend that African American women try to increase their daily intake of vegetables to meet the established guidelines.”
August 23rd, 2010
By: Emma Wilkinson
In an analysis of six studies into fruit and vegetable intake, only food including spinach and cabbage was found to have a significant positive effect.
A portion and a half a day was found to cut type 2 diabetes risk by 14%, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports.
But experts urged people to continue to aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
The researchers from Leicester University reviewed data from the studies of 220,000 adults in total.
They found that eating more fruit and vegetables in general was not strongly linked with a smaller chance of developing type 2 diabetes but “there was a general trend in that direction”.
Yet when it came to green leafy vegetables, which the researchers said also includes broccoli and cauliflower, the risk reduction was significant.
The team calculated that a daily dose of 106g reduced the risk of diabetes by 14% – a UK “portion” is classed as 80g.
It is not clear why green leafy vegetables may have a protective effect but one reason may be they are high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and another theory is that they contain high levels of magnesium.
Study leader Professor Melanie Davies, professor of diabetic medicine at the University of Leicester, said the message to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day remains an important one.
But she added: “People like very specific health messages.
“We know that intake of fruit and vegetables is important, but this study suggests that green leafy vegetables seem to be particularly important in terms of preventing diabetes.”
The team are now planning a study in people at high risk of developing the condition to see if increasing their intake of vegetables like spinach and kale can help to reduce their chances of being diagnosed with diabetes.
Fruit and veg
In 2008/09, the National Diet Nutrition Survey showed that, although fruit and vegetable intake has risen over the past decade, only a third of men and women eat the recommended five-a-day.
In an accompanying editorial in the BMJ, Professor Jim Mann from the University of Otago in New Zealand, stressed that the message of increasing overall fruit and vegetable intake must not be lost “in a plethora of magic bullets,” even though green leafy vegetables clearly can be included as one of the daily portions.
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK said: “We already know that the health benefits of eating vegetables are far-reaching but this is the first time that there has been a suggested link specifically between green leafy vegetables and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
But he warned the evidence was limited and it was too early to isolate green leafy vegetables and present them alone as a method to cut the chances of developing the condition.
“We would be concerned if focusing on certain foods detracted from the advice to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day, which has benefits in terms of reducing heart disease, stroke, some cancers and obesity as well as type 2 diabetes.”
Diabetes UK is currently funding research into whether fermentable carbohydrates found in foods such as asparagus, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes could help weight loss and prevent Type 2 diabetes.
July 15, 2010
By: Sherry Baker
Previous research has suggested cruciferous vegetables (which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage) have potent cancer-fighting properties. For example, there’s evidence broccoli sprouts can stop the colonization of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a type of bacteria believed to trigger cases of stomach cancer as well as many ulcers (http://www.naturalnews.com/026018_s…).
Now scientists at the Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and the Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) have even more good news about the health protective power of cruciferous vegetables. They’ve discovered that a substance in broccoli and Brussels sprouts specifically blocks the growth of breast cancer cells.
The new study, published online June 29th in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, involved laboratory and animal studies which revealed an important connection between the natural compound, dubbed indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and a molecule called Cdc25A that is necessary for cells to divide and proliferate. The Cdc25A molecule occurs at abnormally high levels in cancers of the breast, prostate, liver, esophagus, endometrium and colon, and in non-Hodgkin lymphoma; it is also elevated in other diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. The Ohio State researchers made the remarkable discovery that I3C found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts causes the destruction of Cdc25A — and when that molecule is zapped, there’s a sudden halt to breast cancer cell growth.
“Cdc25A is present at abnormally high levels in about half of breast cancer cases, and it is associated with a poor prognosis,” study leader Xianghong Zou, assistant professor of pathology at the Ohio State University Medical Center, said in a statement to the media. “For this reason, a number of anti-Cdc25A agents have been identified, but they have not been successful for cancer prevention or treatment due to concerns about their safety or efficacy.”
However, I3C is a natural component of broccoli and Brussels sprouts and is non-toxic. “I3C can have striking effects on cancer cells,” Dr. Zou added, “and a better understanding of this mechanism may lead to the use of this dietary supplement as an effective and safe strategy for treating a variety of cancers and other human diseases associated with the overexpression of Cdc25A.”
For their study, Dr. Zou and his research team added I3C to three breast cancer cell lines. The results? The natural veggie-derived substance caused the destruction of Cdc25A. The scientists also tested the effectiveness of I3C in breast tumors in lab mice specifically bred to develop breast cancer. When the vegetable compound was given orally to the animals, it reduced tumor size dramatically — up to 65 percent.
January 06, 2010
By David Gutierrez
The health benefits of broccoli and related vegetables may come in part from a chemical known as sulforaphane, which appears to activate a specific heart-protecting protein, according to a study conducted by researchers from Imperial College London and published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
“We know that vegetables are clearly good for you, but surprisingly the molecular mechanisms of why they are good for you have remained unknown for many years,” said researcher Paul Evans of the United Kingdom’s National Heart and Lung Institute. “This study provides a possible explanation for how green vegetable consumption can promote a healthy heart.”
Researchers carried out their tests directly on the chemical sulforaphane, which occurs naturally in vegetables in the family Brassicaceae, also known as cruciferous vegetables. In addition to broccoli, the cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, rapeseed (canola), radish, turnip, mustard greens and watercress.
Sulforaphane was found to increase the activity of the protein Nrf2, which is known to be inactive in areas of the cardiovascular system that are predisposed to plaque buildup. In these areas, which include bends and branches in blood vessels, blood flow is slowed or even disrupted entirely.
“What our study showed was that sulforaphane can protect those regions by switching on the Nrf2,” Evans said.
“These fascinating findings provide a possible mechanism by which eating vegetables protects against heart disease,” said Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study. “As well as adding evidence to support the importance of eating ‘five-a-day’, the biochemistry revealed in this research could lead to more targeted dietary or medical approaches to prevent or lessen disease that leads to heart attacks and strokes.”
Because the study was carried out using pure sulforaphane, the researchers plan to repeat it in a way that closer approximates consumption of actual broccoli.
“We now need to go and test this with broccoli smoothies, as it were, and compare that with the effect of purified sulforaphane,” Evans said.
November 12, 2009
By Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) Cabbage is one of the most medicinal vegetables you’ll find in your garden (or your local grocery store). It contains powerful medicinal compounds that help heal cancer, but one of its best-known uses is as a natural remedy for stomach ulcers.
Cabbage may not sound like amazing medicine, but in terms of its complex phytonutrient compounds, it’s actually one of the most advanced natural treatments for ulcers yet engineered by Mother Nature. Read some of the supporting quotes about cabbage and ulcers below…
How cabbage cures stomach ulcers
The duodenal ulcers of patients fed cabbage also healed in one-third the usual time. In a double blind study of 45 inmates at San Quentin Prison in California, 93 percent of the ulcers in prisoners taking cabbage juice concentrate in capsules – the equivalent of a fresh quart of cabbage juice every day – were healed after three weeks. Only 32 percent of the ulcers healed in those taking a dummy capsule. How could cabbage work? Seemingly by strengthening the stomach lining’s resistance to acid attacks.
- Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper
Classic European remedies whose effectiveness has been verified by medical research include raw cabbage and potato and celery juices. Drinking a cup of cabbage juice four times a day can heal stomach ulcers in only ten days. If juicing cabbage does not fit into your busy schedule, you can purchase dehydrated, raw cabbage powder at natural food stores. The magic ingredient in cabbage is sometimes called the antiulcer U factor. Its technical name is glutamine, and this compound is also available in capsules. Glutamine has proved to be a better ulcer cure than antacids.
- Herbs for Health and Healing by Kathi Keville
There are natural antiulcer drugs in cabbage. That cabbage can help heal ulcers was shown by the pioneering experiments of Garnett Cheney, M.D., a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, in the 1950s. He demonstrated that a quart of fresh cabbage juice every day relieved pain and healed both gastric and duodenal ulcers better and faster than standard treatments did. In a test of fifty-five patients who drank cabbage juice, 95 percent felt better within two to five days.
- Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper
We’re not sure just how cabbage (raw or juiced) became folk remedy number one for ulcers, but our survey proved its popularity. In fact, no other suggestion for this condition had as many fans. Linda Mae, 44, of East Canton, Ohio, and Austin, of Wichita Falls, Texas, were two such endorsers. “It’s good for an ulcer in no time,” says Austin. In fact, there seems to be a real history to cabbage as a cure for ulcers. Roman doctors used cabbage to treat ulcers, as well as such diverse conditions as headache, colic and insomnia.
- Home Remedies: What Works: Thousands of Americans Reveal Their Favorite Home-Tested Cures for Everyday Health Problems by Gale Maleskey, Brian Kaufman
September 4, 2009
Researchers have discovered a possible reason why green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are good for the heart.
Their work suggests a chemical found in the vegetables can boost a natural defence mechanism to protect arteries from disease.
The Imperial College London team hope their work could lead to new dietary treatments to prevent heart problems.
Details appear in Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
Much heart disease is caused by the build up of fatty plaques in the arteries known as atherosclerosis.
However, arteries do not get clogged up with these plaques in a uniform way.
Bends and branches of blood vessels – where blood flow is disrupted and can be sluggish – are much more prone to the build-up.
The latest study has shown that a protein that usually protects against plaque build up called Nrf2 is inactive in areas of arteries that are prone to disease.
However, it also found that treatment with a chemical found in green “brassica” vegetables such as broccoli can activate Nrf2 in these disease-prone regions.
Lead researcher Dr Paul Evans said: “We found that the innermost layer of cells at branches and bends of arteries lack the active form of Nrf2, which may explain why they are prone to inflammation and disease.
“Treatment with the natural compound sulforaphane reduced inflammation at the high-risk areas by ‘switching on’ Nrf2.
“Sulforaphane is found naturally in broccoli, so our next steps include testing whether simply eating broccoli, or other vegetables in their ‘family’, has the same protective effect.
“We also need to see if the compound can reduce the progression of disease in affected arteries.”
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, said: “These fascinating findings provide a possible mechanism by which eating vegetables protects against heart disease.
“As well as adding evidence to support the importance of eating ‘five-a-day’, the biochemistry revealed in this research could lead to more targeted dietary or medical approaches to prevent or lessen disease that leads to heart attacks and strokes.”
Using normal mice, and mice engineered to lack the Nrf2 protein, the research found that in straight sections of arteries Nrf2 was present in the endothelial ‘lining’ cells.
Through its action on other proteins, it prevented the cells from becoming inflamed, an early stage in the development of atherosclerosis.
In the lining cells of disease-prone sites – such as bending or branched arteries – Nrf2 was attached to a protein that made it inactive. This stifled its protective properties.
But the addition of sulforaphane re-activated Nrf2 in the disease-prone regions of the artery, restoring the cells’ ability to protect themselves from becoming inflamed.
The researchers believe that this will enable these artery regions to remain healthy for longer, or even reduce the progression of existing disease.
August 19, 2009
By Dr. Julian Whitaker
Some mornings on my way to work, I drop by the local Jamba Juice store a block from my office and down 16 ounces of carrot juice and four ounces each of wheatgrass juice and a green tea energy drink. I drink this cocktail for overall health and vitality. The wheatgrass is full of vitamin K and amino acids, the carrot juice is packed with beta-carotene, and the green tea gives me a boost of caffeine and antioxidants to get my day started.
However, this is not a story about general health maintenance. It is about “targeted” juices that have predictable and rapid therapeutic effects on specific health conditions. Let’s start with a very common problem: high blood pressure.
Celery Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
When you think about lowering blood pressure, celery probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But this crunchy vegetable deserves some serious attention. Loaded with potassium and magnesium, celery contains something even more important: 3-n-butyl-phthalide, a compound that relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the arterial walls, allowing the arteries to dilate and effectively lowering blood pressure.
One of the physicians at Whitaker Wellness decided to put celery to the test. Every day for a month, she and her father juiced and drank one bunch of celery, mixed with a little orange juice for flavor (it’s somewhat bitter on its own). Her father’s systolic blood pressure went from 148 to 128 and hers went from 120 to 105. Imagine results this dramatic without dangerous prescription drugs!
Another great juice for people with hypertension is Low-Sodium V8 Juice. It works on two fronts to lower blood pressure. First, it contains a particularly high dose of potassium (840 mg per eight ounces) that helps keep blood pressure in check. Second, according to a study recently published in JAMA, it is an effective blood thinner, which further contributes to its antihypertensive effects. For Ted, one of my longtime patients, simply drinking 12 ounces of Low-Sodium V8 Juice daily was enough to keep his blood pressure in the normal range.
Cabbage Juice Heals the Stomach
Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote more than 2,000 years ago that, as a digestive aid, “Cabbage surpasses all vegetables.” One reason is its high content of glutamine, an amino acid that serves as a primary fuel for the rapidly dividing cells of the GI mucosa. Multiple studies support cabbage’s reputation as a therapy for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially ulcers, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In one of them, cabbage juice healed peptic and duodenal ulcers in an incredible 92 percent of cases studied!
One person who swears by cabbage juice is a patient we’ll call Betty, who was recently at the clinic. Betty was plagued with inflammation of the stomach lining and severe acid reflux. Her conventional doctor tried her on all the usual drugs, but nothing alleviated her pain or reduced the frequency of her episodes-until she came across an article on cabbage juice and decided to give it a shot.
Now whenever Betty has a flare-up, she drinks the juice from half a head of cabbage (yielding approximately four ounces of pleasant-tasting, slightly sweet juice) five times a day for about three days, in addition to copious amounts of water. This three day-regimen keeps her problem-free for eight or nine months-and I’ll bet if she drank it religiously, she wouldn’t have any problems at all.
Sauerkraut has also been touted for its ability to heal the stomach. In addition to the healthful compounds found in cabbage, this fermented food and its juice are also an excellent source of beneficial bacteria that nurture the GI tract. Eldon, a Health & Healing subscriber, eats it right from the jar to quell heartburn.
Cherry Juice Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cherries make a mean pie, but a pain reliever? In recent years, cherries have been discovered to contain potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds called anthocyanins and other flavonoids that work on the same inflammation pathways as aspirin and NSAIDs to reduce pain. In fact, researchers from Michigan State University found that just 10 tart cherries pack the same pain-relieving punch as one or two aspirin-and offer a wallop of antioxidants to boot.
Cherries have also been shown to reduce gout. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which crystallizes in the joints and causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation. In a study conducted at the University of California Davis, eating eight ounces of cherries significantly reduced levels of plasma urate, a marker of uric acid. Cherries also produced small but notable decreases in markers of inflammation.
Francis, a friend of mine, squelches the gout pain in his big toe by eating cherries. And J. Otto Garry, a subscriber from Tamarac, Florida, has had great success treating his arthritis with cherry juice. He drinks three ounces in the morning and another three ounces in the evening to reduce and prevent inflammation. He also includes cod liver oil in his juice and takes alfalfa tablets along with it, which add to its anti-inflammatory value.
Cranberry Juice for UTIs
Everybody knows that cranberry juice can prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), but have you ever wondered why? Cranberries contain a combination of anthocyanins (the phytonutrient that gives both cranberries and cherries their rich color) and a unique sugar called mannose. Together, these compounds are responsible for thwarting UTIs by making it impossible for bacteria to cling to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
Ann, a subscriber I met at a Subscriber Seminar a while back, told me she used to have frequent UTIs until she started keeping a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice in her fridge. Now when she feels a flare-up coming on, she drinks a glass or two daily for a few days, and she never gets infections anymore.
As a general rule of thumb, I don’t recommend drinking a lot of fruit juice as it is loaded with sugar and calories. However, the juices listed above boast too many healing properties to ignore. Judicious juicing offers an easy way to drink to your health and naturally knock out many pressing health concerns. Bottoms up!