Creating a Diet with Cabbage Benefits Adrenal Fatigue Sufferers

By: Dr. Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Dr. Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM


Cancer, Cabbage Benefits, and Adrenal Fatigue Recovery

Cabbage benefits your healthCabbage is not only full of fiber, and an excellent component of a nutritious diet, it also fights cancer. While cabbage benefits are seemingly endless, this cruciferous vegetable has been found to help prevent colon cancer, as well as decrease the risk of developing a multitude of other cancers, including pancreatic, stomach, kidney, bladder, gallbladder, and breast cancers.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, kale, arugula, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, radishes, and collard greens to name a few. Over the past few decades, these vegetables have been subject to significant research in regard to their generally cancer-protective effects. Make it a priority to incorporate these incredibly healthy cruciferous veggies into your diet as often as possible.

Chronic Stress, Adrenal Fatigue, and Cancer

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is a result of excessive stress on the body and correlates with imbalances in our NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. The NEM stress response function is how our bodily systems and organs work together in unison to help protect us from stress, to ultimately restore the body to normal function. In today’s busy world, stress has become the norm and it can wreak havoc on our bodies, particularly our hormone function. Excessive stress beyond our NEM’s ability to handle can be a factor in formation of chronic diseases, cancer formation and progression.

It is important to eat a nutritious balanced diet, maintain a healthy inner ecosystem, and do everything we can to prevent cancer from destroying our bodies. Cabbage benefits are one tool.

Prevent Colon Cancer by Eating Cabbage

Fiber is necessary for digestive health, cardiovascular, and overall healthy body function. The high fiber content in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage is part of the reason why it may be so effective in fighting colorectal cancer.

Japanese people, on average, consume large amounts of cabbage, and a lower risk of colon cancer has been detected in comparison to other populations. Additionally, another study saw that increased cabbage intake determined a lower risk of colon cancer by as much as 29 percent. Reduced risk of stomach, pancreatic, kidney, breast, bladder, and gallbladder cancers have all been linked to cabbage benefits.

There are more than 475 research studies that have examined the effect of cruciferous vegetables in cancer prevention and treatment, and cabbage benefits are outstanding. Of all the veggies studied, cabbage is unique in that it’s rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and contains glucosinolates. For example, a study on pancreatic cancer found that cabbage was the only food, out of a subgroup of various fruits and vegetables, linked to lower rate of risk.

How Does Cabbage Combat Cancer?

Cabbage is able to speed up the rate at which our bodies metabolize and dispose of carcinogens, which are substances that are capable of causing cancer in living tissue. Cabbage benefits also include natural protection for our DNA against the effects of harmful radiation exposure.

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is produced by glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables upon chewing or chopping, and can help to protect against cancer by ultimately improving the metabolism of carcinogens.

Cabbage benefits help ward off cancerEstrogen dominance is a condition that has been associated with uterine fibroids, breast and endometrial cancers. When a woman is suffering from excessive stress and AFS, adrenal progesterone output is reduced in favor of cortisol production. This deficiency in progesterone can lead to a hormone imbalance, causing excessive estrogen in the body on a regular basis and resulting in a slew of undesirable health issues.

Studies have shown that cabbage is beneficial in helping to change the expression of enzymes that metabolize estrogen. Cruciferous vegetables can help to ward off breast cancer by improving the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone to 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone, which are estrogen metabolites.

Sulforaphane, similar to I3C in that it comes from glucosinolates from chewed cabbage, has been found to improve healthy cell signaling pathways and apoptosis, which can be described as biochemical events causing characteristic cell changes and death and are linked to cancer.

Cabbage is also a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and lower cancer risk. It is also an excellent way to help your adrenals get the vital ingredients needed to create cortisol.

Types of Cabbage

While there are many different varieties of cabbage, the main three are white cabbage, Chinese cabbage, and red cabbage, and they are all beneficial to the body if eaten raw or with minimal cooking– if cabbage is cooked for too long, you risk losing the health-promoting properties. In those with advanced adrenal fatigue, raw vegetables can often be hard to digest. Lightly steaming or braising cabbage is a good option to cook the vegetable while maintaining its healthy properties

Fermented cabbage, a Korean dish commonly known as kimchi, also promotes good health, cancer-fighting properties, and longevity, as it is chock-full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. The fermentation process also helps to promote gut health. While protecting against cancer and ailments like asthma, kimchi has also been shown to aid in immune and digestive health, and reduces the growth of dangerous foodborne pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. In fact, the longer you ferment cabbage for, the more antioxidant benefits you receive– cabbage can be fermented for longer than two years.

If you are not keen on cooking or don’t like the taste, you can still reap the benefits of cabbage, as it is available encapsulated in extract form for your convenience, along with various other cruciferous vegetables.

Cabbage in the Kitchen

Methods for preparing and cooking cabbage are of paramount importance when trying to reap all the benefits of cabbage. While the inside of cabbage is generally clean as the outer leaves protect it, you might still want to clean it. Remove the thick fibrous outer leaves and slice the cabbage into pieces, proceeding to wash thoroughly under cold running water.

Beware of any worms or insects, as they appear in cabbage from time to time. Soak the cabbage head in salt water or vinegar water for 15 – 20 minutes– this will help to preserve its vitamin C content. Next, cut and wash the cabbage immediately prior to cooking or eating. As phytonutrients in the cabbage can turn black from carbon steel, ensure you use a stainless steel knife when cutting cabbage.

Cabbage benefits are great for your healthWhen you are cutting cabbage into smaller pieces, start by quartering it and removing the core. It can be cut into slices of varying thickness, grated or shredded in a food processor.

It should be noted that cabbage, like all cruciferous vegetables, is goitrogenic. This means that there are compounds in cabbage, goitrogens that suppress thyroid function. Thus, if you suffer from low thyroid function or hypothyroidism, cabbage is not a recommended food for you as it can further suppress your thyroid and may exacerbate your preexisting condition. It is possible to destroy the goitrogens in cabbage by thoroughly cooking the vegetable, however, this process often destroys many other beneficial nutrients also. As such, it is better to simply reduce or avoid cruciferous vegetables as much as possible.

Also, if you have symptoms of low thyroid, menstrual irregularities, and fatigue, watch out for excessive cabbage intake as it can alter the ovarian-adrenal-thyroid (OAT) hormonal axis and makes you worse.

The Internet is teeming with recipes for your perusal, such as Braised Red Cabbage and Apple or Red Cabbage, Romaine, Mushroom Salad– head to the grocery store now, and begin reaping the plentiful cancer-fighting benefits of cabbage at dinner this evening.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Cabbage benefits that help fight cancer




1 Comment

  • Michael Bernardin says:

    Nice article. Please note that spinach is not a cruciferous vegetable though it does have many great qualities.
    For those with adrenal fatigue with whom cabbage digestion causes much gas and contributes to a more irritable bowel, have you seen people who can eventually eat it without side effects? For these people like me, do you suggest avoidance or sticking with these valuable vegetables to have some of there benefits?