In which our Heroine eats yet again.
My subject today is the unassuming cabbage. I made a simple cabbage soup today. It involved cabbage, grated carrot, bouillon, pepper, and paprika. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was actually rather tasty. And the best part is that I felt healthy by eating it too.
Cabbage has been given a bad rap. I think of movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where cabbage shows up in a sad, starved soup. In comparison to the “I’ve got a golden ticket” Willie Wonka candy bar, this poor cruciferous vegetable just doesn’t have a chance. I also end up thinking of that Russian cabbage soup, borscht. The first time I ate it, I thought little enough of it to assume that only a starving Siberian family during the Cold War could ever eat this stuff regularly. When I moved to Alaska I learned that cabbage is extremely hardy against cold weather and heard a strange story about people freezing their cabbages out on the back deck during winter—thus increasing my belief that only those with no other choice—and who are inevitably very cold—would ever eat this stuff.
I am beginning to learn that my assumptions (and consumptions, ha ha ha) were wrong. Cabbage and its cousins have been considered a healthful food for centuries. The Greeks and Romans especially considered it a sort of cure-all. Scientists today find that cabbage can not only prevent against tumors, but can also encourage cancer cell apoptosis. This means that the cancer cells self-destruct. That’s right, they commit suicide. It’s weird to say it, but I really hope that certain cells in my body commit suicide. I wish for it every day.
So what are cancer’s cousins, or cruciform vegetables? They include: brussel sprouts, collard greens, kale, watercress, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and pai tsai (Chinese celery cabbage). When was the last time you ate one of these? According to my source, Foods that Fight Cancer, eating broccoli just four times a week effectively blocks colon polyps from forming. That’s not much of a hassle, now is it?
Take that, Willie Wonka, and your delicious chocolate candy bar too.