Rainbow Slaw

Cole slaw with seeds and pine nuts - delicious healthy vegetarian food. On a dark rustic wooden background

  • Did you know that cabbage was one of two vegetable types (the other type was root vegetables) found to be a mainstay for prevention of type 2 diabetes in a recent study of over 57,000 adults in the country of Denmark? In this very large-scale study, adults who closely followed the Healthy Nordik Food Index were found to have the lowest incidence of type 2 diabetes. Importantly, this key health benefit was linked to six food intake categories: (1) fish, (2) rye bread, (3) oatmeal, (4) apples and pears, (5) root vegetables, and (6) cabbage!
  • Researchers have now identified nearly 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols in cabbage, all of which have demonstrated antioxidant activity. This impressive list of antioxidant phytonutrients in cabbage is one key reason why an increasing number of studies link cabbage intake to decreased risk of several cardiovascular diseases.
  • While cardiovascular protection and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes have been areas of increased research interest with respect to cabbage intake, it is the area of cancer prevention that still offers the largest number of health-related studies for this cruciferous vegetable. To date, more than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.
  • Without sufficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised, and we can experience the problem of chronic inflammation. Especially when combined together with oxidative stress, chronic inflammation is a risk factor for development of cancer.
  • The anthocyanins found in red cabbage are well-documented anti-inflammatory compounds and make red cabbage a standout anti-inflammatory food for this reason. However, all types of cabbage contain significant amounts of polyphenols that provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Anthocyanins are also compounds that fall into the general category of polyphenols known as flavonoids, and they are definitely not the only important flavonoids provided by cabbage. Included in the list of cabbage flavonoids are the following anti-inflammatory compounds: artemetin, betanidin, butein, equol, hydroxyflavone, kaempferol, luteolin, malvidin, naringenin, pelargonodin, purpurogalin, quercitol, and tetrahydrochalcone.
  • Given the roles of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation as risk factors for cancer, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory richness of cabbage would provide anti-cancer health benefits without the addition of cabbage’s glucosinolates. But glucosinolates are cabbage’s trump card with regard to “anti-cancer” benefits. The glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. (1)

Ingredients

1/2  medium cabbage

2 large carrots

1/2 medium savoy cabbage

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

handful chopped parsley

handful sesame seeds for topping (optional)

For the dressing

1 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup cashews (soaked 2-4 hours)

1/8 cup lemon juice

2-3 garlic cloves

Himalayan or sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop/shred cabbage.
  2. Julienne carrots on a mandolin.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. To make the dressing, blend all ingredients in a blender and pour over the vegetables. Toss to coat evenly.
  5. Add in more lemon juice, olive oil, salt and/or spices of your choice as needed.

This salad will keep for a few days in the fridge.

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