Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Red cabbage, like cauliflower and kale, is a nutrient-dense cruciferous or Brassica vegetable and gets its name from the dark purple-reddish colour of its leaves. Red cabbage is often smaller and thicker than green cabbage, with a pepperier flavour. The flavonoid anthocyanin and the acidity level of the soil where it’s grown give the red cabbage its purple-reddish colour. It’s high in nutrients, low in fat and calories, and has a long list of health advantages, just like most colourful veggies. Cabbage is great for health and fertility -It contains di-indole methane, for starters! This is a chemical that may help women avoid developing fibroids and endometriosis. Cabbage contains linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids, which are important fatty acids. These acids are necessary for ovulation, especially during the egg release phase. Cabbage is also high in folate, which can help prevent birth defects in newborns and is a must-have during the first few months of pregnancy. Cabbage is also high in vitamin C, which can improve the body’s immune system and prevent oxidative stress to egg and sperm DNA, slowing down cell ageing. Cabbage also contains vitamin E, which can help increase male fertility by increasing sperm count and quality.
Pomegranates are an excellent source of flavonoids and polyphenols. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) and folate, along with, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc and fibre. In relation to fertility, pomegranates possess anti-inflammatory properties. They are also thought to support fertility by helping balance hormones and increasing blood flow to the uterus. Pomegranate is rich in zinc- this has been shown to increase sperm count and sperm quality – both are important for successful conception.
Braised Red Cabbage with Spices, Pomegranate and Citrus
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red cabbage, sliced finely
Seeds for ½ pomegranate
I red onion sliced
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground ginger
Juice and zest 1 orange
125 ml red wine vinegar
Pour the olive oil into a saucepan, add the onions and cinnamon stick and cook over a medium heat until the onions have softened.
Add the cabbage, orange juice and zest, red wine vinegar and allspice and stir.
Place the lid onto the pan and cook for 45 minutes on a low heat, stir occasionally.
Transfer the cabbage to a serving dish, season as required and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over.