Is Cabbage Good for Arthritis? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Cabbage is good for arthritis. Because it has vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants, and they can reduce inflammation, protect your cells, support your bone health, and modulate your immune system.

Arthritis is a condition that affects your joints, which are the places where two bones meet in your body.

In arthritis, your body’s immune system or normal wear and tear causes inflammation and damage to the cartilage, the smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones and allows them to glide smoothly.

This can lead to various health problems, such as pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced mobility, and deformity of the joints.

One of the key factors in managing arthritis is diet.

What you consume can affect your inflammation levels, which can impact your arthritis symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage arthritis, you should consume anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, and avoid pro-inflammatory foods like red meat, processed foods, sugar, and alcohol.

Now, cabbage is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, and kale.

People usually eat cabbage raw in salads or coleslaw, cooked in soups or stews, or fermented in sauerkraut or kimchi.

Cabbage is good for arthritis because it contains vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants.

Vitamin C and antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from oxidative stress.

Vitamin K and fiber can help support your bone health and prevent osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle.

One cup of raw cabbage can give you 36% of your daily vitamin C needs, 56% of your daily vitamin K needs, and 8% of your daily fiber needs.

Vitamin C can help lower the levels of inflammatory markers in your blood, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which are associated with arthritis.

Vitamin C can also help boost your immune system and collagen production, which are essential for repairing your cartilage and connective tissues.

Vitamin K can help regulate the activity of osteocalcin, a protein that is involved in bone mineralization and calcium absorption.

Vitamin K can also help prevent the breakdown of cartilage and bone by inhibiting the enzymes that cause them.

Fiber can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a common complication of arthritis.

Fiber can also help improve your digestion and bowel movements, which can prevent constipation and diverticulitis, another potential complication of arthritis.

Antioxidants can help scavenge the free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage your cells and DNA.

Oxidative stress can worsen inflammation and accelerate the aging process of your joints.

Antioxidants can also help modulate your immune system and prevent it from attacking your own tissues, which is the case in rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune type of arthritis.

Furthermore, cabbage is a low-calorie and low-carbohydrate food, and both calories and carbohydrates are bad for arthritis.

Because, excess calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can put more pressure and stress on your joints.

Excess carbohydrates can increase your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can trigger inflammation and worsen your arthritis symptoms.

You can eat one to two cups of cabbage per day safely.

More than that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea, which can affect your digestion and comfort.

Also, you shouldn’t eat cabbage if you have thyroid problems or are taking blood thinners to prevent blood clots.

Because, cabbage contains goitrogens, substances that can interfere with your thyroid function and cause goiter, a swelling of your thyroid gland.

Cabbage also contains vitamin K, which can counteract the effects of blood thinners and increase your risk of bleeding.

You can buy fresh cabbage in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose cabbage that is firm, heavy, and compact, with crisp and colorful leaves.

Because, these are signs of freshness and quality.

You can store cabbage in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing arthritis effectively.

I always recommend my arthritis patients to follow an arthritis-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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