I just finished making a big pot of Red Cabbage "Dutch Style" from Nourishing Traditions. I was going to post the recipe but I doctored it up to taste more like the red cabbage from my childhood... which is why I made it today-- for a birthday treat tomorrow! Growing up with German relatives, this was a pretty regular side dish at my Oma's table.
What I didn't know when I was young, was that it's full of vitamin C which is really important as the weather gets colder. Today I saw a study that says vitamin C might be an answer for Celiac and gluten intolerant people because it's been shown to minimize the effects of gliadin on intestinal tissue. (Your body will produce gliadin if you eat wheat and that's the allergic reaction-- inflammation. This is why a stool sample tests for the presence of gliadin.) The inflammation to the digestive tract is practically nil when vitamin C is mixed with gliadin which would allow the accidental exposure to grains back into the diet safely. This is good news! They have to do a lot more testing to see how that would actually work.
Regardless, cabbage has been eaten for centuries as a healing food-- it's a good source of fiber as well as of carotenoids, B complex, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Raw cabbage has more vitamin C than cooked cabbage but it's not recommended on a daily basis because of the presence of goitrogens, substances that block the formation of thyroid hormone. This in turn makes it difficult for the liver to convert the plant form of vitamin A (carotene or carotenoids) into the animal form, which it needs for thousands of biochemical processes. On the plus side, cabbage is rich in substances that block the formation and spread of tumors. Folk medicine values cabbage for the stomach. Irish girls traditionally drank cabbage water for the complexion. Research has also shown the juice of a cabbage to be highly therapeutic for ulcers.
What I really want to do is ferment some cabbage! This is how kraut should be made... it gives you the benefits of vitamin C (like raw) but the fermentation makes it digestible and imparts it with probiotics which are wonderful at keeping your digestive system and hence, your whole body, very healthy! Fermentation is an old process-- necessary during a time when there was no refrigeration. It's still very much in use today and hopefully, even more so, as young people are learning how to ferment vegetables, fruit, bread, drinks... so many things! I hope to be one of them.