Health benefits of China / Napa cabbage
Napa cabbage is incredibly low in calories. 100 g fresh leaves carry just 16 calories. It easily fits into the neo-class of zero calorie or negative calorie group of vegetables as often advocated by some dieticians.
Napa is packed with many antioxidant plant compounds such as carotenes, thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. In addition, it is an abundant source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Scientific studies suggest these compounds are known to offer protection against breast, colon and prostate cancers and help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood.
Fresh napa is an excellent source of folates. 100 g provides 79 µg or 20% of daily required levels of this B-complex vitamin. Folic acid is one of the essential components of DNA. Sufficient amounts of folates in the diet in anticipant mothers may help prevent neurological diseases in the newborn babies.
Further, napa cabbage has very good levels of vitamin-C. 100 g of fresh napa provides about 45% of daily requirements of this vitamin. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
Likewise in other cabbages, napa too has moderate levels of vitamin K, provides about 38% of RDA levels. Vitamin-K has a potential role in the bone metabolism by promoting osteotrophic activity in bone cells. Therefore, sufficient levels of vitamin K in the diet makes your bone stronger, healthier and help delay osteoporosis. Further, vitamin-K also has established role to play in the treatment of tAlzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.
Napa cabbage has small levels of vitamin-A. However, it also contains flavonoid poly phenolic compounds such as carotenes, lutein and xanthins which convert to vitamin A in the body.
As in other green vegetables, it is a good source of many essential vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (185 of RDA) and thiamin. These vitamins are essential in the sense that our body requires them from external sources to replenish.
In addition, it is very natural source of electrolytes and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosporous, manganese, iron and magnesium. Potassium is chief component of cell and body fluids and helps in regulating heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is employed by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for the red blood cell formation.
(sources :- http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/napa-cabbage.html)