This leafy vegetable is a close relative of broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. It comes in various colours of red, green, purple and white, with the most popular being the green variant. It has high fiber content which helps with digestion and improves the smooth passage of waste from our body. However it is said to have side effects and here we will discuss some of the important side effects of cabbage.
10 Side Effects of Cabbage
Cabbages are very good for our digestion and are rich in fibers but if you consume too much of this vegetable it will affect your digestion. It contains an indigestible sugar called raffinose, which in small quantities is harmless but in large quantities leads to flatulence which might cause further consequences in the body like belching, abdominal discomfort, chest pain and bloating.(1)
A single cup of cabbage contains 5.8 grams of dietary fibers. These are mostly of the insoluble type and too much of them leads to diarrhea. It can block the intestine which makes which makes absorption of food nutrient difficult. As cabbage triggers symptoms of diarrhea, cancer patients are generally advised not to consume cabbages, as the condition could be made worse by chemotherapy.(2)
Cabbages have low glycemic index. This helps to regulate high blood sugar levels. But it turns into a harmful side effect if you are consuming a lot of cabbages just to gain benefits quickly. It will suddenly lower your blood sugar levels. It will also lead to interaction with your medication if you are undergoing one. Eat with caution.(3)
4. Interference with Medication
Another medication that it interacts with is blood thinning medication as it contains high amounts of vitamin K in it. In a normal diet, 2 cups of cabbage gives you 53 micrograms of Vitamin K and the body needs 90 micrograms for females and 120 micrograms for males, according to the University Of Maryland Medical Center. So over consuming it will affect your body adversely. If you are already under medication for blood thinning consult your doctor before consuming cabbages.(4)
5. Colic in Baby
If you are a breastfeeding mother eating cabbages, it will lead to colic in your baby as the nutrition are passed through you while breast feeding. This would cause severe abdominal pain in the baby and other intestinal discomfort.(5)
6. Exhaustion and Fatigue
Cabbage is the most sought after option when one is going on a diet as it has very low calorie content. Margaret Danbrot in her book “The New Cabbage Soup Diet,” has observed that the body uses more calories in breaking down the food than what is actually contained in it. Without minimum required calories, one will experience intense fatigue and will feel less inclined to work or study. It makes us less alert and unfit for work. It will lead to intense health issues and weakness.
7. Heart Problems
According to the Weight-control Information Network, a minimum of 800 calories are required by our body daily. If you are on a strict diet consisting mainly of cabbage you need to think again as your calorie intake will fall below 800 calories. This poses a danger to your heart, especially if you have history of heart disease.
8. Electrolyte Problems
Eating a lot of cabbages reduces our desire to drink water as it already contains a lot of water in it. In the long run it will lead to dehydration in the body, electrolyte imbalances, muscle contraction, and even fainting in severe cases.
[ Read: Surprising Side Effects Of Tomatoes ]
Cabbages affect your blood sugar levels which can interfere with blood sugar control before and after a surgery. It is advisable to stop eating cabbages for a few weeks before and after a surgery.
10. Weight Gain
The effectiveness of cabbage as a weight losing diet lacks evidence. In most cases it is observed that the lost weight returns quickly disappointing dieters. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, dieters do not get desired effects and it also increases the risk of binge-eating habits.
These are some of the common side effects of cabbage. Consult your doctor before starting a cabbage diet. Cabbage is healthy but occurrence of side effects shouldn’t be neglected. If the side effects persist, medical attention should be immediately taken.
- Human Gut Bacterial Communities Are Altered by Addition of Cruciferous Vegetables to a Controlled Fruit- and Vegetable-Free Diet : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728691/
- Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622700/
- The influence of cabbage extracts upon the blood sugar level : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1509938/?page=1
- Association Between Usual Vitamin K Intake and Anticoagulation in Patients Under Warfarin Therapy : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4641985/
- Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers : https://www.chop.edu/pages/diet-breastfeeding-mothers#.V_eAVI997IV
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