Under a Cabbage Leaf

Superfood: Benefits found in all styles of this helpful vegetable

ATTRIBUTES Cabbage comes in a variety of styles to suit your taste and color-palette needs. Shredded red cabbage brightens a ho-hum salad, adding powerful antioxidants along the way. Just a half-cup of regular green cabbage offers up 47 percent of daily vitamin C requirements in only 17 calories, and promotes regularity with a hearty dose of fiber.

SUPER POWERS Compounds in cabbage have been found to inhibit the growth of tumors and spread of cancer cells, and also offer protection to healthy cells during radiation treatment. The fermented cabbage in kimchi and sauerkraut provides beneficial probiotics. Cabbage also can be used as a poultice, and many a nursing mother throughout history has used cabbage leaves to relieve painful breast engorgement.

WEAKNESSES Overcooked cabbage can get stinky. Really stinky. That's because as it cooks, it releases hydrogen sulfide, better known as the smell of rotten eggs. The amount of stink released actually doubles between the fifth and seventh minute of cooking. Note that vitamin C content begins to diminish once the leaves are torn or cut.

HOW TO USE IT Cooking — briefly! — helps unleash the full nutrient value of cabbage. Sauté thinly sliced cabbage in a small amount of oil over medium heat, covering the pan to allow the cabbage to steam for three or four minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and a bit of butter. Enjoy!