Belonging to the cruciferous family, this vegetable is a great source of vitamins A and C, is a great source of fiber and consists of distinct polyphenols which are believed to possess anti-cancer properties. Cabbage enjoys a low Glycemic Index (which is a good thing), however in order to understand why , one needs to better understand the Glycemic Index , itself.
What is a Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic index or the GI was established by Dr Jenkins in nutrition researcher, back in 1981. The GI index is used to gauge how quickly the body can break down carbohydrates and absorb them. The criteria for measuring a food’s Glycemic index relies on the fiber content possessed by the food, the level of processing it requires and the type of carbohydrates it is formed up of. To be precise, a simple carbohydrate consistent food such as a banana has a higher glycemic index as compared to a food with complex carbohydrates such as lentils. Foods which have a higher glycemic index are absorbed more quickly by the body and hence add to the blood sugar values it holds.
The glycemic index of a food is typically described as either being high, medium or low. A food is said to have a high glycemic index if it ranks above a 70, while one with a medium glycemic index sits between 56 and 69 and a food with a low glycemic index lies in a range of fewer than 55.
The Glycemic Index of Cabbage
Cabbage is a powerhouse of nutrients and is a great addition to any meal plan. To make the package all the more attractive, cabbage also constitutes a glycemic index which lies between the ranges of 0 to 10. According to the University of Sydney, cabbage is so low in carbohydrate content that it can be ignored altogether when it comes to carb foods. Among foods counted as being low in glycemic index, cabbage is on the higher rung o the ladder along with some other vegetables, meat and alcohol, exerting negligible difference on the blood sugar levels. The cabbage glycemic index is very low and can be deduced by the fact that 1 cup of raw cabbage consists of only 2g of fiber and 5g of carbohydrates.
The Importance of a Low Glycemic Index Food like Cabbage
By consuming foods such as cabbage which have a low glycemic index, we can in essence ensure the blood sugar levels of our body remain low, which can in turn keep blood vessel damage to a bare minimum. For people with a metabolism that functions at normal pace, blood sugar levels are generally regulated no matter what you eat. However, those with a tendency for diabetes or already suffering from the condition may find their body as being unable to regulate blood sugar levels and keeping them controlled, letting them scrape high. A high blood sugar level can be highly injurious to blood vessels and can potentially be the cause of kidney failure and heart diseases. A study published in a journal called ‘Diabetes Care’ in 2003, some leading researchers, the likes of Dr Jenkins, established that foods with a low glycemic index can help lower blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes.