Most people think of coleslaw as an all-American dish, but did you know that it actually has Dutch roots? Coleslaw comes from the Dutch word “koolsla,” meaning “cabbage salad.” The recipe was brought to the U.S. by Dutch immigrants who settled in New York during the late 17th and 18th centuries.1
Coleslaw is still a favorite today because of its unique flavor and texture. However, since it’s usually enjoyed raw, I recommend using only organically grown vegetables that are not sprayed with pesticides and other toxic chemicals. This Fresh and Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe uses only wholesome ingredients that blend so well together, and is sure to please everyone — even picky eaters.
Fresh and Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe
- In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, Dr. Mercola’s apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, celery seed and salt. Whisk together until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add the shredded cabbage, celery, carrots and finely chopped green onion. Mix very well to coat evenly.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
This Fresh and Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe Is Chock-Full of Nutrients
Apart from the organically grown vegetables that are naturally tasty, the flavor combinations of homemade mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder and celery seeds make this coleslaw extraordinary. This recipe doesn’t need cooking and can be prepared ahead of time. You can make either an individual serving or a big batch to share with your family or friends. You can also serve it at your next dinner party as a wonderfully refreshing appetizer.
Why Cabbage Is a Top Choice in Improving Health
Cabbage is a mainstay of coleslaw and other salads, and it’s easy to see why. This vegetable contains fat-soluble vitamin K1 that plays a role in blood clotting and bone metabolism, and assists in limiting neuron damage to the brain, potentially preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Since most people today are deficient in vitamin K1, consuming more cabbage can be a good way to increase your body’s supply.
Vitamins B1, B5, B6 and B9 are also found in cabbage. These B vitamins assist in delivering energy and potentially slowing down shrinkage in brain regions that may be significantly targeted by Alzheimer’s disease. Cabbage is also home to manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
Plus, cabbage was shown to assist in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in the blood. High LDL levels can be dangerous, since it may build up in the arteries and trigger heart disease. Furthermore, the George Mateljan Foundation notes that cabbage can protect the body from oxidative stress and has the potential to prevent cancers.2 This benefit can likely be traced to:
- Antioxidants like vitamins A and C, phytonutrients like thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates: These all stimulate enzyme detoxification and can shield the body against breast, colon and prostate cancers.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory polyphenols that are abundant in red cabbage. These can regulate inflammation and reduce the risk of inflammation-related damage to your body.
- Glucosinolates: These phytochemicals break down into indoles, sulforaphane and other cancer-preventive substances. In particular, indole-3-cabinol stops the cell cycle in breast cancer cells without killing the cells.3 This compound intervenes with the cancer cell’s development cycle by turning off a gene for an important enzyme.
Because cabbages contain different glucosinolate patterns, it would be wise to consume different cabbages, such as red, green and Savoy.
Celery Packs a Crunch and Some Health Benefits, Too
Adding celery to this recipe not only boosts its flavor profile, but also positively impacts your body. For starters, celery is a low-calorie option that’s ideal for those who want to lose weight. It has only 16 calories per serving.
Celery is a rich source of flavonoids like lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Studies highlighted that these nutrients were helpful in lowering body inflammation and heart disease risk, boosting your immune system and preventing growth of abnormal cancer-causing cells. Celery is also abundant in vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin A, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and K3
- Potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium
Celery is fiber-rich, too, allowing the food to move more quickly through your digestive tract and help in lowering colon cancer risk. There are also antioxidants present in celery, namely natural phenolic dihydrostilbenoids such as lunularin, flavonols such as quercetin and kaempferol and furanocoumarins such as bergapten and psoralen.
Moreover, a plant compound in celery called luteolin plays a role in enhancing brain health by easing brain inflammation, a known primary cause of neurodegeneration.
Don’t discard the celery leaves and seeds — they’re rich in nutrients, too. The leaves contain the most amounts of vitamin C, calcium and potassium, while seeds have volatile oils like terpenes that consist mostly of limonene and sesquiterpenes (beta-silenene and hunulene). A compound in the seeds called 3-n-butylphthalide could also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels by relaxing blood vessels, while coumarins help with blood thinning.
Carrots Remain a Top Choice for Optimal Well-Being
Because of its antioxidants, namely vitamin A, lycopene and beta-carotene, you can get various health benefits from carrots. These antioxidants have been linked to:
Helping prevent illnesses like heart disease, stroke and cancer
Cleansing the colon and flushing out toxins
Preventing infection in cuts and scrapes when used as poultice
Improving brain, heart and oral health
Helping lower incidence of metabolic syndrome
Boosting skin’s appearance
Protecting the liver
Possessing anti-aging effects and anti-inflammatory capabilities
Other vitamins in carrots include B1, B6, B9, C and K. Plus, minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium won’t just help in building strong bones and a healthy nervous system, but also promote:
- Development of healthy heart muscles (calcium)
- Softer skin and stronger hair, teeth and bones (phosphorus)
- Better mental health, fat digestion and nutrient absorption (magnesium)
Apple Cider Vinegar Provides Acidity and More
A little spritz of apple cider vinegar (ACV) will not only do this coleslaw good, but improve your health, too. Initially, ACV was shown to balance pH levels, increase amounts of good gut bacteria in the body and assist with weight control. However, more studies showed that apple cider vinegar can reduce blood glucose levels. A study published in Diabetes Care involved three groups: adults with pre-diabetes, adults with type 2 diabetes and healthy adults.4
After taking an ounce of ACV, participants had lower blood glucose levels when they ate a high-carbohydrate meal (a white bagel with butter and a glass of orange juice), as compared to when they took a placebo. The pre-diabetes group also improved their blood glucose levels by almost half, while the type 2 diabetes group reduced their blood glucose levels by 25 percent.
Another study in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry involved feeding mice with a high-fat diet and acetic acid (ACV’s active ingredient). The experimental mice ended up with 10 percent lower body weight compared to the control subjects. Researchers pointed out that the acetic acid can switch on trigger genes that depend on the enzymes’ ability to break down fat, preventing weight gain and making you feel fuller.5
ACV may also help detoxify the lymphatic system that assists with optimizing homeostatic function in the body. The antioxidants in the vinegar have the ability to decrease free radical-caused oxidative damage and improve the health of your blood and organs. When consuming ACV, remember to do so in moderation because it can damage your teeth and lead to dental erosion.6 The best way to prevent this is by diluting ACV with water.
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