1. It’s hardy. Originating along the Mediterranean Sea, its thick and succulent leaves protected it from the sun and salt. But cabbage grows equally well in the cold, thriving at temperatures barely above freezing.
2. When chopped, it yields a pile of slaw-ready shreds loaded with vitamins C and K, fiber and detoxifying sulfur compounds. Red cabbage also boasts anthocyanins, an antioxidant thought to keep your heart healthy and brain sharp.
It's the Base for Sauerkraut
3. Cabbage fuels Americans’ love affair with sauerkraut. (Each year, the U.S. consumes 387 million pounds of this fermented-cabbage dish.)
4. Young scientists can use red cabbage juice in their kitchen “labs” to gauge a pH level: add vinegar (an acid) and it will turn red, add baking soda (a base) and it will turn blue.
5. It’s dirt cheap. At 62¢ per pound, 1⁄2 cup shredded cabbage costs about 6¢, so you don’t have to fork over more than a quarter to make a salad for four.