Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion Made Easy

Find RecipesDigestive Effects HelpGet Help

print version share on facebookshare on twitter
Share Content with Your Friends & Clients
Share Ayurveda with your friends and clients plus earn commissions through the affiliate program.

Please cut and paste the following link when sharing this page with your network. This link will automatically track referrals from Joyful Belly to track your commissions:

Share URL for this page (cut and paste this link):

Click here for more details about the affiliate program.

About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC

Red Cabbage & Vinegar

Modify a copy of this RecipeCopy & Edit
Bookmark this RecipeBookmark
Create a recipeCreate a Recipe

(3.50 out of 5 stars) 2 reviews
Red Cabbage & Vinegar Ayurveda Recipe
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Diaphoretic, Relieves-burning, Relaxes-solar-plexus
Effect: Rajasic, Alkalizing, Tamasic
Meal: Lunch-Dinner
Recommended for: Spring, Autumn-Winter
Type: Vegetables
Style: Western
Occasion: On-the-mend, New-years-day, Christmas, Cleanse
Preparation: Boiled
Element: Ether, Air
Nutrient: Vitamin-K, Vitamin-A, Flavonoids, Beta-carotene
Color: Blue-purple
Nourishes: Red-Blood

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Is Red Cabbage & Vinegar Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Red Cabbage & Vinegar is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Red cabbage & Vinegar Stew's tangy flavor and rustic heartiness will make you pine for the Ukrainian grandmother you never had. Perfect for a dark winter night, stimulating vinegar gets your blood moving when the cold leaves you feeling constricted. Darker foods like red cabbage seem only too fitting for a season with very little sunlight. Your body enjoys these mineral rich foods because of their earthiness. Meanwhile, cabbage's natural sweetness and a dash of brown sugar puts a smile to your lips, replacing the bitterness of winter with the affection of togetherness.

Your Body's Change from Thanksgiving to Christmas

As the late fall Thanksgiving turkey wanes into a quieter Christmas gander, your cravings for red cabbage come to the forefront. Across the world, cabbages are known as a poor man's food. By late December, the harvest bounty seems like a distant memory. Taking a moment to reflect inward, you realize that you are happy for the change in pace. Not only because the pantry is bare, but because your body really needs relief from the overstuffing of autumn. You realize that Christmas really IS a lighter meal than Thanksgiving, in more ways than one.

While the thanksgiving table is full of fatty desserts like cheesecakes and pudding pies, Christmas treats are noticeable less rich. Sugar plums and candy canes steal the spotlight instead. However, all the fat of fall may still be lingering in your bloodstream, and congesting your liver. Vinegar's sour flavor is a cholagogue, meaning it purges toxic bile from the liver, and helps with fat digestion and metabolism. Cabbage has been featured in many weight loss diets as a negative calorie food. It inhibits the conversion of sugar and carbs into fat and speeds up metabolism. Take caution with eating raw cabbage however, as compounds in raw cabbage and other cruciferous veggies suppress the thyroid.

Cabbage's Purple Color

Towards the end of the holiday season, the oranges of Thanksgiving give way to the deeper reds of mulled wine, dark brown gravies, and the purples found in red cabbage. Cravings for these darker colors represent your body's natural desire to build rakta, the red part of your blood. Every phlebotomist (a nurse who draws blood) knows that blood can be separated into two parts, the clear plasma part, and the red blood cells. Rakta is Ayurveda's term for the red part of the blood. Ever notice that everyone looks pale in the winter? Red cabbage is your body's attempt to put some color back in your cheeks.

Cabbage's red color indicates its abundance of anticancer and antioxidant flavonoids. These phytonutrients increase the activity of the liver's detox enzymes, prevent tumor growth, and scavenge free radicals. Cabbage is known in Ayurveda for its calm, coolness much like the cucumber. You'll notice these cooling, detoxifying effects as a freshness in your mind and skin. Your eyes will also feel more relaxed.

Cabbage and Cleansing

Humble fare, like cabbage, is nearly always healthier than the decadent fare of the wealthy. Cabbage is a light vegetable, full of roughage, and full of nutrients as well. In our home, cabbage is a fallback food - a staple we return whenever our diet is out of hand from kid's birthday parties to holiday celebrations. There is nothing like a cabbage soup to bring our life and health back into perspective. The fiber in every bowl of cabbage soup is like a mini cleanse.


Halve one head of cabbage, then slice in thin shreds. Place in large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.

Sautee finely chopped onion in the oil until translucent. Add vinegar to pan, and pour into cabbage. Add remaining ingredients to pot. Simmer, covered, until tender and serve.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Impressions of 'Red Cabbage & Vinegar'

Do you like 'red cabbage & vinegar'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'red cabbage & vinegar'?

(3.50 out of 5 stars) 2 reviews

Sign in to review this page

good with sesame seeds!

- Katie, Toronto, ON, 04-12-13 (Reply)
Could I use jaggery instead of brown sugar?
- Catherine Perry, Bronx, NY, 10-15-14 (Reply)
Yes, sounds delicious!
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC, 10-15-14 (Reply)
could I use lemon juice instead of vinegar? as vinegar does not agree with me
- aggie, Lancashire, 01-16-15 (Reply)
Lemon juice sounds like a great idea Aggie! Try it out!
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC, 01-19-15 (Reply)
Should Vata types stay away from this dish?
- judy orloff, Baltimore, MD, 12-22-15 (Reply)
Vata individuals can enjoy this dish.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 12-23-15 (Reply)
I love the balance between the sour of the vinegar and the sweet from a little bit of brown sugar AND how easy it is to make.
- Lisa Westerfield, Robbinsville, NJ, 12-30-15 (Reply)
If you want to reduce your sugar intake I substitute with a small hand full of raisins that add a nice bit of sweetness and are very tasty when they plump up.
- Annette, 01-16-17 (Reply)

What is Joyful Belly?

Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Dosha Quiz
My Diets
Diet Help
Recent | Popular Articles
Digestion | Weight Loss
Ayurvedic Herbs & Products
Ayurveda Consultation
My Account
Privacy Policy
About Us | Press Kit
Using this Website
Contact Us | Job Offers
Wholesale Accounts
Join Affiliate Program

© 2016 Joyful Belly Ayurveda Inc., All rights reserved. john@joyfulbelly.com 828-252-0222 Asheville, North Carolina