Feeding cabbage to hamsters should be avoided, although cabbage does possess valuable properties for humans by having sulphur, chlorine, and iodine content. The combination of the sulphur and chlorine causes a cleaning of the mucus membranes in the stomach and the intestinal tract and acts as a laxative. Cabbage also acts as a diuretic; a diuretic is a substance that tends to increase the secretion and flow of urine. Broccoli can also have a similar effect.
Nitrate occurs naturally in vegetables such as carrots etc: But green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, lettuce etc: contain much higher levels of nitrate than most other foods. Some plants, depending on where and how they are grown, such as lettuce and spinach are very high in nitrates relative to the nutritional contribution they make, and it may be reasonable to use other types of vegetables in their place wherever possible.
Sodium Nitrate is converted into Sodium Nitrite by the digestive process once it has been eaten. Studies of nitrate in food have demonstrated that there can be both beneficial and potentially detrimental health effects. The consumption of green leafy vegetables may lead to an increased nitrate intake. Prolonged use of vegetables containing higher levels of nitrate may cause liver damage, though some may tolerate higher levels than others. Nitrite binds to hemoglobin and can result in less oxygen being carried around in the blood. No carcinogenic evidence is attached to sodium nitrate intake but studies have reported other effects such as frequent urination, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, blood in stools and urine. Nitrates cannot be removed because they occur naturally!
Feeding hamsters cabbage