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Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that’s known scientifically as Brassica oleracea var. Capitata.
Cabbage comes in red and green varieties which are related to vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts to name a few. Cabbage can be eaten raw, cooked, or even fermented; some popular preparations include cole slaw, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Most importantly, though, cabbage is a nutrient-dense vegetable with many laudable health benefits. High in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins C and K among other vitamins and minerals, cabbage is definitely worth incorporating into your diet. Have a look at some of the significant ways cabbage can improve your health!
Important Note: All of the health benefits of eating cabbage noted herein are based on the most current scientific research at the time of this publication.
Packed With Nutrients
Cabbage is a beneficial vegetable to add to your diet because it’s low in calories and high in nutrients. Notably, a one-cup serving of raw cabbage has only 22 calories, one gram of protein, and two grams of fiber. If you’re looking for a vegetable that’s not only conducive to weight loss but packed with nutrition, cabbage is your ticket. Some of the shining nutrients in cabbage include vitamin K which accounts for 85% of the daily recommended value, vitamin C which accounts for 54% of the daily recommended value, and folate which accounts for 10% of the daily recommended intake. Besides these nutrients, cabbage has remarkable amounts of manganese, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Besides all of the vitamins and minerals contained in cabbage, this leafy vegetable also contains small amounts of micronutrients such as riboflavin, vitamin A, and iron as well as polyphenols and sulfur compounds. Additionally, cabbage is packed with useful antioxidants that fend off damaging free radicals. Taken together, cabbage contains powerful nutrients that are beneficial to energy metabolism, functions of the nervous system, heart health, and vision.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Cabbage is chock full of many powerful vitamins and minerals that are essential to your overall health.
Keeping inflammation in check is essential to stave off chronic illness. Chronic inflammation can lead to diseases of the heart and bowels as well as rheumatoid arthritis. Vegetables such as cabbage contain beneficial antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. One study showed that 1,000 women who regularly consumed vegetables like cabbage had a much lower level of inflammation when compared to those who didn’t. It’s noted that antioxidants such as sulforaphane and kaempferol, both of which are found in cabbage, are the root of anti-inflammation.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Without a doubt, the antioxidants in cabbage successfully reduce inflammation; this claim is supported by thousands of scientific studies.
Impressively, a cabbage-rich diet is also good for improving digestive health. This leafy vegetable is packed full of insoluble fiber which boosts the overall health of your gut. Essentially, the fiber in cabbage encourages healthy, regular bowel movements. Moreover, cabbage is also rich in soluble fiber which is credited with improving healthy, beneficial bacteria in the gut, a probiotic of sorts. The soluble fiber in cabbage leads to improved immunity as well as the production of essential nutrients such as vitamins K12 and B12. Incorporating cabbage into your diet is a great way to improve and maintain a healthy digestive system.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. It’s no big secret that a fiber-rich diet is integral to a healthy digestive system. Cabbage contains two grams of fiber per serving.
Promotes Heart Health
Red cabbage in particular is an incredible carrier of the ever-important anthocyanins that boost heart health. Anthocyanins are a type of antioxidant that have been linked to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. In one study, researchers examined the effect of an anthocyanin-rich diet on nearly 100,000 women; the study concluded that those with a greater intake of foods rich in anthocyanins, foods such as cabbage, were at a reduced risk for having a heart attack. Another study of nearly 350,000 participants resulted in similar conclusions. Other studies have concluded that an anthocyanin-rich diet lowered cholesterol and blood pressure thereby reducing the risk for coronary artery disease. Lastly, cabbage contains more than 30 different types of anthocyanins all of which are linked to heart health. As a result, incorporating cabbage into your diet is a great way to protect your ticker.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Study after study concludes that the types of anthocyanins contained in cabbage, especially, red cabbage, are incredibly beneficial to cardiovascular health.
Great Source of Vitamin K
Cabbage is a wonderful source of vitamin K which is important to your health. Notably, vitamin K is a significant contributor to the process by which your body’s blood clots. Essentially, vitamin K acts as a cofactor, an enzyme that causes coagulation, that’s necessary to your ability to form blood clots. Without adequate vitamin K intake, you risk the chance of excessive bleeding. Cabbage is a rich source of vitamin K, with a whopping 85% of the daily recommended value in just one serving, and should undoubtedly be included in your diet.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Besides being incredibly nutritious, the vitamin K in cabbage is integral to blood clotting; with such a high concentration of vitamin K per serving of cabbage, adding this vegetable to your diet is a no brainer.
Loaded With Vitamin C
Vitamin C serves many important functions in human biology. For starters, vitamin C breeds collagen which is integral to flexibility in the skin, bone health, muscle functions, and healthy blood vessels. Beyond these important functions, vitamin C is also an important antioxidant that has cancer-fighting potential. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fends off free radicals that could lead to chronic illnesses. In fact, many scientific studies have concluded that a diet rich in vitamin C is connected to a lowered risk of a variety of cancers. Interestingly, both red and green varieties of cabbage are rich in vitamin C, however, the red variety has a 30% higher content. Incredibly, a one-cup serving of red cabbage contains 85% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Vitamin C is one of the key nutrients present in both red and green varieties of cabbage. Undoubtedly, vitamin C is important to a number of bodily functions as well as reducing the risk of chronic illness.
Unlikely Benefit: Further Research Needed
General Consensus: 2.5/5 and here is why. Although cabbage is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are linked to lowering cholesterol, there are just too few studies on cabbage specifically to say conclusively.