Cabbage: Is it a Vegetable? (Full Answer Here)

Cabbage has been in cultivation for centuries, including by ancient Romans who loved it and used it for multiple purposes, not only as food but also as an ointment to treat wounds and reduce infection.

Cabbage is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological cycle, and is cultivated annually as a vegetable crop to be used in many different dishes.

Is cabbage a vegetable? From a botanical and culinary point of view, cabbage is considered and used as a leafy vegetable because it consists of roots, stems, and edible plants. Plus, it has a flavor profile that is very typical of vegetables, which is why’s usually used in a side dish or main course. 

In this article, I’ll attempt to describe in more detail why is cabbage considered a vegetable and why you should add it to your diet, and we’re going to look at its nutritional content, as well as show you how you can slowly but surely introduce it into your diet.

Why is Cabbage a Vegetable?

Vegetables are any external and edible part of a plant, and they’re generally grouped by the part of the plant that is eaten, more specifically the leaves, stems, roots, tubers, and flowers.

When you eat cabbage, you eat the leafy part of the plant, which is why it’s considered a vegetable.

Fruits, on the other hand, are the seed-bearing structures that grow from a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are the other edible parts of the plant.

Interesting fact about the cabbage:
In ancient China (1000 B.C.) scrolls praised cabbage as a magic cure-all for bald men. It’s difficult to say if there’s any truth to this claim, but no one can deny cabbage is full of nutrients that promote good health.

Why You Should Add Cabbage To Your Diet

The benefits of eating cabbage vary from one variety to another, but the cannonball cabbage (or also commonly known as green cabbage) is perhaps the most popular and the one we’ll emphasize in this article.

Here are a few of the benefits you can gain from adding cabbage to your diet:

Improved Digestion

Cabbage, like many veggies, is full of gut-friendly insoluble fiber, a type of fiber that can’t be broken down in the intestines but keeps the digestive system healthy by promoting an adequate bowel movement. (1)

It’s also rich in soluble fiber, which naturally increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, namely the most important species like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. (2)

Preventing Inflammation

While inflammation is not always a bad thing since the body relies on its inflammatory response to tackle infections and speed up healing, the inflammation I’m referring to is chronic inflammation.

Eating cabbage helps prevent chronic inflammation which is associated with many diseases, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. (3)

May Lower Cholesterol Levels

Not all cholesterol is bad as some cholesterol is responsible for the critical function of certain mechanisms, namely when it comes to having proper digestion, as well as the synthesis of hormones and vitamin D.

However, it’s also true that people with high cholesterol levels are at risk of having heart disease, especially if it’s LDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol.

Cabbage has two substances that may help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels:

  • Soluble fiber — which has been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterol levels by binding with cholesterol in the gut and keeping it from getting in the bloodstream.
  • Plant sterols — which are plant compounds that are similarly structured to cholesterol but inhibit the absorption of LDL cholesterol through the digestive tract.

These substances are not exclusive to cabbage and you’ll find them abundantly in other dark leafy greens.

Cabbage is Packed with Nutrients

Cabbage is very low in calories, which isn’t necessarily bad if you’re trying to lose weight, but what sets cabbage apart from a lot of vegetables like lettuce and rhubarb, is the fact it’s packed with nutrients.

One cup of raw green cabbage contains:

  • Calories: 22
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin K: 85% DV
  • Vitamin C: 54% DV
  • Folate: 10% DV
  • Manganese: 7% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 6% DV
  • Calcium: 4% DV
  • Potassium: 4% DV
  • Magnesium: 3% DV

As you can see from the nutritional information above, cabbage has plenty of Vitamin C, Folate, and Vitamin B6, which are all essential nutrients to the normal functioning of the body.

Plus, the fact it contains fiber as well as powerful antioxidants, polyphenols, and sulfur compounds, makes it ideal an ideal food for anyone wishing to avoid diseases like heart disease, cancer, vision loss, and more.

How to Eat More Cabbage

Cabbage is actually very versatile, which means it can be added to a diet in a number of ways. It can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, grilled, or roasted.

Here are a couple of ways in which you can use cabbage:

  • Cook it on the stove with a combination of other vegetables
  • Ferment it and make into sauerkraut
  • Add it to soups, salads, stews, and slaws.

One of the most delicious ways to include cabbage in your diet is by doing an Asian inspired cabbage salad, which is not that difficult if you follow the recipe in the video below:

Summary

Cabbage is a leaf vegetable that is rich in a number of nutrients, including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, as well as Folate, and Fiber, which are all important for the normal functioning of the body and preventing diseases.

You can include it in your diet in a number of ways, including by adding it to salads, soups, slews, stews, and more. I’ve even included a recipe taken from Youtube that you can follow to make a quick and easy Asian inspired salad.

If you feel like this article has been helpful, feel free to share it with friends or family that may find it useful.

Related Questions

Is Cabbage a Diuretic?

Not only is cabbage packed with nutrients, but it’s also a natural diuretic, which is related to the fact it has high water content, antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. Some scientists also suggest that phthalides (a substance present in cabbage) may also be responsible for creating a diuretic effect.

Is Cabbage Acidic?

What defines whether something is acidic, neutral, or alkaline is pH levels.

  • A pH of 0 shows a high level of acidity.
  • A pH of 7 is neutral.
  • A pH of 14 is the most alkaline.

In general, fresh vegetables are not considered acidic; and cabbage, in particular, has a pH between 5.20 and 6.80 which is closer to neutral.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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