Cabbage – Brassica oleracea

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Cabbage Quick Facts
Name: Cabbage
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea
Origin Southern and Western Europe
Colors Green, purple and white
Shapes Flat, round, egg-shaped, oval or conical; 25–100 mm
Flesh colors Soft, light green or whitish
Calories 17 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin K (67.92%)
Vitamin C (31.22%)
Manganese (6.70%)
Vitamin B6 (6.46%)
Vitamin B9 (5.50%)
Health benefits Prevents cancer, Vision health, Enhance brain, Protect bones, Skin health
Botanically, the Cabbage belongs to the Brassicaceae family which also includes brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, kale and broccoli. Scientific name: Brassica oleracea (Capitata Group). Some of the common names of Cabbage are: Cabbage, White cabbage, Repolyo and Gan lan.

Cabbage is the biennial, cool season vegetable. It grows to round head which consists of thick which ranges in the colour from yellowish green, dark green and dark red. There exist three major types of Cabbage such as Green cabbage, Savoy cabbage and Red cabbage. Peak season for Cabbage runs from spring or fall.


Cabbage is native to Southern and Western Europe.  It was believed that Cabbage to be domesticated before 1000 BC in Europe. Cabbage was cultivated for more than 4,000 years and domesticated for over 2,500 years. Though cabbage is connected to the Irish, Cabbage was brought from Asia by the Celts around 600 B.C. to Europe. Savoys were developed in 16th century. In the middle ages, Cabbage had become the part of European cuisine.


Cabbages are biennial, herbaceous and dicotyledonous plant that reaches about 40–60 cm (16–24 inch) tall and bear alternately arranged ovate shaped leaves. The leaves are thick, smooth or crinkled. The leaves have the colour of light yellowish green – dark green and dark red. Commercially, light green cabbage is the most common, though purple varieties are exist. The plants produce yellow flowers and bear small round seeds in brown or black. Cabbages prefer cool climate and thrives in well-drained soils. The Cabbage head is oval or conical; green, purple, white and has the size of 25-100 mm which is formed on a short thick stem. The stems are glabrous and erect. The plant has got fibrous and shallow root system. It is in flower from spring, late spring to early summer.

Nutritional Value

Cabbage is rich in Vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber. It is also loaded with good amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Furthermore, it contains folate, fiber, zinc, sodium, copper and omega-3 fatty acids. The Cabbage of 75 gm provides 28.1 mg Vitamin C, 22 µg Vitamin B9, 36 mg Calcium and 147 mg Potassium. The same amount provides 17 calories.

Nutritional value of Cabbage
Serving Size: 0.5 Cup shredded , 75 g

Calories 17 Kcal. Calories from Fat 0.36 Kcal.


Proximity Amount % DV
Water 69.43 g N/D
Energy 17 Kcal N/D
Energy 73 kJ N/D
Total dietary Fiber 1.4 g 3.68%
Carbohydrate 4.13 g 3.18%
Protein 0.95 g 1.90%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.04 g 0.11%
Ash 0.44 g N/D
Total Sugars 2.09 g N/D
Glucose (dextrose) 1.22 g N/D
Fructose 0.87 g N/D

Minerals Amount % DV
Manganese, Mn 0.154 mg 6.70%
Calcium, Ca 36 mg 3.60%
Phosphorus, P 25 mg 3.57%
Potassium, K 147 mg 3.13%
Magnesium, Mg 11 mg 2.62%
Iron, Fe 0.13 mg 1.63%
Copper, Cu 0.013 mg 1.44%
Zinc, Zn 0.15 mg 1.36%
Selenium, Se 0.4 µg 0.73%
Sodium, Na 6 mg 0.40%
Fluoride 0.8 µg 0.02%

Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 81.5 µg 67.92%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 28.1 mg 31.22%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.084 mg 6.46%
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 22 µg 5.50%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.046 mg 3.83%
Choline 15.2 mg 2.76%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.13 mg 2.60%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.028 mg 2.15%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.186 mg 1.16%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.11 mg 0.73%
Beta Carotene 36 µg N/D
Betaine 0.2 mg N/D
Lutein + zeaxanthin 20 µg N/D

Lipids Amount % DV
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.014 g N/D
Palmitoleic acid 16:1 (hexadecenoic acid) 0.007 g N/D
Oleic acid 18:1 (octadecenoic acid) 0.007 g N/D
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.017 g 0.10%
Linoleic acid 18:2 (octadecadienoic acid) 0.007 g N/D
Linolenic acid 18:3 (Octadecatrienoic acid) 0.01 g N/D
Phytosterols 8 mg N/D

Amino Acids Amount % DV
Tryptophan 0.008 g 1.82%
Valine 0.032 g 1.52%
Threonine 0.026 g 1.48%
Isoleucine 0.022 g 1.32%
Histidine 0.016 g 1.30%
Lysine 0.032 g 0.96%
Leucine 0.031 g 0.84%
Tyrosine 0.014 g 0.48%
Cystine 0.008 g 0.48%
Methionine 0.009 g N/D
Phenylalanine 0.024 g N/D
Arginine 0.056 g N/D
Alanine 0.032 g N/D
Aspartic acid 0.091 g N/D
Glutamic acid 0.219 g N/D
Glycine 0.022 g N/D
Proline 0.036 g N/D
Serine 0.039 g N/D

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.

Health benefits of Cabbage

The studies have shown that the intake of Cabbage helps to reduce the chances of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. It enhances the complexion, increase energy and reduce weight. Cabbage possess huge amounts of Vitamin B6, fiber, manganese, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium which helps to regulate the blood pressure and heart rate.

  1. Prevents cancer

Cabbage possess huge amount of antioxidants which helps to eliminate the free radicals from the body and reduce the chances of heart disease and cancer. It is also rich in anti-cancer compounds such as sinigrin, lupeol and sulforaphane that enhances the enzyme activity and forbid the tumor growth that lead to cancer. The study shows that the regular intake of cabbage reduces the breast cancer in women. (1) (2)

  1. Anti-inflammatory agent

Cabbage possesses glutamine which is known to be an anti-inflammatory agent. The regular intake of Cabbage helps to lower the inflammation, joint pain, irritation, fever, allergies and skin disorders. (3)

  1. Vision health

Cabbage possess high amount of beta-carotene which helps to prevent the chances of macular degeneration by enhancing eye health and delay the formation of cataracts. Beta-carotene is related to reduce chances of prostate cancer. (4) (5)

  1. Helps to lose weight

Cabbage is loaded with various minerals, vitamins and nutrients. It possess huge amount of fiber that adds bulk to the bowels. Cabbage is also low in calories. It makes the people feel full for long time. (6)

  1. Enhance brain

Cabbage possesses anthocyanins and Vitamin K which promote the concentration and mental function. Vitamin K is required for the production of myelin sheath and sphingo lipids around nerves. It prevents the nerve damage and decay. The consumption of Vitamin K enhances the defense against Alzheimer’s disease, neural degeneration and dementia. The antioxidants found in Cabbage reduce the chances of cancer, counteracts diseases, enhance the brain function as well as nervous system. (7)

  1. Protect bones

Cabbage is good source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium which are essential to protect bones from the degradation and the health conditions such as general bone weakening and osteoporosis.

  1. Maintain blood pressure

Cabbage contains potassium which helps to maintain the blood pressure and reduce the chances of stroke as well as heart attack. Potassium assists to open the blood vessels and ease the blood flow by preventing the stress induced flow of blood through constricted veins and arteries.

  1. Skin health

Cabbage is rich in antioxidant sources such as sulphur, vitamin C and anthocyanins. Antioxidant plays a vital role in the skin health. It eliminates the free radicals which are the cause of skin discoloration, wrinkles, spots and others. The consumption of cabbage provides the young and healthy skin. (8)

  1. Relieves muscle pain

Lactic acid is released during the cooking of sauerkraut which helps to lower the muscle ache and soreness. This compound is not found in other diets. It relieves the general pain and muscle soreness. (9)

  1. Detoxify body

Cabbage eliminates toxins, free radicals, uric acid and also purifies the blood which is the cause for gout, rheumatism, arthritis, skin diseases, renal calculi and eczema. The high presence of Vitamin C and Sulphur in the Cabbage provides this detoxifying effect.

How to Eat

  • It could be consumed raw or pickled.
  • It is also fermented for dishes such as steamed, sauerkraut, stewed, braised and sautéed.
  • It could be added to the salads.
  • They are boiled, steamed and stir-fried.
  • The leaves are used to wrap the foods before baking or braising.

Traditional uses

  • The juice which is extracted from red cabbage is useful for bronchitis, chronic coughs and asthma.
  • The juice of white cabbage is used to cure warts.
  • The bruised leaves of white cabbage are used to treat blisters.
  • The juice of the cabbage helps to heal the gastric ulcer.
  • Cabbage is used in folk medicine of European to treat acute inflammation.
  • The paste made from the raw cabbage, if wrapped around the affected area by placing it in a leaf of cabbage helps to eliminate discomfort. It provides relief from painful engorged breasts in the breastfeeding women.

Cabbage – Brassica oleracea Facts

The cabbage is the powerhouse of minerals and vitamins. It is an oldest member of the family Brassiacaceae. It firstly appeared over 4,000 years ago as a wild leafy plant in Europe. Due to its high nutrient content, Cabbage became a highly favored food.

Name Cabbage
Scientific Name Brassica oleracea
Native Southern and Western Europe
Common/English Name Cabbage, White cabbage, Repolyo, Gan lan
Name in Other Languages Chinese: Lan cai, Ye cai
Danish: Hovedkål
Dutch: Sluitkoolachtigen, Sluitkool
Estonian: Peakapsas
Finnish: Keräkaali
French: Chou cabus, Chou commun
Hindi: Band gobhii
Italian: Cavolo cappuccio
Japanese: Kyabetsu, Kanran
Polish: Kapusta warzywna gowiasta
Portuguese: Couve de cabeça, Couve de repolho
Russian: Kapusta belokachannaia
Spanish: Col, Berza común
Urdu: Band gobhii
Plant Growth Habit Biennial, herbaceous, dicotyledonous plant
Growing Climate Cool
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size 40–60 cm (16–24 inch)
Root Fibrous and shallow
Stem Glabrous, erect
Leaf Ovate (egg-shaped), thick, alternate, smooth or crinkled
Leaves color Light yellowish green – dark green and dark red
Flowering Season Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer
Buds Gigantic
Flower Yellow
Fruit shape & size Flat, round, egg-shaped, oval or conical; 25–100 mm
Fruit weight (Cabbage head) 0.5-4 kilograms (1-9 lb.)
Fruit color Green, purple and white
Flesh color Soft, light green or whitish
Flavor/aroma Strong pungent flavor
Seed Small, round, brown or black
  • Green cabbage
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Red cabbage
Fruit Season Spring or Fall
Major Nutritions Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 81.5 µg (67.92%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 28.1 mg (31.22%)
Manganese, Mn 0.154 mg (6.70%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.084 mg (6.46%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 22 µg (5.50%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.046 mg (3.83%)
Total dietary Fiber 1.4 g (3.68%)
Calcium, Ca 36 mg (3.60%)
Phosphorus, P 25 mg (3.57%)
Carbohydrate 4.13 g (3.18%)
Health Benefits
  • Prevents cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory agent
  • Vision health
  • Helps to lose weight
  • Enhance brain
  • Protect bones
  • Maintain blood pressure
  • Skin health
  • Relieves muscle pain
  • Detoxify body
  • The liver disease patients should avoid the consumption of cabbage.
  • Cabbage contains goitrogens which may lead swelling of thyroid gland. So the people with thyroid dysfunction should avoid it.
  • It might affect the blood sugar levels in the diabetic people.
  • One should avoid using the Cabbage two weeks before a surgery because it could interfere with the blood sugar control.
Other Facts
  • Cabbage is the oldest vegetable which dates back to 1600’s.
  • Cabbage is rich in nutrients, vitamin B6, manganese, thiamin, folate, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin A, potassium, protein, tryptophan and magnesium.
  • Though there are hundred types of Cabbage but Green, Red, and Savoy varieties are the most common types.
  • The daily intake of Cabbage juice is useful to cure stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • The presence of fiber and iron in the Cabbage helps to keep the digestive tract and colon healthy.






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