Cabbage, (Brassica Oleracea), is a leafy vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. It is known for its tight, round or elongated heads of leaves that form a compact shape.

History of Cabbage

The cabbage plant is packed with vitamins and minerals. Cabbage is the oldest member of the Brassiacaceae family. This vegetable first appeared as a wild leafy plant over 4,000 years ago in Europe throughout the Mediterranean region.

Cabbage quickly became a highly favored food because of its high nutrition content. As a result, this vegetable was selectively refined and propagated to the point where its leaves grew in large clusters and over time became the cabbage heads of today.

Cabbage is widely cultivated and consumed around the world and is prized for its versatility in cooking and its nutritional value.

Plants closely related to Cabbage

In the process of cultivating cabbage, other Brassica varieties emerged, some of which include:
Brussel Sprouts

Cultivation of the Cabbage Plant

The cabbage plant has become highly adaptable to different climate zones, which accounts for the various shapes, leaf textures and colors found within the cabbage family. In terms of leaf types, the crinkled-leaf, loose-head savoys and the smooth leaf firm head cabbages make up the two main categories of cabbage plants.

Today many countries, such as India, Russia, the United States and China grow cabbage crops in mass quantities, with China supplying nearly 50 percent of the world’s cabbage supply.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Cabbage is a nutrient-dense vegetable that provides a variety of health benefits due to its rich content of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds found in its leaves. It’s important to note that the health benefits of cabbage are derived from the synergistic effects of these various compounds and nutrients.

The active ingredients found in cabbage are responsible for promoting overall health and healing for the body. Amino acids such as S-methyl cysteine, and anthocyanins, strengthen the body’s cell metabolism functions, which helps in eliminating cell wastes and promotes healthy body tissues. Including a variety of vegetables, such as cabbage, in a balanced diet contributes to overall health and well-being.

Some of the key active ingredients in cabbage that contribute to its health benefits include:


Vitamin C: Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system, promotes collagen synthesis, and helps protect cells from oxidative stress.

Vitamin K: Cabbage is rich in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): This vitamin is involved in metabolism and the synthesis of neurotransmitters.


Potassium: Cabbage contains potassium, which is essential for maintaining fluid balance, supporting nerve function, and regulating blood pressure.

Manganese: An essential trace mineral that plays a role in bone formation, blood clotting, and reducing oxidative stress.

Calcium: While not as high as in dairy products, cabbage provides some calcium, which is important for bone health.

Dietary Fiber

Cabbage is a good source of dietary fiber, which aids digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness, and supports gut health. This high fiber content also helps cabbage play an active role in ridding the body of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol. Cabbage helps to stimulate digestive processes and relieve constipation problems.

Glucosinolates and Sulforaphane

Cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, contain glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds. When these compounds are broken down during chopping or chewing, they form biologically active compounds like indoles and isothiocyanates.

Sulforaphane is a bioactive compound formed when glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate, is broken down. Sulforaphane has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.


Cabbage contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which help neutralize free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress.


Various phytonutrients present in cabbage contribute to its health benefits. These include carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.


Cabbage contains choline, an essential nutrient important for brain health, liver function, and metabolism.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of Cabbage

The health benefits found in cabbage work to enhance the body’s ability to ward off sickness and prevent disease. Because of its nutrient content, cabbage has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

The anti-inflammatory properties help in the treatment of digestive problems, such as gastritis, heartburn and peptic ulcers. Cabbage’s anti-bacterial properties work inside the body’s cell processes and aid in detoxifying the body’s major systems.

These same properties help to boost the immune system, which increases the body’s resistance to invading bacteria and viruses.

How to eat Cabbage for the best health benefits

To maximize the potential health benefits of cabbage and its sulfur compounds:

Include a Variety of Vegetables: Consuming a diverse range of vegetables, including cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, ensures a broader spectrum of nutrients and bioactive compounds.

Eat Cabbage Raw or Lightly Cooked: Some of the beneficial compounds in cabbage may be more bioavailable when consumed raw or lightly cooked. However, the choice of cooking method can depend on personal preferences and dietary needs.

Consider Fermented Cabbage: Fermented cabbage products, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, may have additional health benefits due to the fermentation process, which can enhance nutrient bio-availability.

When measuring nutritional value in terms of weight amounts, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of raw cabbage includes the following FDA-recommended daily allowances:
Vitamin C – 44 percent
Vitamin K – 72 percent
Vitamin B6 – 10 percent
Vitamin B9 – 13 percent
Vitamin B1 – 5 percent

Cabbage in soups and teas

Since any form of cooking alters the chemical properties of a substance, cabbage used in soups and teas will best treat certain conditions more so than others. In soups and teas, cabbage is most effective at relieving symptoms associated with sinusitis, sore throats, colds and flu.

Cabbage Juice

In juice forms, cabbage acts as an intestinal cleaner and detoxifier.

Cabbage Supplements

As a herbal supplement, cabbage can be found in capsule, tincture and tablet forms. In tablet or capsule form, the standard dosage is 500 milligrams which contains the daily recommended amounts for each nutrient.

Daily standard dosages for the different preparations are:
Tinctures – 5 drops
Tablets/ capsules – 500 milligrams

Where to Buy Cabbage

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