Cabbage is a leafy, green vegetable, available in several different varieties and prepared in several different ways including raw in salads or coleslaw, boiled in soups or stews, or pickled, as in sauerkraut or kimchee. As part of a healthy diet, cabbage contains several important nutrients.
The USDA Nutrient Database states that a 1/2 cup serving of boiled cabbage contains 81.5 mcg of vitamin K or around 80 percent of what the average adult requires as part of the daily diet 1. The Medical Center at the University of Maryland identifies vitamin K as a necessary component for blood to clot properly 3.
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A 1/2-cup serving of cabbage also provides approximately 28 mg of vitamin C, or over one-third of the daily recommended intake. The Colorado State University Extension indicates that Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant within the body, eliminating free radicals, harmful chemicals that can damage healthy cells. The vitamin is also important for healthy and strong connective tissues, blood vessels, teeth and gums, and assists in iron and calcium absorption and wound healing.
The University of Illinois McKinley Health Center describes the vitamin folate as helping to generate new red blood cells and form the genetic materials RNA and DNA. Folate, when taken by pregnant women, can reduce the risk of certain congenital birth defects. A 1/2-cup serving of cabbage contains 22.5 mcg of folate or nearly 6 percent of the daily required intake of this vitamin.
- The University of Illinois McKinley Health Center describes the vitamin folate as helping to generate new red blood cells and form the genetic materials RNA and DNA.
- Folate, when taken by pregnant women, can reduce the risk of certain congenital birth defects.
Cabbage also contains several other essential vitamins, although in smaller quantities, which can contribute to a healthy diet. A single 1/2-cup serving of cabbage contains 0.08 mg of vitamin B6 for 5 percent, 4 percent of both thiamin at 0.05 mg and vitamin A at 3 mcg, 0.13 mg of pantothenic acid for 2 percent and 0.18 mg of niacin for 1 percent of the recommended intake per day for adults.
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- USDA Nutrient Database: Cabbage, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, without Salt
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies: Dietary Reference Intakes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Niacin-Overview
- Cabbage, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- NWAC diabetes self-management toolkit for Aboriginal women - fact sheet: Glycemic index. Native Women's Association of Canada. Updated 2012.
- Corliss J. Folic acid, a B vitamin, lowers stroke risk in people with high blood pressure. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Updated 2015.
- Moore M. 4 types of foods to support memory. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Updated 2020.
- Nosrati N, Bakovic M, Paliyath G. Molecular mechanisms and pathways as targets for cancer prevention and progression with dietary compounds. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017;18(10):2050. doi:10.3390/ijms18102050
- Vitamin A fact sheets for health professionals. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated 2020.
- The top 10 worst foods if you have diabetes. Cleveland Clinic. Updated 2020.
- Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen fruit syndrome (PFS). American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Updated 2020.
- Violi F, Lip GY, Pignatelli P, Pastori D. Interaction between dietary vitamin K intake and anticoagulation by vitamin K antagonists: Is it really true?: A systematic review. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(10):e2895. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000002895
- Cabbage. University of Illinois Extension, Watch Your Garden Grow. Updated 2020.
- Cabbage. University of Maryland Extension. Updated 2020.
In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.