Why Cabbage Is A Superstar Leafy Vegetable

Why Cabbage Is A Superstar Leafy Vegetable

Cabbage is a top notch leafy vegetable superfood to eat for strengthening your immune system and protecting your body against cancer.


This is the third article in my series of superstar foods to include in your diet for vibrant health and wellness. If you are a vegetable lover like me you probably are already passionate about the earthy flavor and wonderful versatility of cabbage. If you are not familiar with using it, I hope that this article on cabbage and its great health benefits will encourage you to start eating and using cabbage in your recipes.


Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that has an impressive array of healing nutrients that can help you maintain vibrant health when eaten on a regular basis. I recommend trying to include cabbage and other members of the cruciferous family into your diet at least 3 to 5 times per week. The cruciferous family of vegetables contains more phytochemicals with anticancer properties than any other vegetable family.


Phytochemicals aka phytonutrients gives plants their beautiful color. Phytochemicals also function as chemicals that plants create to protect themselves from insects, pests, UV radiation, and  photosynthesis. When we eat cabbage that contains phytochemicals, their protective benefits help protect our bodies.


There are numerous studies that look at how cabbage can help prevent cancer. The key anticancer phytochemicals in cabbage is glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are compounds that function as antioxidants that fight inflammation and free radical damage to our cells. Glucosinolates also function as detoxifiers that help the body to eliminate harmful toxins, chemicals, and hormones.


The top glucosinolates in cabbage include sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, di-indolmethane, indole-3-carbinol, and sinigrin.


Cabbage is a rich source of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, amino acids, and fiber.


Cabbage comes in many tasty varieties that I enjoy eating. Some of these varieties include:


Green Cabbage —Green cabbage has pale green leaves and a mild earthy flavor.


Red or Purple Cabbage —Red cabbage or purple cabbage has red or deep purple leaves and tastes like green cabbage. The deep rich color of this cabbage variety comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin. The addition of acid like lemon juice, vinegar, or wine will help this cabbage maintain its vibrant color.


Napa Cabbage—Napa cabbage is pale green in color with white stems and curly leaves. It is more delicate in texture and flavor than green cabbage.


Savoy Cabbage —Savoy cabbage has green crinkled leaves and a sweet, mild flavor that is great in a variety of recipes.


Cabbage is available year round. Some of the best methods for cooking cabbage include steaming, braising, lightly sautéing, and baking.


Cabbage does have goitrogenic compounds. If you have a history of thyroid disease eating raw cabbage in large amounts may affect thyroid function. Cooking cabbage will inactivate these goitrogenic compounds.


I will be posting recipes that feature cabbage so check for them.


If you like this article and would like to contribute to the conversation, please take a moment to leave a comment.


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This post was shared on Fat Tuesday.


    • The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods Authors- Michael Murray N.D., Joseph Pizzorno N.D., Lara Pizzorno M.A. L.M.T.
Cabbage Picture by Bill Longshaw
Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. Hi Shelley,

    A timely post about cabbage. We had a salad last night and it didn’t work. I used to think cabbage just made wind!

    I will be watching for some good cabbage recipes to use the organic variety we now get regularly.
    John Gaydon recently posted..I Never Knew I Had So Many FriendsMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi John, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Check back to get the recipes I will be posting one this week.

  2. Hi Shelley, I appreciate you spreading the word of the wonderful vegetable cabbage! Because I’m a vegetarian and eat for wellness, I enjoy every form of Cabbage. It is like a superfood!
    The benefits are amazing. I’m looking forward to your recipes.
    Donna Merrill recently posted..LinkedIn – My Secret WeaponMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Donna, Thanks for your encouraging words! As a vegetarian and a person who eats for wellness you probably know about all the great health benefits that plant foods provide. I will be posting some new recipes in the following weeks so check back soon.

  3. I like cabbage but hardly ever remember to pick it up when shopping. Going to have to change that since it’s so good for me. I look forward to your recipes, I loved the pumpkin chai soup! Please keep em coming.
    Carla McNeil, Social Media Manager recently posted..How To UnFriend a Friend on FacebookMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Carla, I hope you pick up some cabbage the next time you go shopping. I’m so glad you enjoyed the pumpkin chai soup and that you look forward to my recipes! I will keep the recipes coming and my new cookbook will be available in the next few months and it has over 150 recipes for you to try. 🙂

  4. Hi Shelley,
    your detailed description of what cabbage contains appeals to the student in me. I love the information you provide.
    What would be ‘eating too much’ in regards to raw cabbage and thyroid function. Would that apply to sauerkraut too?
    Lemon juice also helps with absorbing the nutrients.
    Your post has really shown why cabbage is a superstar. Thank you so much!
    Yorinda recently posted..Positive MindsetMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Yorinda, If you have thyroid problems I would recommend you keep your comsumption of raw cabbage to a minimum. Most commercial sauerkraut contains vinegar and is usually heat-pasteurized so it is cooked and no longer raw. I personally prefer to enjoy raw fermented sauerkraut. The fermentation process releases key nutrients along with providing enzymes and probiotics which aid digestion and help maintain a healthy immune system.If you buy it at the store look for varieties that say fermented or cultured. These fermented types are located in the refrigerated section of the store. Some good varieties are by Rejuvenative Foods or Gold Mine Natural Foods.

  5. Hi Shelley,
    I didn’t know that there are so many benefits in eating cabbage, to tell you the truth I eat very rarely cabbage or that kind of vegetables but I suppose I have to rethink about it and add more vegetables in my diet, thanks for sharing all these benefits and details about this superfood as Donna called it…
    Kostas recently posted..Looking for Publicity? Why You Need TwitterMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Kostas, I hope my article will convince you to start including cabbage along with all the other great vegetables available into your daily diet. Plant foods truly are superfoods with amazing health benefits.

  6. When I was growing up we ate a lot of cabbage. it was one of my Mom’s favorite vegetables. So I developed a love for this vegetable at a very early age. But truthfully, i had no idea it was such a healthy vegetable. And I really didn’t know it could play a role in cancer prevention. I just knew I liked it.

    I really prefer the green variety, but if I am going to make a juice drink, the red or purple tastes great and looks cool too.
    Michael recently posted..A Trip To The DeliMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Michael, I ate alot of cabbage when I was growing up also and thats how I developed my love for this fantastic vegetable. I’m so glad your mom had you eating cabbage she probably knew it had alot of great health benefits. I also like the red or purple variety in juice.

  7. I enjoyed your post and love cabbage. I was just reading a few days ago that guinea pigs bombarded with radiation lived a lot longer if they ate broccoli or cabbage. All cabbage family plants – including arugula, turnips, radishes, cauliflower, mustard greens, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli d’rappe, kale, collards, and of course broccoli – protect your cells from the damaging effects of radiation.

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Rachel, Thanks for sharing that interesting info about guinea pigs. You are absolutely right about the cruciferous family of vegetables, they really do offer alot of great health benefits and I really like the taste of them.

  8. I love cabbage . I use the shredder in my food processor to shred red and green cabbage and carrots and make it into a coleslaw with a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing.

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Judee, I love cabbage too! I use the shredder on my food processor to make cabbage salads also and when I make fermented sauerkraut or kimchi and it makes it so easy and quick. I bet your coleslaw with lemon and olive oil dressing is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thank so much, Shelley, for this very interesting information on cabbage.
    It is great to know about the goodness of the food we eat and the benefits it has for our health.
    The words of caution about eating too much raw cabbage when there is a thyroid inbalance is very useful.
    Doug Braddock recently posted..Mirror Mirror gets 1,000 views on YoutubeMy Profile

  10. Wow! I didn’t realize that cabbage had so many healing properties! You say it is a cruciferous vegetable. What does that mean exactly? And I never really thought about the different types and colors and kinds of cabbage.

    If you have cabbage in sauerkraut, is it still good for you?

    Thanks for sharing all your great healthy food information!

    ~ Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim recently posted..A Great Social Media Marketing Infographic by Brian Carter!My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Jim, Cabbage is amazing! Cruciferous is the family of vegetables that cabbage belongs to and includes other superstars like broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, radishes, and cauliflower. Fermented raw cabbage is really good for you and you can try this recipe for a easy fermented sauerkraut here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. I go to see everyday a few websites and sites to read articles, but this blog offers great health info and recipes in feature based content.
    Debbie recently posted..fruits with vitamin cMy Profile

  12. You’ve made some really good points there. I checked on the net to learn more about the health benefits of cabbage and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.
    Verena recently posted..ford-klub.huMy Profile

  13. Shelley, Thanks you for the insights provided here, good work.

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