About Cabbage

Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage), Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage

Cabbage Nutritional Profile

 

Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: Moderate

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: Low

Sodium: Low

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C

Major mineral contribution: Calcium (moderate)

 

About the Nutrients in Cabbage

 

All cabbage has some dietary fiber food: insoluble cellulose and lignin in the ribs and structure of the leaves. Depending on the variety, it has a little vitamin A, moderate amounts of the B vitamin folate and vitamin C.

 

One-half cup shredded raw green cabbage has 0.5 g dietary fiber, 45 IU vitamin A (0.9 percent of the RDA for a man, 1.1 percent of the RDA for a woman), 15 mcg folate (7.5 percent of the RDA for a man, 17 percent of the RDA Eor a woman), and 11 mg vitamin C (18.5 percent of the RDA).

 

One-half cup chopped raw red cabbage has 0.5 g dietary fiber, 7 mcg folate (3.5 percent of the RDA for a man, 3.7 percent of the RDA for a woman), and 20 mg vitamin C (33 percent of the RDA).

 

One-half cup chopped raw Savoy cabbage has 1 g dietary fiber, 322 IU vitamin A (6.5 percent of the RDA for a man, 8 percent of the RDA for a woman), 28 mcg folate (14 percent of the RDA for a man, 15.5 percent of the RDA for a woman), and 11 mg vitamin C (18 percent of the RDA).

 

One-half cup shredded bok-choy has 0.1 g dietary fiber, 1,041 1U vitamin A (22 percent of the RDA for a man, 28 percent of the RDA for a woman), 23 mcg folate (12 of the RDA for a man, 12.7 percent of the RDA for a woman), and 15.5 mg vitamin C (15.8 percent of the RDA).

 

Raw red cabbage contains an anti-nutrient enzyme that splits the thiamin molecule so that the vitamin is no longer nutritionally useful. This thiamin inhibitor is inactivated by cooking.

 

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Cabbage

 

Raw or lightly steamed to protect the vitamin C.

 

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Cabbage

 

Anti-flatulence diet

Low-fiber diet

 

Buying Cabbage

 

Look for: Cabbages that feel heavy for their size. The leaves should be tightly closed and attached tightly at the stem end. The outer leaves on a Savoy cabbage may curl back from the head, but the center leaves should still be relatively tightly closed.

 

Also look for green cabbages that still have their dark-green, vitamin-rich outer leaves.

 

Avoid: Green and Savoy cabbage with yellow or wilted leaves. The yellow carotene pigments show through only when the cabbage has aged and its green chlorophyll pigments have faded. Wilted leaves mean a loss of moisture and vitamins.

 

Storing Cabbage

 

Handle cabbage gently; bruising tears cells and activates ascorbic acid oxidase, an enzyme in the leaves that hastens the destruction of vitamin C.

 

Store cabbage in a cool, dark place, preferably a refrigerator. In cold storage, cabbage can retain as much as 75 percent of its vitamin C for as long as six months. Cover the cabbage to keep it from drying out and losing vitamin A.


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