Cabbage Nutritional Profile
Energy value (calories per serving): 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
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
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.
Handle cabbage gently; bruising tears cells and activates ascorbic
acid oxidase, an enzyme in the leaves that hastens the destruction of
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.