The Health Benefits of Cabbage

April 1, 2008

Cabbage was brought to Europe from Asia by roving bands of Celtic people and quickly became a popular food crop throughout northern Europe.
In the oldest surviving work of Latin prose, De Agri Culutura,  the author Cato the Elder, remarks on the medicinal values of the cabbage.

Today China is the biggest producer of cabbage, with India, Russia, Japan and the United States some of the other larger cabbage producing countries.

The health benefits of cabbage include reduced risk breast cancer and other cancers, and fresh cabbage juice for the treatment of peptic ulcers.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

  • Nutrients
    Cabbage is a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, calcium, magnesium, and manganese

    A comprehensive breakdown of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin and mineral content presented in an easy to read pie chart can be found in our Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.

  • cabbageCancer Prevention
    One of the American Cancer Society’s key dietary recommendations to reduce the risk of cancer is to include cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage. Studies have indicated that increased cabbage intake may inhibit the metastatic capacity of breast cancer, and cruciferous vegetable intake may reduce breast cancer risk. Other research data provides strong evidence for a substantial protective effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on lung cancer. Cruciferous vegetable intake has also been associated with a decrease in gastrointestinal, prostrate, and bladder cancers. The anti-cancer properties of cabbage is due to its phytochemical compounds called glucosinolates, which work primarily by increasing antioxidant defense mechanisms, as well as by improving the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful chemicals and hormones.
  • Glutamine
    Cabbage is good source of the amino acid glutamine, which increases the body’s ability to secrete human growth hormone (HGH). Glutamine also has anti-inflammatory properties and assists with immune system regulation and intestinal health.
  • Peptic Ulcers
    Research at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrated that fresh cabbage juice is extremely effective in the treatment of peptic ulcers. The anti-ulcer properties of glutamine are due to the high glutamine content of cabbage.
Nutrient Values of Cabbage per 100g


Energy Value
Total Fat


Dietary Fiber


Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vit. B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B6
Vit. B1 (Thiamin)
Vit. B2 (Riboflavin)

Individuals with kidney disease, liver disease, or Reye’s syndrome should not take glutamine supplements.

1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Foods to Fight Cancer by Professor Richard Beliveau and Dr Denis Gingras.
3. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
4. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
5. Brennan P, et al. Effect of cruciferous vegetables on lung cancer in patients stratified by genetic status: a mendelian randomisation approach. Lancet. 2005 Oct 29-Nov 4;366(9496):1558-60. PMID: 16257343.
6. Altundag K, Gundeslioglu O, Altundag O. Increased cabbage intake may inhibit metastatic and invasive capacity of breast cancer cells by inhibiting CXCL12(SDF-1 alpha)/CXCR4. Med Hypotheses. 2006;66(3):672. Epub 2005 Jul 11. PMID: 16006053.
7. Lee SA, Fowke JH, Lu W, Ye C, Zheng Y, Cai Q, Gu K, Gao YT, Shu XO, Zheng W. Cruciferous vegetables, the GSTP1 Ile105Val genetic polymorphism, and breast cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):753-60. PMID: 18326615.
8. CHENEY G. Rapid healing of peptic ulcers in patients receiving fresh cabbage juice. Calif Med. 1949 Jan;70(1):10-5. PMID: 18104715.

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One Comment

  1. Victoria Ukattah-Chiazor

    February 5, 2011 at 5:30 am

    A very nice eye-opener on the bit about cancer-prevention. I will recommend increased consumption of this important veg. to my fam. and friends.

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