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Is Cabbage Good for Weight Loss? Here’s What You Should Know
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Is Cabbage Good for Weight Loss? Here’s What You Should Know

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 14
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5 min

Cabbage has long been considered a favorite superfood amongst health influencers, but is it really as good as social media would have you believe? We’ll be finding that out in this in-depth article.

Is cabbage good for weight loss

Cabbage is one of the most versatile foods there is, and with a range of varieties, like red cabbage or green cabbage, the possibilities with this humble vegetable are truly endless.

You’ve probably also heard that it’s great for weight loss from influencers promoting the enigmatic “cabbage soup diet,” but how true is that, really? If you’re looking for the answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will look at all of the benefits that cabbage offers and whether or not it’s that good for weight loss. Read on for more about cabbage and the effect it can have on your weight loss journey.

Cabbage Nutrition Facts

The USDA’s National Nutrient Database states that half of a cup of shredded cabbage (which is around 75 grams) contains the following:

  • 1 gram of protein
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of sugar
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 17 calories

Also, eating just one half-cup of cooked shredded cabbage, whether green or red, would provide you with around 30–35% of your daily Vitamin C needs. If you’ve read some of our other articles, you’ll know plenty of health benefits of Vitamin C!

Cabbage also provides:

  • 22 micrograms of folate
  • 11 milligrams of magnesium
  • 81.5 micrograms of Vitamin K

Those might seem like fairly arbitrary numbers, but even the smallest doses of those essential nutrients can provide a host of health benefits to the body, making cooked cabbage a healthful, low-calorie vegetable that would tip you over your daily calorie intake.

Finally, cabbage contains beta-carotene, choline, zeaxanthin, and lutein, all important antioxidants that boost your health.

Is Cabbage Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, cabbage is great for weight loss! And better yet, it is also brilliant for your skin health. With only 33 calories per cup of cooked cabbage, it is high in fiber and low in fat. Plus, it is rich in antioxidants, keeping your skin toned, healthy, and glowing.

It’s no secret that some people will lose weight when they eat cabbage soup regularly, but what is the cause of this weight loss?

By now, you should know that no food will cause you to lose weight by eating it, but rather that effective weight loss is achieved by eating foods that are high in dietary fiber and low in calories.

Like cabbage!

When you fill your body with foods that are low in calories, you’re going to reduce your caloric intake daily, which leads to weight loss and allows you to burn body fat. Of course, you can only lose body fat if you’re coupling a healthy diet with regular exercise.

Of course, there are plenty of health benefits to eating cabbage, and it certainly can help you lose weight and provide you with the dietary fiber you need to stay healthy.

How can I use cabbage to lose weight?

The answer is simple – cabbage on its own will not cause weight loss. Instead, you’ll want to couple the vegetable with other healthy foods, like grains, proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber foods.

If you’re a fan of cabbage, you should also consider eating things like brussels sprouts and bok choy, which are rich in nutrients and provide a range of benefits to your digestive system. You can even mix the bok choy, brussels sprouts, and cabbage into a delicious salad or roast mix together.

You will also need to be performing regular exercise, as losing weight doesn’t come from just eating healthy foods.

6 Awesome Benefits of Cabbage

#1 Boosts immunity

We didn’t mention that cabbage has all of those nutrients for nothing.

Vitamin C, K, and other nutrients do wonders for the immune system, helping your body fight off diseases more effectively and speeding up your recovery when you’re sick.

If you’re eating cabbage soup when under the weather, just be sure not to overcook cabbage, as you might boil away all of the nutrients your body needs.

#2 Good for digestive health

If you’re looking to incorporate more fiber into your diet, cabbage can certainly help. Just two cups (~180 g) of chopped cabbage can contain around 5 grams of fiber.

This makes cabbage a great vegetable for alleviating constipation, lowering your cholesterol levels, and improving your digestive health overall, all while being low in calories.

#3 Helps to reduce inflammation

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which means that it contains several antioxidants proven to reduce chronic inflammation.

Research has even shown that eating more of this kind of vegetable can reduce certain blood markers of inflammation.

#4 Lowers cholesterol levels

In addition to being a good food to help you lose weight, cabbage contains substances known as phytosterols.

These are compounds found in certain plants and vegetables that are structurally similar to cholesterol and work to reduce LDL cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption in the digestive tract.

In layman’s terms, cabbage can help you fight high cholesterol levels if that’s something that you struggle with.

#5 Might prevent cancer

The National Cancer Institute has stated that vegetables like cabbage contain glucosinolates, which are chemicals that contain sulfur.

These glucosinolates are broken down into compounds when ingested, and these compounds have been studied for their benefits in fighting cancer.

While this is certainly good news, it doesn’t mean that gorging yourself on cabbage will ward off cancer entirely.

Many experts state that we still need more research surrounding the anti-cancer benefits of this famous vegetable.

#6 Heart-healthy food

Cabbage is a heart-healthy food, and this is especially true for the red cabbage, as it contains a number of potent compounds known as anthocyanins, which also give the vegetable its signature purple color.

Anthocyanins are plant pigments that are part of the flavonoid family, and several studies have shown a link between eating foods rich in this pigment and a reduced risk of heart disease.

So, increasing your consumption of red cabbage can reduce your blood pressure and your risk of coronary artery disease. The same can be said for bok choy.

What is the Cabbage Soup Diet?

The cabbage soup diet is a short-term diet for weight loss and, as implied by the name, involves eating large volumes of cabbage soup daily.

Advocates for this diet say that it can help you lose up to 10 pounds in a single week, which, for most people, is a lot of weight. However, many health experts warn that the diet is quite unhealthy and produces unsustainable results – and they’re right.

Losing that much weight in a week is very dangerous and can lead to health complications and, in severe cases, death.

After just a week, you will become sick of cabbage soup and start craving other foods. You might find yourself drawn toward tastier, more unhealthy meals, which can stunt your weight loss.

FAQs

Does cabbage make you gain weight?

Nope. There are a mere 33 calories in a single cup of cooked cabbage, and the vegetable is high in fiber and low in fat. It’s a healthful, low-calorie vegetable that can help with losing weight by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Is it okay to eat cabbage every day?

Cabbage is, by far, one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It has a great nutrient profile and is particularly high in vitamin C and K. It can also lower your risk of certain diseases, combat inflammation, and improve digestion. So yes, it’s more than okay to eat cabbage daily!

Is cabbage better raw or cooked?

It depends on how you prefer eating your cabbage. Raw shredded cabbage works well in things like coleslaw (just mix the cabbage with grated carrot and add mayonnaise) and healthy sandwiches but is delicious when cooked alongside a healthy dinner for a weight loss diet.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

There’s no denying that cabbage is a fantastic food that offers a range of health benefits. It’s one of those vegetables that I always tell people to eat more of – it’s rich in fiber, low in calories, and packed with nutrients that are excellent for your body.

However, it would be best if you tried not to fall into the trap of thinking that eating lots of cabbage will cause you to lose weight.

It can certainly help get rid of that extra water weight and shed a few pounds, but only if you follow a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

Cabbage is a well-loved vegetable around the world and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. It is so versatile, allowing you to consume it in many ways – steamed, roasted, baked, boiled, raw – you name it, cabbage can do it!

Wrapping Up

Cabbage is an exceptionally healthy vegetable that we strongly encourage everyone to add to their diet! It has an abundance of health benefits that work well for a weight loss diet and, when coupled with other vegetables, can be a powerhouse of a superfood.

As you can see, there is no limit to how you can prepare and use cabbage, so spice up your soups, sandwiches, salads, and roasts with this veg and feel the benefits.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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