Skip to Content

Can You Eat Cabbage Raw? (And Nutritional Benefits)

Quick Answer

The quick answer is yes, you can eat raw cabbage. Uncooked cabbage is very tasty and not at all harmful to our health. Nevertheless, eating cooked cabbage means that this vegetable is softened and becomes easier to digest. This way, any potential gastrointestinal problems that might occur are prevented.

“Eat your vegetables” is what our parents told us as we grew up and what our doctor keeps reminding us whenever we pay them a visit.

Cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables, and the one that people enjoy eating the most, thanks to how easy it is to cook and use in all kinds of recipes. But can cabbage be eaten raw?

That is a question many people have, while for others the answer is quite obvious. However, if you belong to those people who have never tried raw cabbage, keep on reading below to find out if it is safe to eat it this way!

Can You Eat Cabbage Raw?

So can you eat cabbage raw?

What Is Cabbage?

Cabbage is a tasty green veggie with layer upon layer of leaves. For a very long time, citizens from all corners of the globe have been planting it.

Raw cabbage can be easily cooked and then added to soups, burgers, stews, and casseroles. Cabbage grows in temperatures ranging from 45° to 75° Fahrenheit and matures in around 70 days.

Raw cabbage is available in a range of colors, including green, purple, white, and red. It also comes in different shapes, so you can find cabbage with soft leaves and others with curled ones. Raw cabbage can be cooked by steaming or boiling.

Nutritional Profile Of Raw Cabbage

Raw cabbage contains a lot of nutrients. It has high fiber content, potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A and K, all of which our bodies require.

The nutrients below are found in 100 grams of raw green cabbage:

  • 24 calories
  • .016g Saturated Fat0
  • 0%
  • 0.06g Polyunsaturated Fat
  • 0 Trans Fat
  • 0.009g Monounsaturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 18mg Sodium
  • 5.58g Carbohydrates
  • 2.3g Dietary Fiber
  • 3.58g Sugars
  • 1.44g Protein
  • 47mg Calcium
  • 0.59mg Iron
  • 246mg Potassium
  • 9mcg Vitamin
  • 32.2mg Vitamin C

So, as you can see, just a small portion of raw cabbage can give you 1/3 of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake, and keep your calorie intake to as low as 24 calories!

It is also high in fiber and has a good amount of potassium, folate, magnesium, as well as vitamins A and K, all of which our bodies require.

Furthermore, raw cabbage contains antioxidants such as sulfur compounds, which support and protect your body from unwanted free radicals that can attack your cells.

It also contains Vitamin B6 which aids in your body’s metabolic activities and the formation of red blood cells in the body. This improves the smooth running of your nervous system while also increasing your energy.

Veggies are full of nutrients and must be included in your meal options to boost your immune system and prevent any illnesses. They also help alleviate digestive issues, which are often unpleasant and, in several cases, painful.

What Are the Advantages Of Consuming Raw Cabbage?

As we’ve already seen, raw cabbages are healthy and nutrient-rich.

Vitamin C And Collagen

Cabbage is high in Vitamin C and contains collagen protein. What does that mean?

Collagen is known for its bone-strengthening qualities and its contribution to firm, healthy skin. While our bodies naturally produce collagen, this production decreases as we age, so getting more collagen from food sources is beneficial.

Raw cabbage is one way to do so, especially for people who are vegetarians and can’t get their collagen protein from animal sources. That way, cabbage helps with strengthening our bones and helps give our skin structure and agility.

Raw cabbage also functions as an antioxidant, helping to safeguard your body from dangerous free radicals. Moreover, their vitamin K content contributes to the blood clotting process after injury woes and the prevention of heavy bleeding.

Fiber

The 2.3g of fiber per 100grams of raw cabbage means that this vegetable is indeed high in fiber, which aids in the wellness of your gastrointestinal system and promotes normal bowel movements.

As a result, incorporating a normal amount of cabbage into your diet means that you can wave goodbye to that bothersome constipation you had for years.

Anthocyanin Compounds

As for raw red cabbage, it is high in anthocyanin complexes which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and keep your heart in a great state.

The anthocyanins it contains function as an anti-inflammatory, decreasing the likelihood of hypertension and coronary artery problems.

Potassium

In addition to that, its potassium content assists in maintaining blood pressure within a recommended range.

Vitamin B6

Raw cabbage also contains vitamin B6, which aids in converting lysine and methionine (two of the many amino acids) into the human body’s protein building blocks.

Manganese

Moreover, cabbage contains manganese, which aids in the development of strong bones and teeth, amongst other parts of our bodies. Manganese and collagen are working together with calcium towards a strong and healthy bone density.

Galactokinase

The cabbage has an enzyme known as galactokinase, which aids in the digestion of the lactose found in cheese and other dairy foods.

This way it makes it easy for our digestive system to properly absorb this enzyme, especially for people who have a dairy allergy or intolerance to dairy food.

How Do You Prepare Raw Cabbage?

How Do You Prepare Raw Cabbage?

Cabbage preparation requires little time and effort and is simple to incorporate into your meals. Furthermore, it is inexpensive and can be used in a wide range of recipes.

To prepare a salad, all you need to do is shred the raw cabbage into smaller bits. It ends up taking about 5 minutes to cook it either by steaming, boiling, or stir-frying it.

Keeping your mind on the cooking time is important as if you cook your cabbage too long it will end up losing much of its flavors and nutrients.

Preparing the cabbage for your cooking involves removing and washing its leaves. Since cabbage is grown in the soil, worms and soil might be hidden in between its leaves, so do not eat it without washing it first.

Rub each leaf with your hands under running water to wash away all the mud and then start cutting it into the desired size or in the size the recipe asks.

Once you have cut the cabbage, season it to taste with salt while keeping the fiber in the cabbage intact.

If you don’t want to use it for a food recipe, you can combine your cabbage with other veggies to make some juice.

Cabbage juice is packed with nutrients and vitamins that can help you lose weight if that’s something you are interested in. Vegetable juices, especially cabbage juices, are also thought to aid in detoxification and general well-being.

However, as raw cabbage can have a quite bitter taste, it’s best to mix it up with some other vegetables like carrots or fruits like apples that have a sweet taste and can be combined with it to make a balanced, nutritious juice.

Can Raw Cabbage Be Bad For Your Health?

Anything eaten in excess is likely to cause harm. As a result, it is always a wise idea to limit your vegetable consumption so that your body can absorb the necessary nutrients from them.

Consuming cabbages, though, is often underestimated. It is packed with nutrients and vitamins while being low in calorie content.

So, the answer to whether raw cabbage is harmful to your health is no, as raw cabbage is extremely beneficial to your health.

Nevertheless, if you consume too much, your gastrointestinal tract may react to that. Consuming raw cabbage can produce gas and bloating, which, in turn, can make you feel uncomfortable and even cause stomach ache.

So, as with all food, it’s best to eat cabbage in moderation, regardless of whether you eat it raw or cooked. Another thing to consider is that cabbage contains sugars that can block your intestinal tract and cause diarrhea.

And don’t think that cabbage juice can be enjoyed in excess just because it comes in liquid form. Vegetable juice can also lead to stomach aches and other gastrointestinal issues when drunk in excess.

Another way excessive consumption of cabbage can harm people is by causing thyroid problems. That is because the goitrogens found in cabbage can interfere with the absorption of iodine, which influences how the thyroid functions.

The Bottom Line

Cabbage is an extremely nutritious food. It has excellent nutritional properties and is particularly high in vitamins C and K.

Furthermore, consuming cabbage might very well help reduce the risk of some ailments, aid in digestion, and help treat inflammatory diseases or symptoms.

As for the consumption of raw cabbage, that is entirely risk-free. Of course, both cooked and raw versions of vegetables like cabbage should be enjoyed in moderation.

When eaten in excess, it can lead to several issues that might harm our health, either long-term or short-term.

So, enjoy your raw cabbage in moderation and stay healthy!

Jess Smith