Cabbage is among the best dietary sources of fiber. A serving can provide up to 9% of the recommended daily intake. Also, besides its high fiber content, cabbage has a great nutritional value.
How much fiber should we consume a day?
A high-fiber diet has been associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, it may lower high blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels, enhance immune functions, and improve insulin sensitivity.
We should consume at least 28 g of fiber per 2,000 calories. People who consume more calories should consume more fiber as well.
Most people fail to meet their daily needs in fiber. Actually, 90% of Americans don’t consume enough fiber.
What’s the fiber content of cabbage?
Cabbage is an excellent dietary source of fiber. It has between 1 g and 2.5 g of fiber per 100g, depending on the variety.
Green cabbage has the highest fiber content. It has 2.5 g of fiber per 100g. This dose is 9% of the recommended daily intake. A cup of chopped green cabbage has 2.2 g of fiber.
Red cabbage has a slightly lower fiber content as compared to green cabbage. Red cabbage has 2.1 g of fiber per 100g, or 1.9 g of fiber per 1-cup serving. A serving of red cabbage provides about 7% of the recommended daily intake.
The lowest amount of fiber is found in Chinese cabbage (also known as bok choi or pak choy). It has only 1 g of fiber per 100g. A serving of Chinese cabbage provides only 0.7 g of fiber, which is less than 3% DV (Daily Value).
What types of fiber are in cabbage?
Cabbage consists both of soluble and insoluble fiber. In fact, insoluble fiber is approximately 60% and soluble fiber is 40% of the total fiber content of cabbage, respectively.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, turning to a gel. It slows down digestion and has satiating effects. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It absorbs water, making the stool softer, helping defecation.
Common foods high in fiber
Only vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, mushrooms, whole-grains, seeds, and nuts are good dietary sources of fiber.
Beans have the highest fiber content. For instance, a serving of lentils or chickpeas provide about 45-55% of the recommended daily intake!
Also, vegetables help meet our daily fiber needs. For instance, lettuce, arugula, spinach, onions, kale, and broccoli are pretty high in fiber.
Favorite foods, like whole-grain bread, pasta, and potatoes, are great dietary sources of fiber as well.
On the other hand, animal-based and refined plant-based foods contain no or negligible amounts of fiber.
Health benefits of cabbage
Cabbage has a great nutritional value. It’s rich in various nutrients, like iron, calcium, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Furthermore, it contains various bioactive compounds with pharmacological properties, such as luteolin, myricetin, quercetin, sulforaphane, as well as many other flavonoids, and polyphenols.
Due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cabbage may help prevent the development of many chronic oxidative diseases, such as cancer and coronary artery disease. Cabbage protects the heart.[5,6,7]
Moreover, red cabbage has a much higher antioxidant capacity than green cabbage. It’s high in anthocyanins as well. Anthocyanins are colored water-soluble pigments. As a rule of thumb, red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins.
As anthocyanins have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they may help prevent the development of several diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, microbial infections, metabolic diseases, as well as certain cancers.
Moreover, regular cabbage consumption is good for weight loss. Above all, cabbage is low in calories and its high fiber content keeps us full for a long time. In addition, cabbage may regulate blood glucose. Hence, even people with diabetes can consume it.
The best time to consume cabbage is before a high-calorie, fattening meal. It’ll help you decrease total energy intake.
Obese people tend to have higher blood glucose levels than people who maintain a healthy body weight. High blood sugar levels have been linked to increased risk of mortality!