Can you eat cabbage raw?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat cabbage raw?” with an in-depth analysis of cabbage, nutritional components of cabbage, the health benefits of eating cabbage, and the risks associated with eating cabbage. 

Can you eat cabbage raw?

Yes, you can eat cabbage raw. Eating cabbage in the raw form is completely edible and poses no health risks. In fact, raw cabbages are rich in nutrients and provide many benefits to the body.


Cabbage is a tasty green vegetable that actually belongs to the Brassica genus of vegetables, which includes cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. 

Cabbage possesses multiple layers of leaves which can be both crinkled and smooth. Cabbage can be eaten in raw, steamed or cooked form and can be added to other dishes such as sandwiches, salads, soups and stew. 

People from all over the world have been growing cabbage for more than a thousand years. Cabbage grows in varying sizes and colours like green, red, white, and purple. It takes cabbages about 70 days to ripen. They grow well in areas with a temperature ranging between 45° and 75°F. 

Nutritional components of raw cabbage

Cabbages when consumed in the raw form provides a good amount of beneficial nutrients. They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, fibre, magnesium and potassium, which are required by our body for survival.

A 1 cup serving of raw cabbage contains:

  • 22 calories
  • 85% of the required daily intake (RDI) for Vitamin K
  • 10% of the RDI for Folate
  • 54% of the RDI for Vitamin C
  • 2 grams of Fibre
  • 1 gram of proteins
  • 6% of the RDI for Vitamin B6
  • 7% of the RDI for manganese
  • 3% of the RDI for Magnesium
  • 4% of the RDI for Calcium
  • 4% of the RDI for Potassium

Additionally, cabbage is a rich source of antioxidants including sulfur compounds and polyphenols that help protect our body against harmful free radicals that can destroy our cells. 

Furthermore, vitamin B6 helps our body to perform metabolic activities and in the formation of red blood cells. It also improves the normal functioning of our nervous system and boosts our energy.

Health benefits of cabbage

Improves digestion

The fibre content present in raw cabbage helps to keep our digestive system healthy and also improves regular bowel movement. Therefore, by including cabbage in your diet you no longer have to stress about constipation and other digestive issues.

Strengthen bones

Cabbage contains adequate amounts of vitamin C that has collagen protein. This collagen protein benefits by strengthening bones and providing structure and flexibility to the skin. Collagen protein also functions as an antioxidant that helps to protect our body from the ill effects of free radicals.

Reduces the risk of heart diseases

Cabbages are composed of anthocyanin compounds that keep the heart healthy thus, lower the risk of heart attacks. Anthocyanins compounds perform anti-inflammatory functions and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and blood pressure. 

Furthermore, cabbage contains potassium that serves to keep the blood pressure in a healthy range.

Prevents blood clotting 

Cabbages also contain a good amount of vitamin K that is effective for blood clotting after injuries and prevents uncontrolled bleeding.

Helps to lower cholesterol levels

Cabbage contains two substances that help to decrease harmful levels of bad cholesterol that are soluble fibre and plant sterols. 

Soluble fibre helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels by adhering to cholesterol in the intestine and preventing it from being absorbed into the blood. On the other hand, plant sterols decrease the levels of bad cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract.

Risks associated with eating cabbage

Although cabbage is rich in essential nutrients and is a healthy option to eat, consuming cabbage in excessive amounts can be harmful to the digestive system and can lead to gas and bloating, with symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort. In addition, cabbage contains sugars that can cause intestinal obstruction and may lead to diarrhoea.

Cabbage is also high in fructans, a type of carbohydrate that is not suitable for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as they often have a difficult time digesting it. 

On the other hand, overconsumption of cabbage juice can lead to an upset stomach and can also affect the thyroid. The goitrogens substances present in cabbages can affect the consumption of iodine that in turn, affects the normal thyroid function. Whether raw or cooked, the key is to consume cabbage in moderate amounts. 

Other FAQs about Cabbage that you may be interested in.

Can you eat napa cabbage raw?

Can you freeze a head of cabbage?

Can you freeze Christmas red cabbage?


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat cabbage raw?” with an in-depth analysis of cabbage, nutritional components of cabbage, the health benefits of eating cabbage, and risks associated with eating cabbage. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.