benefits of red cabbage

Purple cabbage, also called red cabbage is a variety of cabbage with purple leaves.  It belongs to brassica family of plants. The purple color of the cabbage deepens in accordance with the ph. level of the soil in which it is grown.

Purple cabbage is widely grown, particularly in Europe, America and China. The purple color in purple cabbage is due to the pigment from anthocyanins.

Nutrition information

Purple cabbage contains phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It contains vitamins K, C, A, E, and B-complex, magnesium, manganese, potassium, folate, riboflavin, thiamine and fiber. Anthocyanins and indoles are two of the antioxidants in purple cabbage which are highly beneficial for health.

The energy value, nutrients and mineral contents are different for raw and boiled purple cabbage but normally boiled cabbage is consumed.

100gm. of cooked purple cabbage provides 29 calories of energy, 6.94gm carbohydrates, and 3.32gm. Sugar, 2.6gm. Fiber, 1.51gm.protein and fat as low as 0.09gm.

It contains 47.6 microgram (45% of RDA) vitamin K, 34.4mg (41% of RDA) vitamin C, 24 microgram (6% of RDA) Folate and 262 mg potassium and many other vitamins and minerals.


Health benefits of red cabbage

Purple cabbage is a popular vegetable.

The intensity of the purple color is an indication of richness in anthocyanins in the cabbage. These are highly beneficial in lowering many serious health risks like cancer, heart diseases, macular degeneration and many other ailments.

Mineral density of bones

Purple cabbage is rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese and other minerals which help bone growth and to maintain mineral density. Consequently it protects from arthritis and osteoporosis and other inflammations.

Alzheimer’s disease

Anthocyanins in purple cabbage is very effective in protecting the brain against acute memory loss, particularly in elders who are prone to alzheimer’s disease. The cognitive activity of people is protected by the anthocyanins in purple cabbage.

Prevents and cures ulcer

An amino acid called glutamine present in purple cabbage reduces inflammation. It also reduces pain in the gastrointestinal system due to formation of ulcers.

How to consume: The juice of purple cabbage is used as a home remedy for instantly curing ulcers.


The fiber content in purple cabbage absorbs the cholesterol before entering the blood stream. It then excretes the cholesterol by normal waste elimination activity of the body.

red cabbagesalad

Eye care

Vitamin A, though present in small quantity in cabbage, maintains healthy vision by the production of retinal pigments. It is protects the vision particularly during nights.

Prevention of cancer

It improves the immune system essential to prevent cancer.  Antioxidants present in purple cabbage has]ve the tendency to neutralize free radicals spread over the body. Free radicals, as we know, are harmful cancer causing products as a result of cellular metabolism. Anthocyanins and indoles eliminates such free radicals and prevents the growth of cancer and heart disease. Indole is the antioxidant which prevents breast cancer.

Weight loss

Purple cabbages are low in calories but rich in nutrients. Its consumption provides a feeling of full stomach and discourages the tendency to eat more. By regularly consuming cabbage, one can practically reduce overall food intake per day and lose weight.  Foods with high water content and low calories can facilitate weight loss. Purple cabbage is one such food with 90% water content and just 29 calories per 100 gm. serving.


In addition to eliminating the free radicals from the body and preventing serious health issues like cancer and heart disease, the antioxidants have the property to protect the skin. They reduce wrinkles and age spots on the skin and keep the skin flexible, tight and fresh. Vitamin A present in cabbage helps in the regrowth of skin cells, ensures the elasticity of the skin and protects the skin from the damage caused by the sun.

Vitamin K

Purple cabbage provides 41% of recommended daily amount of vitamin K. This helps in formation of proteins for kidney, muscle and bones. Vitamin K also helps in blood clotting.


How to consume red cabbages?

You can consume raw or boiled red cabbage. While cooking, the purple color turns into blue. To retain the purple color, you can add a little vinegar or an acidic fruit before cooking. In comparison with other varieties of cabbage, purple cabbage contains more nutrients and vitamins as a ratio of energy calories and fat. It is an ideal vegetable for people on diet restriction.

Side effects

Consumption of purple cabbage generally does not cause any harm.

However people affected by hypo thyroid problem are advised to avoid cabbage. More importantly, lactating and breastfeeding mothers should avoid consuming cabbage as babies may develop colic.


Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.