Is Cabbage Good For Weight Loss? How To Include It In Your Diet 2024

is cabbage good for weight loss
The cabbage soup diet plan offers various health benefits. Photo: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

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Is cabbage good for weight loss? The answer lies in its low-calorie content and high nutritional value. While the famous cabbage soup diet has gained attention, we’ll dive into a more sustainable approach to using cabbage to enhance your health.

This article will discuss how to prepare cabbage for weight loss and explore its nutritional benefits. You’ll learn how it can be valuable to a calorie-deficit diet. We’ll also discuss how much calorie deficit do I need to lose weight effectively.

Let’s learn more about how cabbage can support your weight loss journey.

Is Cabbage Good For Losing Weight?

Yes, cabbage is good for weight loss. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, promoting a sense of fullness and aiding digestion. Additionally, its nutritional profile supports overall health.

Cabbage is also a rich source of essential vitamins and antioxidants. Packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, it supports various bodily functions. The antioxidants in cabbage offer protective benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

Incorporating cabbage into your diet can contribute to weight loss by providing essential nutrients without adding excessive calories. Its versatility allows for various healthy preparations. Therefore, it’s a valuable component of a weight-conscious eating plan.

Is Cabbage Good For Weight Loss?

is cabbage good for weight loss
Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that is low in calories. Photo: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Cabbage is a healthy food source for those trying to shed extra pounds when added to a balanced diet. It offers several health benefits that make it good for losing weight. With obesity impacting over two billion[1] people globally, finding effective ways to shed excess weight is a concern for many.

Here are some benefits of adding cabbage to your diet:

High Fiber For Weight Loss

Cabbage is low in calories, with only 22 calories per cup. It’s a standout choice for those focused on limiting their calorie intake for weight loss because it is also high in fiber and perfect for a low-fat diet. Studies show[2] that dietary fiber increases post-meal satiety and decreases subsequent hunger.

The notable fiber content in cabbage enhances nutrient levels[3] and creates a satisfying feeling of fullness in your stomach. Therefore, embracing cabbage as a dietary staple supports calorie-conscious choices and leaves you feeling full for longer to prevent overeating.

Nutrient-Dense food

Cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, folate, and calcium. Packed with essential vitamins like K, B6, and C, the vegetable supports crucial bodily functions linked to weight loss. Regular consumption can enhance metabolism and nervous system health.

Studies show that cabbage stands out for its high fiber content[4] and potent antioxidants. Eating cabbage contributes to shielding your body from free radical-induced damage.

Reduces Inflammation

Persistent inflammation is linked to severe conditions like heart disease,[5] rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.[6] Studies also show[6] that those with obesity often battle chronic low-grade inflammation of adipose tissue. Cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, harbor antioxidants known to combat chronic inflammation.

Research shows that antioxidants in cabbage, such as sulforaphane and kaempferol, have anti-inflammatory properties.[7] Therefore, incorporating cabbage into your diet helps mitigate inflammation and reduce your risk of various associated diseases.

Improves Digestion

Cabbage is also rich in gut-friendly fiber, which supports the health of your digestive system.[8] It adds bulk to school and encourages regular bowel movements, improving digestive tract health.

Incorporating fiber-rich vegetables into your diet can be a beneficial choice in maintaining optimal digestive function.

Regulates Blood Pressure

For those with heart disease, cabbage stands out as a notable source of potassium. This mineral and electrolyte is crucial for various bodily functions, such as maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.[9] 

Elevated blood pressure poses serious health risks, and many obese people battle this chronic condition. Potassium plays a critical role in blood pressure regulation by mitigating the impact of sodium on the body. Incorporating potassium-rich cabbage into your diet is an excellent strategy for lowering high blood pressure and improving overall health.

Boosts Energy

Cabbage proves to be a natural energy booster[10] for diets low in nutrients because it is rich in B vitamins such as B1, B2, and B6. These essential vitamins play a crucial role in converting food into energy. This can provide a sustainable alternative to sugary coffee for the afternoon pick-me-up you need to stay active.

What Is The Cabbage Soup Diet? 

The cabbage soup diet has become popular as more weight loss diets emerge. But is cabbage soup good for weight loss, and what exactly is this diet?

The cabbage soup diet is a seven-day regimen characterized by low-fat, high-fiber meals centered around cabbage soup. The approach involves consuming cabbage soup several times a day for a week. While some sources consider it a fad diet because of its high emphasis on a single food, others argue about its potential benefits.

The cabbage soup diet aims to restrict calories significantly. Therefore, weight loss may primarily be from water weight due to calorie reduction. 

The cabbage soup diet involves consuming as little as 1,000 calories per day initially. Those following the diet increase to around 1,200 calories later in the week. While this could result in rapid weight loss, it exceeds the recommended one to two pounds weekly for safe and gradual weight loss, resulting in multiple nutrient deficiencies.

Studies on mice hinted at red cabbage ingestion’s potential anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits. However, human studies[11] and specific research on the cabbage soup diet are limited. It’s crucial to approach such diets cautiously and consider incorporating cabbage into a well-balanced diet focused on clean eating.

The Nutritional Value Of Cabbage

Here are the nutritional facts for one cup[12] of raw, chopped cabbage:

  • 22 calories. 
  • 0.1 grams of fat. 
  • 16 milligrams of sodium. 
  • 5.2 grams of carbohydrates. 
  • 2.2 grams of fiber. 
  • 2.9 grams of sugar. 
  • 1.1 grams of protein. 
  • 151 milligrams of potassium. 
  • 38.3 micrograms of folate. 
  • 67.6 micrograms of vitamin K. 
  • 32.6 micrograms of vitamin C. 

Does Fermented Cabbage Offer Additional Health Benefits & Nutritional Value?

Fermented foods are widely consumed across the globe for their added health benefits. Sugars are broken down through the fermentation process. This preserves the food and produces beneficial probiotics.

The live microorganisms produced through the fermentation process[13] promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Therefore, regular consumption of fermented cabbage can contribute to a healthy digestive system.

Regular intake[13] of fermented foods is also linked to enhanced immunity and potential weight loss. Therefore, fermented foods have been valuable in addressing obesity and related metabolic issues. 

How Do You Make Fermented Cabbage? 

Fermenting cabbage is a simple process that creates delicious sauerkraut. Here is a step-by-step guide on fermenting this cruciferous vegetable:

  • Ingredients: You’ll need cabbage and sea salt or pickling salt
  • Preparation: First, wash your hands well and secure a sanitized prep area. To prepare the cabbage, you must remove and set the outer leaves aside. Then, you’ll want to wash the cabbage thoroughly and cut it into quarters, removing the core. 
  • Shredding: Use a knife or food processor to shred the cabbage finely. Use a clean, unused knife or sanitized food processor to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Salting: Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over the top, using one to three tablespoons per head of cabbage. Massage the sale into the cabbage to initiate the wilting process. 
  • Packing: Pack the salted cabbage tightly into clean, sterilized glass jars. Press down firmly on the cabbage to remove any air. 
  • Cover: Place the reserved cabbage leaves you set aside over the shredded cabbage to keep it submerged. 
  • Fermentation: Seal the jars loosely to allow gases to escape during fermentation. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for about one to four weeks, depending on your taste preference. 
  • Checking: Periodically check the sauerkraut and taste it. It’s ready when it achieves the desired level of tanginess you prefer. 
  • Experiment: You can experiment with additional ingredients like caraway seeds or juniper berries for extra flavor variations. 
  • Refrigerate: Once fermented to your desire, store the sauerkraut in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. 
  • Enjoy: Your homemade fermented cabbage is ready to add a burst of flavor and beneficiary probiotics to your meals. 

How To Prepare Cabbage For Weight Loss?

is cabbage good for weight loss
Cabbage offers many health benefits with a low-calorie intake. Photo: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Cabbage is often underestimated in the culinary world because it’s not well-known for its flavor. However, it can be a flavorful addition to any meal when prepared correctly. Here are some ways to harness the health benefits of cabbage as a natural weight loss supplement and one of the best belly fat burners:

Raw Cabbage Preparations

Raw cabbage is an excellent addition to many dishes. Slice or grate your cabbage finely, and use it alone or combined with other vegetables for fresh salads or sales. Cut cabbage into thin slices for sandwiches or wraps. 

Cooked Cabbage Preparations

There are several ways to cook cabbage in your weight loss diet plan. You can boil it in hot water for a simple side dish. You can also steam cabbage to retain nutrients and offer a crisper texture. 

Roasted cabbage is another excellent option. Simply toss cabbage chunks with virgin olive oil and roast them in the oven until caramelized. Many people also stir-fry or grill their cabbage for a smoky flavor. 

Stuffed And Wrapped Cabbage

Stuffed cabbage is another great way to savor the flavors and create a well-balanced meal from this vegetable. Stuff large cabbage leaves with fillings like rice or minced meat for a delicious meal. You can also create cabbage rolls filled with a variety of ingredients. 

Fermented And Pickled Cabbage

Fermented cabbage offers various health benefits because of its probiotic-rich properties. You can also combine cabbage with spices and ferment it for a Korean-inspired kimchi dish. 

Creative Cabbage Sides

If you’re looking for a quick snack, bake thinly sliced cabbage with a crunch for a healthy option. Cabbage gratin is another great side dish that’s easy to make. Layer cabbage with cheese and bake it until golden brown. 

6 Ways To Include Cabbage In Your Diet 

With so many ways to prepare cabbage, there are endless recipes to add cabbage to your daily food intake. Here are some ways you can eat cabbage to make you lose weight:

Raw Cabbage Recipes

  • Incorporate shredded cabbage into your salads for a crisp and refreshing addition to any raw vegetable mix. 
  • Create a tangy coleslaw by combining shredded cabbage with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and your favorite herbs. 
  • Shred cabbage and mix it with carrots, apple slices, and a zesty vinaigrette for a healthy snack. 
  • Prepare a vibrant Asian-inspired salad with shredded cabbage, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sliced almonds. 
  • Use large cabbage leaves as a substitute for tortillas, and fill them with lean protein and veggies for a low-calorie meal. 

Steamed Cabbage

  • Steam cabbage wedges to retain its nutrients while enhancing the natural sweetness of the vegetable. 
  • Serve steamed cabbage as a side dish or add it to stir-fry for a wholesome meal. 
  • Steam cabbage with a splash of orange juice and zest for a citrusy twist. 
  • Elevate the flavors of steamed cabbage with herbs like dill, parsley, or cilantro. 

Stir-Fry Cabbage

  • Opt for a quick stir-fry with cabbage, lean protein, and other colorful vegetables for a well-balanced, weight-loss-friendly dish. 
  • Experiment with different spices and low-sodium sauces to add flavor to your meals without adding calories. 
  • Enhance your stir-fry with garlic and ginger for a metabolism-boosting and flavorful kick.
  • Add a tablespoon of crushed peanuts for texture and a nutty flavor.

Cabbage Soup Ideas

  • Create a hearty cabbage soup using your favorite vegetables and lean protein sources to make a nourishing meal. 
  • Enjoy a warm bowl of cabbage soup with essential ingredients like chicken stock, carrots, and celery. 
  • Enhance traditional cabbage soup recipes with diced tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a more zesty taste. 
  • Experiment with cumin, coriander, and paprika for a flavorful, metabolism-boosting cabbage soup. Start with small amounts of seasoning and add more to your personal liking. 

Fermented Cabbage

  • Explore the world of fermented cabbage with sauerkraut or kimchi. This allows you to incorporate gut-friendly probiotics into your diet. 
  • Add grated apples to your sauerkraut for a sweet and tangy combination. 
  • Make kimchi at home to customize spice levels and ingredients to suit your preferences. 
  • Add a touch of fresh dill or basil during fermentation for an herbal infusion that enhances the flavor complexity. 
  • Combine fermented cabbage with bets for a vibrant and nutritious meal with a tangy profile. 

Other Cabbage Recipe Ideas

  • Slice cabbage into thick wedges, drizzle with olive oil, and grill it for a smoky flavor. 
  • Toss cabbage chunks with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite spices before roasting it in the oven. 
  • Wrap fillings in cabbage leaves and simmer them in a broth. 
  • Incorporate cabbage into curry dishes for added texture and a nutritional boost. 
  • Swap tortillas with cabbage leaves for a fresh take on Mexican street corn. 

Are There Cabbage Recipes To Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight? 

While cabbage offers many nutritional benefits, there are some foods to avoid to lose weight. Here are some preparations you’ll want to avoid to prevent weight gain:

  • Cabbage rolls with fatty meats or high-calorie ingredients like sauces or cheeses. 
  • Traditional coleslaw with heavy mayonnaise-based dressings. 
  • Deep-fried cabbage or cabbage cooked with excessive oil. 
  • Store-bought coleslaw with added sweeteners. 
  • Cabbage casseroles with high-calorie ingredients like cheese and cream. 
  • Pre-packaged cabbage-based meals or snacks that contain hidden additives and preservatives. 

Conclusion

Whether fresh or fermented, incorporating cabbage into your diet offers a range of health benefits for your low-calorie diet. From aiding digestion to promoting weight loss, cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse that adds to a healthy diet. 

Whether you enjoy it in salads, cabbage soup, or as a tangy sauerkraut, this cruciferous vegetable can easily add flavor and nutrition to your daily meals. Embrace the diverse ways cabbage can improve your health and enjoy its weight loss benefits for improved well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cabbage good for losing belly fat?

Yes, cabbage is excellent for losing belly fat. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and contains antioxidants that aid in weight loss. The vegetable’s nutritional profile supports a healthy diet and contributes to reduced belly fat.

Can I lose weight by eating cabbage every day?

Eating cabbage on a daily basis can aid weight loss because it’s low in calories and high in fiber and water. However, a balanced diet with variety is crucial for overall nutrition and sustained weight loss success.

How can cabbage be used for weight loss?

Incorporate cabbage into your weight loss plan by enjoying it raw in salads, sautéing or stir-frying it for added flavor, or using it as a wrap for a low-calorie alternative. Experiment with different cooking methods for variety and sustained motivation.

Is it OK to eat cabbage every day?

Eating cabbage on a daily basis is generally safe and offers numerous health benefits. Its low-calorie and high-nutrient content makes it a healthy addition to your diet. However, a varied and balanced diet is crucial for your overall well-being.

Is red cabbage good for weight loss?

Yes, red cabbage is beneficial for weight loss. It supports a healthy diet because it is low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Its vibrant color indicates the presence of anthocyanins, known for several health benefits.

Why is cabbage good for weight loss?

The high-fiber content of cabbage promotes fullness. Its low-calorie content and range of vitamins and antioxidants support metabolism, aid digestion, and contribute to a sense of satiety.

Is cooked or raw cabbage better for you?

Both cooked and raw cabbage offer nutritional benefits. Cooking can enhance the bioavailability of certain nutrients, while raw cabbage retains more vitamin C. Including a mix in your diet ensures a diverse nutrient intake.

Does cabbage speed up your metabolism?

Cabbage contains nutrients and fiber that support metabolism, but it alone won’t drastically speed it up. A balanced diet, exercise, and overall healthy lifestyle contribute more significantly to a healthy metabolism.

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EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Muoio is a writer based in Milford, CT. Aside from writing, she is passionate about childhood illness advocacy, surfing, and philanthropy. She’ll never pass up an opportunity to enjoy live music with family and friends. See More