Why Is Everyone Eating Cabbage in January?

The cruciferous craze is real, but probably not be worth the hype.

January 14, 2020
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Photo by: Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

Maybe it’s the lure of a new diet (Cabbage Soup Diet, anyone?) or the lack of in-season produce in the winter, but it seems like every January people are eating a lot more cabbage than usual. If you've considered jumping on the cabbage bandwagon, you'll want to find out just what you'd be getting into first. Read on to find out the true health benefits of cabbage and if a cup of Cabbage Soup a day is really a weight-loss miracle.

Is Cabbage Healthy?

One of cup of raw cabbage has just under 30 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein and 0 grams of fat. It contains 85% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, 42% vitamin K, 20% vitamin A and 9% vitamin B6. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and, of course, cabbage are touted for their potential cancer fighting properties. This sub-group of veggies also have anti-inflammatory powers. High water content foods like cabbage also help promote healthy digestion and keep you feel fuller longer.

What About Cabbage Soup?

There are numerous claims floating in the rumor mill about the benefits of munching on cabbage. The Cabbage Soup Diet gets a reboot every few decades, but the foundational premise remains: Slurp a soup made of (you guessed it) cabbage for in an attempt to stay nourished and satiated while starving yourself in order to lose weight. Not something we'd recommend.

How Should You Eat Cabbage?

If you comb the Internet you will find several cabbage enthusiasts proclaiming the benefits of chomping cabbage all day long. Dr. Terry Wahls recommends a diet plentiful in raw cabbage and you’ll find her on Instagram unapologetically munching on fistfuls in the airport to supposedly keep toxins at bay. Shreds of red cabbage adorn veggie and grain bowls all over Instagram and red cabbage can even be used as a natural food dye for everything from cocktails to cookie frosting. While scientific evidence linking eating cabbage to weight loss or detoxication is thin, munch away if that’s your thing. Eating cabbage as part of a balanced diet may not work miracles, but certainly can’t hurt.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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