Is It Safe To Eat Cabbage During Pregnancy?

7 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

cabbage during pregnancy

As great as an expecting mother feels, pregnancy is rather a vulnerable phase. Amid all the pregnancy chaos and dos and don’ts, you have to stay away from certain foods and have to adhere to healthy food to assure the wellness of both you and your child. Any negligence regarding the diet and lifestyle in the course of pregnancy can harm both mother and child. When it comes to healthy food, fresh produce comprising fruits and vegetables is a must-add to your pregnancy diet. Having said that, you may wonder which vegetables are safe for you and which aren’t. In this article, we discuss the safety of cabbage during pregnancy.

Cabbage is a highly beneficial vegetable during pregnancy. It carries many nutrients that are vital for the mother’s health and the proper growth and development of the fetus. At the same time, it carries the risk of quick contamination too. It is important to understand the right way of choosing, cooking, and consuming cabbage to avoid risks. Read ahead to know more.

In This Article

Nutritional Fact About Cabbage

Cabbage is a low-calorie, fiber-rich vegetable. This leafy ball is loaded with nutrients that are essential for your body. Cabbage is:

  • A very good source of dietary fiber
  • As per the USDA, it can also contain various vitamins like Vitamin A, C, K, B6, folic acid, pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
  • A decent source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium.
  • High in antioxidants, including flavonoids, zeaxanthin, lutein, choline, and beta-carotene.

Is it Safe to Eat Cabbage While Pregnant?

Yes, it is safe to eat cabbage during pregnancy if you cook it properly. You ought to consider eating cabbage during pregnancy as it holds numerous medical advantages. It is rich in nutrients and almost gives a similar effect as taking multivitamin tablets in the course of pregnancy.

Moreover, here is another interesting fact. Some research studies indicate that kids born to women who ate cabbage during pregnancy have higher immunity to some cancers. There are many different varieties of cabbage. They come in green, purple and white colors.

Which Variety of Cabbage is More Beneficial During Pregnancy?

Which Variety of Cabbage is More Beneficial During Pregnancy_

Green cabbage is the most consumed variety. Purple cabbage possesses not only more nutritional benefits but also a hearty flavor than the green one. The rich color of the purple cabbage is due to the presence of anthocyanin pigments. Anthocyanin polyphenols contribute more protective phytonutrients to purple cabbage than the green one. Therefore, purple cabbage provides more protective, preventive, and therapeutic roles than the other varieties. The following table helps to compare the nutritional benefit of purple cabbage over the green one.

Purple and Green Cabbage Nutrition Comparison are as follow

100 Grams of Purple Cabbage 100 Grams of Green Cabbage
196.5 mg of Polyphenol
Of which 28.3 mg is Anthocyanin
45 mg of Polyphenol
Of which 0.01 mg of Anthocyanin
Provides 33% of daily required intake of Vitamin A Provides 3% of daily required intake of Vitamin A
51 mg of Vitamin C
(Pregnant women needs around 85 mg per day)
37 mg of Vitamin C
(Pregnant women needs around 85 mg per day)
0.7 mg of Iron 0.4 mg of Iron

[Read: Is It Safe To Eat Lettuce During Pregnancy?]

What are the Benefits of Eating Cabbage During Pregnancy?

Regardless of which variant of this nutrient-rich vegetable you choose, you should add it to your pregnancy diet. To make sure you and your unborn child are safe and to reap its health benefits, make sure you choose the right type and consume it the right way.

Following are 12 amazing health benefits of eating cabbage during pregnancy:

1. Helps in Satisfying Increased Nutrient Needs Without Gaining Weight

During the second and third trimester, an expecting mother needs only 300 extra calories per day. However, most of the time, to attain the extra calories expecting mothers eat more food and thus gain more weight. Gaining more weight during this phase of pregnancy can trigger preterm delivery, C-section and definitely increase the risk of being overweight after delivery.

Lettuce is low in calories, which means that you can consume as much as you need without worrying about putting on weight. At the same time, this vegetable provides most of the vital nutrients.

2. Helps to Regulate Bowel Movements

The amount of dietary fiber in cabbage is high. This helps the bowel movement, significantly cutting down the chances of constipation, the most common issue during pregnancy.

3. Improves the DNA Health

Cabbage has a high amount of folate or folic acid, which is critical to the health of DNA of the fetus. Therefore, adding cabbage to the pregnancy menu helps in protecting the baby from neural tube birth defects.

4. Makes Healthier Bones and Improves Immunity

Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C aids in improving immunity. Vitamin K makes the bone healthier and stronger, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis that is more common among women than among men.

5. Anticancer Property

Anthocyanin in purple cabbage has the property to fight against cancer.

6. Regulates the Blood Pressure

Cabbage is a rich source of electrolytes. It is loaded with minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. These minerals are vital in regulating heart rate and blood pressure.

7. Regular Consumption Reduces the Risk of Anemia

pregnant woman wrapping cabbage leaves

Iron is essential for the formation of RBC. Pregnant women can be at risk of anemia frequently and regularly adding cabbage to your diet can help combat anemia and avoid it totally.

8. Treat Swollen Legs

Swollen legs are common in the course of pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Wrapping cabbage leaves around the legs reduce this swelling and provides comfort.

9. Treating Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is commonly found among expecting mothers. Nevertheless, the high fiber content of cabbage helps in controlling the blood sugar level, thereby decreasing the danger of gestational diabetes amid pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes is common among expecting mothers. The high fiber content of cabbage helps in controlling the blood sugar level, thereby decreasing the risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

10. Helps Relieve Breast Engorgement

During pregnancy, it’s common for women to experience breast engorgement, which can be painful. In this situation, cabbage can provide some relief.

Applying chilled cabbage leaves to swollen breasts provides similar pain relief as a hot compress. Remove cabbage leaves from their stems. Clean, dry, and chill them. You can hold chilled cabbage leaves on your breasts. Alternatively, place the cabbage leaves with a loose bra over your breasts. Remove the cabbage leaves after they begin to feel warm or after 20 minutes.

11. Good for the Heart.

The antioxidants found in red cabbage, especially beta-carotene and lutein, may prevent the development of heart disease. It also helps to prevent artery hardening. Cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to heart health. Your heart deserves extra attention when you are pregnant.

12. Promote Eye Health

The surging hormones during pregnancy can change the quality of eyesight. Many expecting mothers experience issues like blurry vision and dry eyes during pregnancy. Cabbage is a rich source of beta-carotene. So eating cabbage during pregnancy promotes good eye health in expecting mothers.

[Read: Is It Safe To Eat Radish During Pregnancy?]

Why Can’t I Eat Raw Cabbage While Pregnant?

You must always opt for properly washed and thoroughly cooked cabbage during pregnancy. Here are the reasons:

  • Cabbage is notorious for carrying disease-causing microorganisms, which can result in food-borne illnesses like Listeria infection. Food-borne diseases in pregnant women can be more dangerous than in women who are not pregnant, as they can trigger a miscarriage, preterm labor, and even stillbirth in the course of pregnancy.
  • The constant utilization of pesticides and fungicides on cabbage makes them not safe to consume. Washing and cooking the cabbage thoroughly before eating ensures that the cabbage is free of these dangerous chemicals to guarantee a sound pregnancy. It is more beneficial to go for organic cabbage in the course of pregnancy.

When Should Eating Cabbage Avoided During Pregnancy?

Cabbage can contribute to gas formation causing horrible gas pain. Therefore, if you are prone to gas formation, you must limit the consumption of cabbage. Also, if you are allergic to cabbage you must avoid it as pregnancy is not the time to experiment with your health.

Things To Remember While Eating Cabbage During Pregnancy

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Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Never Buy Pre Cut Cabbage

Never buy halved or shredded cabbage as the vitamin C content of the cabbage starts to reduce once it is cut.

2. Healthy Saute

As we already mentioned, it is always better to eat cooked cabbage in the course of pregnancy. Overcooking also spoils the nutritional value of this vegetable. Sauté the sliced cabbage for 4 to 5 minutes in little oil over a high flame and stir constantly so that the heat spreads evenly.

3. Keep the Sliced Cabbage Aside For 5-10 Min Before Cooking

This helps to let the myrosinase enzymes in the shredded cells of the cabbage become active.

[Read: 10 Amazing Benefits of Eating Broccoli During Pregnancy]


1. Can I Eat Raw Cabbage During Pregnancy?

Your system is very sensitive during pregnancy. It is recommended to eat well-cooked foods in this phase. Cabbage when not washed and cooked well can carry bacteria like listeria.

2. Can I Eat Purple Cabbage When Pregnant?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is healthier. It has more nutrients than the green ones.

3. Can I Eat Cabbage Daily When Pregnant?

Yes, you can. Regular consumption can increase the iron content in your body. It has many other benefits too.

4. Can Eating Cabbage During Pregnancy Benefit My Unborn Child?

Yes, it can. Cabbage is rich in folic acid. This is important for neural development of the baby.

Read Also: 8 Benefits Of Eating Cauliflower During Pregnancy

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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