As great as the expecting mother feels, pregnancy is rather a vulnerable phase for a woman. Amid pregnancy, you have to remain away from certain foods and have to adhere on 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.
Considering healthy food, what comes to our mind first will be leafy vegetables. So, let us analyze the safety of eating one particular leafy vegetable – cabbage – in the course of pregnancy.
Cabbage in pregnancy

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 amid pregnancy as it holds numerous medical advantages. It is rich in nutrients and almost gives a similar effect of taking multivitamin tablets in the course of pregnancy.
Moreover, here is another interesting fact. Some researches indicate that kids born to women who ate cabbage during pregnancy have a 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?

Even though the green cabbage is the mostly used variety, the 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 in 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
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

Cabbage during pregnancy

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage During Pregnancy?

  • 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 calorie, which signifies you can consume as much as you need without worrying putting on weight, at the same time this vegetable provides most of the vital nutrients
  • Helps to regulate bowel movements: The amount of dietary fiber in cabbage is high. This helps the bowel motion, therefore cutting down the chances of constipation, the most common disturbing condition in the course of gestation
  • 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 in the pregnancy menu helps in protecting the baby from neural tube birth defects
  • Makes healthier bones and improves immunity: Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin K. As vitamin C aids in improving the immunity, vitamin K makes the bone healthier and stronger, which is very relevant as osteoporosis is more common among the women than among the men
  • Anticancer property: Anthocyanin in purple cabbage has a property to fight against cancer
  • Regulates the blood pressure: Cabbage is a rich source of electrolytes. It is loaded with minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous, which are vital in regulating heart rate and blood pressure
  • Regular consumption reduces the risk of anemia: Iron is essential for the formation of RBC. Iron is important in the course of gestation as it holds the most commonly found pregnancy anemia at bay
  • Treat swollen legs: Swollen legs are common in the course of pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Wrapping cabbage leaves around the legs facilitate the swelling condition
  • 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 decreases the danger of gestational diabetes amid pregnancy

Why Can’t I Eat Raw Cabbage While Pregnant?

It is preferred to eat thoroughly washed and well-cooked cabbage during pregnancy. This is because:

  • Cabbages are notorious for carrying disease-causing microorganism, which can result in food-borne illness like Listeria infection. Food-borne diseases in pregnant women can be more dangerous than 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 makes cabbage more inclined to parasitic and bacterial contamination. Therefore, washing and cooking the cabbage thoroughly before eating ensures that the cabbage is free of these dangerous chemicals to guarantee 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 it is good to limit the use of cabbage.Also, if you are allergic to cabbage avoid it, as pregnancy is not the time to experiment with the health.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Never buy precut cabbage: Never buy halved or shredded cabbage as the vitamin C content of the cabbage starts to reduce once it is cut
  • Healthy sauté: As we already mentioned, it is always better to eat cooked cabbage in the course of pregnancy, over cooking also spoils the nutritional value of this vegetable. Sauté the sliced cabbage for 4 to 5 minutes in little oil over the high flame (stir constantly)
  • Keep the sliced cabbage aside for 5-10 min before cooking: This is done to let the myrosinase enzymes in the shredded cells of the cabbage to become active