Cabbage (leaf)

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae. Cabbage ranks fifth in the world as a vegetable crop. The U.S. is one of the leading cabbage-producing countries, where about 15% of the total crop is made into sauerkraut and the rest is marketed fresh 1. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as a source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate and manganese 2.

Recent attention has been devoted to an additional component of cruciferous vegetables, namely, the glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that can be broken down in the human gastrointestinal tract. Isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane, are the metabolites of glucosinolates that can then be absorbed through the intestine 3. Cabbage has a high glucosinolate content when compared with other cruciferous vegetables 4.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK. The Concise Encyclopedia of Foods and Nutrition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1995.
  2. United States Department of Agriculture. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. 2008.
  3. Lund E. Non-nutritive bioactive constituents of plants: dietary sources and health benefits of glucosinolates. Int J Vitam.Nutr Res 2003;73:135-43.
  4. McNaughton SA, Marks GC. Development of a food composition database for the estimation of dietary intakes of glucosinolates, the biologically active constituents of cruciferous vegetables. Br J Nutr 2003;90:687-97.