Food & Wine

With the current national lettuce shortage, cabbage has become the next best option. Here’s why:

With the current national lettuce shortage, cabbage has become the next best option. Here’s why:

There are many types of cabbage and lettuce. However, a lot of people particularly mistake green cabbage (the most common type of cabbage sold at the supermarket) for iceberg lettuce due to their similar appearances.

Though green cabbage and iceberg lettuce may look alike, they have completely different nutritional profiles.

Both cabbage and iceberg lettuce are low in calories and deliver minimal protein, fat, and carbs. Meanwhile, green cabbage is higher in most nutrients – except vitamin A.

Cabbage is also higher in minerals than iceberg lettuce. It contains more calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. It also contains more fiber, a nutrient essential to digestive health

Keep in mind that the table above compares only two varieties of cabbage and lettuce. Different types of lettuce and cabbage contain varying amounts of nutrients.

Cabbage beats iceberg lettuce in fiber content and including either cabbage or various forms of leafy green lettuce in your diet can significantly boost your fiber intake.

Both cabbage and iceberg lettuce are good sources of nutrients. However, cabbage contains significantly more vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce, including vitamins C and K, folate, and potassium.

Green cabbage is packed with antioxidants, including polyphenol compounds and vitamin C. Antioxidants have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and help fight cellular damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals..

Iceberg lettuce contains antioxidants, cabbage and other lettuce varieties like red lettuces contain much higher amounts.

Incorporating vitamin-, mineral-, and antioxidant-rich foods into your diet can help reduce your risk of many chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart and neurodegenerative diseases 

It should be noted that other varieties of lettuce, such as romaine lettuce and red leaf lettuce, are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, these lettuce varieties can contain higher amounts of certain nutrients than cabbage does. 

If you’re looking for the healthier option of the two, choose cabbage. Lettuce varieties such as red leaf lettuce and romaine are also good options.

Cabbage, including green and red cabbage, is typically higher in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds than iceberg lettuce.

However, keep in mind that cabbage has a different taste and texture than lettuce, so it might not work well in certain lettuce-based recipes.

Image: Getty

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