Purple cabbage, also known as red cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Juicing purple cabbage provides a concentrated dose of its beneficial nutrients in a tasty, easy-to-consume beverage. Here is an overview of the many health benefits associated with juicing purple cabbage.
Purple cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some of the key nutrients found in a 1 cup serving (89 grams) of raw purple cabbage (3):
- – Vitamin C: 54% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- – Vitamin K: 42% of the RDI
- – Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
- – Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- – Calcium: 4% of the RDI
- – Magnesium: 3% of the RDI
- – Iron: 2% of the RDI
- – Manganese: 2% of the RDI
It also contains small amounts of vitamins A, E and B1, zinc, phosphorus and folate.
Additionally, purple cabbage contains the antioxidants anthocyanins, which give it its vivid purple color. Some studies suggest that anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory, heart protective and brain supportive effects in the body (1, 2).
Supports Heart Health
Some research indicates that increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like purple cabbage may help protect heart health.
In particular, anthocyanins have been linked to reduced levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels, both major risk factors for heart disease (4, 5).
One study in 120 people with diabetes found that taking an anthocyanin supplement for 24 weeks was as effective as a common cholesterol-lowering medication at reducing LDL cholesterol levels (6).
Another small study showed that drinking a juice made with purple cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables for 28 days significantly decreased blood pressure levels (7).
Thanks to its stellar nutrient and antioxidant content, adding purple cabbage juice to your diet just a few times per week may help keep your heart healthy and strong.
May Promote Brain Function
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that the anthocyanins in purple cabbage may benefit brain health in several ways.
For instance, studies demonstrate that these compounds may protect against neurodegeneration, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, enhance memory and improve brain function (8, 9).
One animal study found that feeding purple cabbage extract to aging rats increased certain learning and memory markers by reducing oxidative stress and boosting brain function (10).
Although more research is needed, adding this colorful veggie to your diet could be a simple way to keep your brain sharp and healthy.
Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer
Purple cabbage contains powerful compounds that may play a role in cancer prevention.
For instance, the anthocyanins in this cruciferous veggie exhibit strong antioxidant effects that could block DNA damage associated with cancer development (11).
Studies suggest that higher intakes of anthocyanin-rich foods are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer (12).
Furthermore, purple cabbage is a great source of sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound that has been shown to reduce the growth rate of certain types of cancer cells (13).
More research is needed, but adding this colorful cruciferous vegetable to your diet may be an effective way to protect against cancer.
Rich in Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
Chronic inflammation is involved in the development of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis (14).
Fortunately, purple cabbage contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants, like anthocyanins, which may help protect against inflammation and reduce disease risk (15).
Studies show that higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) (16).
One study in overweight and obese people found that consuming a drink high in anthocyanins led to significantly lower levels of inflammation after just four weeks (17).
Thanks to its ability to block inflammation, adding purple cabbage juice to your diet may help ease inflammatory conditions like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.
May Reduce Risk Factors for Diabetes
Incorporating purple cabbage juice into your diet may benefit blood sugar control as well, which could lower your risk of diabetes.
For example, one animal study showed that cabbage extract improved blood sugar levels in diabetic rats by 13.5% compared to the control group (18).
Another study demonstrated that supplementing with anthocyanin-rich purple cabbage extract for 12 weeks led to favorable changes in glucose tolerance and improved insulin resistance in adults at a high risk of diabetes (19).
Furthermore, swapping out carb-heavy grains in favor of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, such as purple cabbage, has been associated with better blood sugar control (20).
Given that it’s low in carbs yet high in antioxidants, adding purple cabbage juice to your diet may aid blood sugar control and minimize your risk of diabetes.
May Promote Weight Loss
Some evidence suggests that cabbage juice may promote fat loss and weight loss.
For instance, one study in obese adults showed that taking an oral supplement containing dried cabbage powder significantly decreased body weight and fat mass compared to a placebo (21).
Another study found that giving overweight and obese women a drink containing anthocyanins from purple cabbage for 12 weeks resulted in decreased body weight and BMI compared to a control drink (22).
However, current research is limited. More studies are needed to look at the effects of purple cabbage juice specifically.
Regardless, adding this low-calorie, nutrient-dense beverage to your routine can easily help bump up your veggie intake and provide a burst of nutrition to your diet.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
Thanks to its delicious, versatile flavor, it’s easy to start incorporating purple cabbage juice into your diet.
Try adding it to your morning smoothie for an antioxidant boost. You can also use it as the base for homemade slaws and soups.
Additionally, you can combine purple cabbage with fruits and veggies like carrots, apples, beets, kale and ginger to create a drink bursting with flavor.
To maximize its health benefits, aim for 1–2 cups of purple cabbage juice per day.
You can also eat purple cabbage raw, cooked or fermented in dishes like salads, stir-fries, stews and sauerkraut. The options are truly endless.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- – Add to green or fruit smoothies
- – Mix into post-workout shakes
- – Blend with water, fruits and veggies
- – Simmer in soups and stews
- – Pickle into sauerkraut
- – Grate or slice raw over salads
- – Stir-fry with chicken, tofu or veggies
Risks and Side Effects
For most people, drinking purple cabbage juice is safe with minimal risks.
However, it contains vitamin K, which can interact with certain medications like blood thinners. If you take these types of medications, make sure to consult with your doctor before adding more purple cabbage to your diet (23).
Too much potassium from produce can also cause problems for those with kidney disorders. If this applies to you, talk to your healthcare provider to see if you need to limit your intake (24).
Otherwise, this versatile veggie can be safely enjoyed as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet for most people.
With a powerful blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, purple cabbage juice deserves a spot in your vegetable rotation. Drinking this colorful beverage may help reduce inflammation, improve brain function, protect heart health and even aid blood sugar control.
Best of all, it’s easy to add to smoothies, juices, soups and slaws to boost nutrition and take advantage of its multitude of potential health benefits.
Try drinking a glass or two per day to maximize the effects and help optimize your health.