Cabbage is delicious, versatile, and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Cabbage also has a reputation for causing digestive issues for some people. If you’re following the low FODMAP diet, you might be wondering if you can still enjoy cabbage in all its varieties. Is cabbage low FODMAP? Let’s find out.
Is Cabbage Low FODMAP?
The good news is that yes, you can still eat cabbage on the low FODMAP diet, but you do have to be careful. Most types of cabbage contain at least one of the FODMAPs. If you’re sensitive to some FODMAPs more than others, it’s important to know which type of cabbage might cause IBS symptoms. It’s also important to keep a close eye on portion size when eating any variety of cabbage.
Green cabbage is what most people think of when you mention cabbage. The leaves are light to a light-medium shade of green, and the head is firm with tightly packed leaves. Green cabbage is considered low FODMAP at a serving size of 75g, which is about ¾ cup of raw, shredded cabbage.
The issue with green cabbage is that it is reasonably high in sorbitol, high FODMAP, and a trigger for IBS symptoms. The slight difference between ¾ cup and 1-cup cabbage is the difference between this being a low-FODMAP or medium-FODMAP food. Be mindful of not consuming too much.
Red cabbage is structurally similar to green cabbage in that it is also dense and firm, with heads of green and red cabbage being similar in size. Red cabbage isn’t really red as much as it is a deeper purple color. Some enjoy red cabbage on its own, while others add it to dishes for the pop of color it provides.
Like green cabbage, red cabbage is low-FODMAP at ¾ cup servings. Red cabbage is high in fructans (the same thing that makes garlic and onion high-FODMAP). Due to the fructan content, red cabbage becomes a moderate-FODMAP food at a 1 ½ cup portion size.
Napa cabbage has a different shape and texture compared to other cabbages. This Chinese cabbage has more delicate leaves and is often added to soups, stirfry, and other cooked dishes. Napa cabbage is low-FODMAP at a 1-cup serving size (75g). Napa cabbage also contains fructans, but you need to consume about 500g before it becomes a moderate-FODMAP food.
Is fermented cabbage low FODMAP?
The fermentation process that occurs as cabbage becomes sauerkraut results in a high level of mannitol. Even at a small ½ cup serving, sauerkraut is considered high-FODMAP. If you really enjoy sauerkraut, you can have about a tablespoon and safely be in the low-FODMAP zone. The same applies to kimchi, another type of fermented cabbage.
Is cabbage bad for IBS?
Cabbage, in the proper portions, isn’t bad for IBS because of its FODMAP content. Regardless of FODMAPs, some people do experience gas and bloating when they eat cabbage. If you have IBS, you don’t have to avoid cabbage altogether unless it causes you digestive upset.
Is cabbage good for the stomach?
Cabbage can be good for digestive health because it contains fiber and is the perfect fuel for all the good bacteria living in your gut. If you have IBS, remember that portion size is everything, and don’t exceed ¾ cup of either red or green cabbage to keep the FODMAP level down.
If you’re dealing with IBS, cabbage is a low-FODMAP food when enjoyed in smaller portions. When following a low-FODMAP diet, it’s essential to keep your diet balanced with a good variety of IBS-friendly foods. A little bit of cabbage is a healthy way to add nutrients and flavor to your everyday diet.