Food Guide

Lettuce vs Cabbage: Which Leafy Green Reigns Supreme for Your Health?

Lettuce and cabbage are both great for your health, but do you know which one is better?

Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics and benefits of these two common types of veggies so that you can determine the one that you prefer.

What is special about lettuce?

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Lettuce is a popular vegetable that belongs to the daisy family, named Asteraceae.

It is a very nutritious ingredient that is low in calories, high in fiber, and many other essential nutrients, making it a healthy choice for anyone looking to improve their diet.

There are different kinds of lettuce, such as iceberg lettuce, leaf lettuce, watercress, or Arugula to name a few.

Typically, lettuce is used raw in a variety of salad recipes.

However, this type of veggie can work as a wrap, can be grilled, or stewed.

If you are looking for a nutritious and affordable vegetable to add to your diet, lettuce is worth trying.

What is special about cabbage?

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Cabbage is a popular leafy green that can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Cabbage can come in different colors, including white, green, or purple.

They are typically made of plenty of layers of dense leaves surrounding a spherical heart.

This type of veggie is low in calories and packed with numerous vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, C, K, potassium, magnesium, or folate.

It can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked in different ways like boiling, stir-frying, pickling, roasting, or braising.

This versatile and affordable ingredient can be found in any grocery store or supermarket throughout the world.

What are the differences between lettuce and cabbage?       

Many people think lettuce and cabbage are two types of veggies from the same family with many similarities.

In fact, there are numerous differences that separate these greens.

Let’s unravel it in the table below:

FamilyDaisy family, AsteraceaeCruciferous vegetables  that belong to the cabbage family (genus Brassica)
TextureSofter and thinner leavesDense leaves
TasteBland, watery, slightly sweetMore complex, a little bittersweet, peppery flavor
Nutritional valueFewer in calories, carbs Nutritious but still poorer than cabbageHigher in calories, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium
Common usesTypically used raw for salads, sandwiches, or burgersCan be used raw or cooked in many different ways (boiling, steaming, stir-frying, baking, roasting, or stewing)

What are the similarities between lettuce and cabbage?

We cannot deny the fact that there are also many things in common between lettuce and cabbage.

So how similar are they?

Here are the three things we find in both veggies:

Iceberg lettuce and green cabbage might look alike

There are different variants of lettuce and iceberg lettuce is the one that has a very close look to green cabbage.

Those who are not experienced in differentiating these two kinds of vegetables might not even pick the right one when shopping.

Both have a ball-like shape with green-white leaves surrounding the head of young leaves in the center.

So make sure to read the label before bringing iceberg lettuce or cabbage home.

Lettuce and cabbage are healthy options that benefit our health in different ways

Another thing in common between lettuce and cabbage is that they are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

Although it seems that cabbage is the winner in almost all aspects, both are rich in essential nutrients.

They are low in calories while still rich in fiber, vitamin A, C, K, B, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, or phosphorus.

These properties can improve our digestive system, heart health, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, or even reduce the risk of certain cancers.

They are also great for weight loss.

Lettuce and cabbage can be used raw or cooked

The last similarity between lettuce and cabbage is their use in cooking.

In fact, lettuce is typically consumed raw and fresh, while cabbage is better when cooked.

However, you can still find many recipes that call for cooked lettuce or raw cabbage.

Therefore, just be creative and comfortable when working with these ingredients, as long as they taste good to your taste buds.

Which one is better?

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In general, both lettuce and cabbage offer a variety of health benefits.

However, in comparison, cabbage is richer in nutrients and vitamins.

It is also more versatile in cooking as you can use cabbage for plenty of recipes.

Lettuce is still a delicious and healthy choice overall.

Therefore, it all depends on what your recipe calls for and what flavor profile you like between lettuce and cabbage to have the last decision.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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