Red Cabbage May Help Improve Bone Health

Red cabbage is a nutrient-rich, cruciferous vegetable that is a little smaller and denser than green cabbage and has a more peppery taste. It is highly nutritious and is low in fat and calories.

This veggie has beneficial plant compounds that have been linked to health benefits, such as stronger bones and a healthier heart (1).

Red Cabbage and Bone Health

Present in red cabbage is several bone-benefiting nutrients such as vitamin C and K, as well as smaller amounts of calcium, manganese, and zinc (2).

Vitamin C

A cup of raw purple cabbage contains around 56% of the DV for vitamin C. This vitamin is needed for the production of collagen which composes the majority of our bone tissue. When it comes to preventing fracture, what we need is a strong yet flexible collagen matrix. Aside from this, vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant that fights off free radical damage that can cause damages to our bones (3).

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is mainly known as an agent involved in blood coagulation, maintaining the activity of coagulation factors in the liver. In addition to this, studies showed that a lack of vitamin K is associated with several diseases, including osteoporosis and vascular calcification (4).

Our bones need this essential nutrient. It has a significant role to play in human health that is beyond its well-established function in blood clotting.  Studies revealed that it can increase bone mineral density in osteoporotic people, reduce fracture rates, and works synergistically with vitamin D on bone density (5).


Calcium is important for bone health throughout our life. About 99% of the calcium in our body is stored in the bones and teeth. It is needed in building and maintaining strong bones (6,7).


Manganese is essential for bone development and maintenance. It plays as a co-factor in the formation of bone cartilage and bone collagen, as well as in bone mineralization. It supports bone mineral density when combines with nutrients like calcium, copper, and zinc (8,9).

Results of a study showed that taking manganese with calcium, zinc, and copper may help reduce spinal bone loss in older women (10).


This essential mineral is required for normal skeletal growth and bone homeostasis and also helps in promoting bone regeneration (11).

Easy recipe: Finely chop or shred half a head of cabbage. Toss with a little olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper, or your favorite salad dressing. Some shredded carrots can be added for an extra burst of color.