Cabbage belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family and provides a myriad of nutrients, including fiber, folate, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C and K. Cabbage contains phytonutrients that act as antioxidants to reduce your risk of certain cancers. However, eating large quantities of cabbage can cause negative side effects, such as flatulence, diarrhea, medication interactions and hypothyroidism.
Cabbage contains significant quantities of riffinose, an indigestible sugar. This sugar is a type of complex carbohydrate that passes through your intestines undigested and can cause flatulence. Other symptoms associated with flatulence that may result after eating cabbage include belching, abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Green cabbage contains 5.8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, reports Michigan State University. The insoluble fiber in cabbage increases the movement of waste in your digestive tract. Eating too much fiber can contribute to symptoms of diarrhea or block your intestines. Additionally, individuals undergoing cancer treatment may need to avoid eating cabbage, as this vegetable can exacerbate diarrhea often caused by chemotherapy. Consult your treating physician about cabbage consumption if you are undergoing this type of treatment.
3 Medication Interaction
Cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K, a vitamin that helps your blood clot. Eating too much cabbage can interfere with blood-thinning medications, but a 2-cup serving of green cabbage should assist in providing the desired amount of vitamin K without inducing negative effects. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for males and 90 micrograms for females, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. One cup of green cabbage contains 53 micrograms of vitamin K, while the same serving of red cabbage contains 34 micrograms.
According to the University of Michigan Health System, consuming a consistent quantity of foods high in vitamin K and limiting your vitamin K intake to the recommended daily allowance can assist in preventing harmful interactions. Consult your physician about consuming vitamin K foods if you are taking a blood-thinning medication.
Consuming high quantities of cabbage might cause hypothyroidism, according to Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine deficiency coupled with high consumption of cabbage, such as 1,000 to 1,500 grams per day, can result in a lack of thyroid hormone. Glucosinulates are compounds containing sulfur and nitrogen that occur abundantly in cabbage. Chemical reactions with these compounds may interfere with the production of your thyroid hormone or cause the release of a certain ion that competes with iodine uptake.
Your thyroid gland needs iodine to function properly. If there are competing processes limiting iodine quantities, this may contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. However, cabbage consumption independent of iodine deficiency does not increase your risk of hypothyroidism, reports Linus Pauling Institute.