Difference Between Cabbage And Lettuce

Cabbage and some types of lettuce sometimes confuse a lot of people due to their resemblance but they are different. If you are looking for a difference between cabbage and lettuce, this is it.

Both vegetables provide similar nutrients that are healthy for various body functions.

The difference between cabbage and lettuce is brought by different plant families, growing conditions, nutritional values, flavors, culinary use, texture, etc.

Here is what you should know about cabbage vs lettuce differences.

Also Read: Best Vegetables For Juicing – 18 Healthy Vegetable To Juice

Cabbage Overview

Cabbage is a widely cooked vegetable used for different culinary purposes. It can be eaten raw, boiled, stewed, sauteed, and braised.

Surprisingly, cabbage belongs to the genus Brassica which includes other vegetables like Brocolli, Cauliflower among others.

The leaves of cabbage are tough and thick but when cooked it turns to a tender and delicious meal.

Just like most of the vegetables, cabbages are packed with nutrients and Vitamins to help stay healthy.

Cabbages are found in many types grown in different places;

  • Common green
  • Common red
  • Savoy’s heads
  • Asian cabbages (Napa/Chinese, Bok Choy)
  • Dutch cabbage – Range from white to faint green
  • A variety of loose-leaf types (generally called mustards)

Health Benefits

  • Helps indigestion
  • Vitamin C helps in strengthening bones, boost metabolism, prevent diseases, skin health, etc.
  • Fights microbial infections
  • Prevent against inflammation
  • Prevents cancer

Lettuce Overview

The name lettuce comes from the Latin word “lac” which means milk. It belongs to the Lactuca family.

Lettuce has high water content and is mostly used as a salad for other meals.

Similar to cabbages, it comes packed with nutrients and Vitamins essential for body health.

Lettuce is categorized into 4 types which include;

  • Butterhead/ Boston – round, but the leaves are looser and have a smoother texture (Boston, butter, bibb)
  • Crisphead/Iceberg – round head is composed of tightly packed leaves
  • Romaine – elongated leaves, thick white rib (romaine)
  • Summer crisp, French crisp, or Batavian – large and thick leaves
  • Looseleaf – loosely gathered, growing as a rosette, enabling the grower to just remove the leaves rather than harvest the entire plant (oak-leaf)

Health Benefits

  • Excellent source of vitamin A which is good for eye health, skin and bones
  • Helps in weight loss due to low calories and high fiber and cellulose
  • Contains sleep-inducing properties, Lactucarium, a white fluid that can help the body muscles relax and promote good sleep
  • Protects Neuronal cells
  • Blood sugar regulation because lettuce has a low glycemic index.
  • It contains omega -3 fatty acids, antioxidants and antimicrobial that promote overall health.

Cabbage And Lettuce: Similarities

The two vegetables have many similarities worth noting. All Leafy greens share most of the nutritional benefits with slight differences.

Both cabbage and lettuce contain minerals, Vitamins, and antioxidants.

They have high water content which makes perfect for juicing to extract high yields.

Both cabbage and lettuce have many layers of leaves forming a similar shape depending on the type.

Cabbage And Lettuce: The Differences

Although the cabbage and lettuce contain most of the nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, they vary from each other in different amounts.

There are differences in the growing conditions, health benefits, appearance, taste, storage, and culinary uses.

Nutritional Value Difference

Cabbage has full of vitamins and minerals to benefit every day. It contains a Sulforaphane compound that can delay cancer like prostate, melanoma, breast and pancreatic cancers.

It has higher minerals than lettuce which include potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Cabbage has twice the number of calories that lettuce contains with cabbage containing 25 calories while lettuce has only 14 calories.

In terms of Vitamin C intake, Cabbage contains about 60% of vitamin C while lettuce contains 4% of the intake.  Vitamin B6 is found in cabbages but lettuce doesn’t have.

Also, cabbages contain more fiber content than lettuce and contain glutamine which provides inflammatory properties.

Overall, cabbages had more nutritional value than lettuce.

Green cabbageIceberg lettuce 
Protein1 grams1 grams
Carbs6 grams3 grams
Fiber3 grams1 grams
FatLess than 1 gramLess than 1 gram
Folate11% of the RDI7% of the RDI
Vitamin A2% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)10% of the RDI
Vitamin C61% of the RDI5% of the RDI
Vitamin K96% of the RDI30% of the RDI
Vitamin B66% of the RDI2% of the RDI

Texture & Taste

Cabbage has tough leaves than lettuce, therefore, it contains less water content. Due to the texture of cabbage, it can be steamed or boiled and sometimes used in coleslaw.

Lettuce has a crunchy texture which makes it ideal for salads and baked foods like burgers.

Cabbages when cooked correctly, provide sweet flavor and also compliment other foods. If you decide cabbages raw, they have a crunchy texture and strong flavor.

We do enjoy food differently but cabbage is more versatile to cook and use as a dessert at the same time. Lettuce is better for salads and not cooking.

Growing Conditions

Lettuce requires cooler conditions to grow than cabbages. Lettuce thrives in sandy soil or loose soil with a soil pH level between 6 and 7.

Growing lettuce requires 6 hours of sunlight a day and needs shade for proper growth.

Cabbages grow in cool environments and soil pH above 6.5 but it has to be moist throughout for best results.


Cabbage has a short stem and a head forming a bulb shape. They appear in different types which contain different colors which are green, red, purple.

Lettuce also has a short stem but the leaves are usually wrapped around each other. They contain more chlorophyll which makes lettuce greener than cabbages


The texture of cabbage and less water content enables it to last longer than lettuce. Stored in the fridge, cabbage can last for about two months.

Lettuce, when stored in the fridge, can last for a few days before going bad.

All vegetables are best when eaten fresh for maximum nutrient benefits.

Final Thought

The available different types of cabbage and lettuce provide different nutrients amounts but cabbage has more nutritional value.

Both are healthy choices everyone should be eating interchangeably for more health benefits.

The two vegetables work best in different types of culinary recipes therefore, they are to be used where they fit.