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Radicchio vs. Red cabbage — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on February 04, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Radicchio
vs
Red cabbage

Summary

In short, red cabbage is higher in carbohydrates, both net carbs and dietary fiber, and calories. Red cabbage provides 41 times more vitamin A and 7 times more vitamin C. However, radicchio can be a better source of minerals such as copper, zinc, and phosphorus.

Red cabbage and radicchio are full of health-beneficial effects due to their high anthocyanin content. However, red cabbage is much better researched in this field.

Introduction

Red cabbage and radicchio are often mistaken for each other; however, the two are entirely different vegetables. In this article, we will be discussing what similarities red cabbage and radicchio share and what sets them apart.

Classification

Despite all the similarities, red cabbage and radicchio botanically belong to separate families. Red cabbage is the purple-leafed variety of cabbage belonging to the Brassicaceae family and Oleracea species. Radicchio, on the other hand, is a part of the Asteraceae family and Chicorium genus.

Red cabbage and radicchio are often referred to as leaf or leafy vegetables, which are plant leaves used as vegetables.

Appearance

The two vegetables look alike; however, radicchio has distinct white-veined leaves and is usually smaller and more oblong in size. Radicchio also has a stronger reddish hue to its purple leaves.

Taste and Use

Red cabbage and radicchio are sometimes interchangeably used in recipes despite the difference in their flavors and textures. Radicchio has thin leaves with a bitter taste, while red cabbage has a milder taste and crunchier leaves.

Nutrition

The nutritional information below will be presented for raw red cabbage and radicchio.

Macronutrients and Calories

Red cabbage is slightly denser in nutrients, consisting of 91% water, while radicchio contains 94% water.

The average serving size of red cabbage per person is one cup of shredded cabbage, equal to 70g. At the same time, one cup of shredded radicchio weighs 40g.

Calories

Red cabbage and radicchio are both very low-calorie foods. However, red cabbage is slightly higher in calories, containing 31 calories in a 100g serving. A hundred-gram serving of radicchio provides only 23 calories.

One cup of chopped red cabbage contains 22 calories, while the same serving size of radicchio has 9 calories.

Protein and Fats

Like most leafy vegetables, red cabbage and radicchio are very low in protein and fats.

The two vegetables provide the same exact amount of protein - 1.43g per 100g serving.

Red cabbage and radicchio contain negligible amounts of fats.

Vegetables naturally do not contain cholesterol or trans fats.

Carbohydrates

Red cabbage is richer in carbohydrates by 65%. Per 100g serving, red cabbage provides 7.37g of carbohydrates, while radicchio contains 4.48g.

Red cabbage contains 1.5 times more net carbs and is 2.3 times higher in dietary fiber.

Vitamins

Red cabbage and radicchio are rich sources of several vitamins; however, red cabbage wins in this category.

Red cabbage provides 41 times more vitamin A, 7 times more vitamin C, and 4 times more vitamins B1 and B6. Red cabbage is also richer in vitamins B2 and B3.

At the same time, radicchio contains 20 times more vitamin E, 7 times more vitamin K, 3 times more folate, and 2 times more vitamin B5.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin E +1954.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +83%
Contains more Folate +233.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +568.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +4033.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +612.5%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +300%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +146.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +63.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +266.7%
Contains more Choline +56.9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1.6% 45% 0% 27% 4% 6.5% 4.8% 16% 13% 45% 0% 5.9% 638%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 67% 2.2% 0% 190% 16% 16% 7.8% 8.8% 48% 14% 0% 9.3% 96%
Contains more Vitamin E +1954.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +83%
Contains more Folate +233.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +568.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +4033.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +612.5%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +300%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +146.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +63.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +266.7%
Contains more Choline +56.9%

Minerals

Inversely, radicchio wins in the mineral category. Radicchio is 20 times richer in copper and 3 times richer in zinc. Radicchio also provides slightly more phosphorus and potassium and less sodium.

Red cabbage, on the other hand, is richer in calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Phosphorus +33.3%
Contains more Potassium +24.3%
Contains less Sodium -18.5%
Contains more Zinc +181.8%
Contains more Copper +1905.9%
Contains more Selenium +50%
Contains more Calcium +136.8%
Contains more Iron +40.4%
Contains more Magnesium +23.1%
Contains more Manganese +76.1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5.7% 21% 9.3% 17% 27% 2.9% 17% 114% 18% 4.9%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 14% 30% 11% 13% 21% 3.5% 6% 5.7% 32% 3.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +33.3%
Contains more Potassium +24.3%
Contains less Sodium -18.5%
Contains more Zinc +181.8%
Contains more Copper +1905.9%
Contains more Selenium +50%
Contains more Calcium +136.8%
Contains more Iron +40.4%
Contains more Magnesium +23.1%
Contains more Manganese +76.1%

Health Impact

Health Benefits

Leafy vegetables are known to contain phytochemicals that provide various beneficial health effects.

Red cabbage and radicchio get their red coloring from containing phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative properties, which can help protect against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurological disorders (1, 2).

Overall, the health impact of red cabbage is better researched in the scientific field when compared to that of radicchio.

Cardiovascular Health

Red cabbage has been researched to potentially protect against cardiovascular disease by lowering low-density lipoprotein, triglyceride, cholesterol, and inflammatory cytokine levels (3, 4).

Studies on the effect of radicchio on cardiovascular health have not yet been carried out. However, the impact can be assumed to be beneficial due to radicchio’s high content of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.

Diabetes

Research carried out on animals found red cabbage to have antidiabetic properties, lowering blood glucose levels and improving kidney and liver function in diabetic rats (5, 6).

While not much research has been done regarding radicchio and diabetes, chicory plants have been found to have antidiabetic effects (7). Radicchio and chicory are very closely related.

Cancer

Anthocyanins have been demonstrated to have anti-cancer qualities, potentially protecting against skin, colon, esophageal, and lung cancer (8).

Due to high anthocyanin levels, radicchio or red chicory has also been found to potentially decrease the risk of cancer, colon cancer in particular (9).

Similarly, red cabbage has also been researched for its anti-cancer activities (10, 11, 12).

Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: February 04, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Radicchio vs Red cabbage infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +56.3%
Contains more Carbs +64.5%
Equal in Protein - 1.43
Equal in Water - 90.39
Equal in Other - 0.65
4% 93%
Protein: 1.43 g
Fats: 0.25 g
Carbs: 4.48 g
Water: 93.14 g
Other: 0.7 g
7% 90%
Protein: 1.43 g
Fats: 0.16 g
Carbs: 7.37 g
Water: 90.39 g
Other: 0.65 g
Contains more Fats +56.3%
Contains more Carbs +64.5%
Equal in Protein - 1.43
Equal in Water - 90.39
Equal in Other - 0.65

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +37.5%
Contains less Saturated Fat -65%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +20%
33% 6% 61%
Saturated Fat: 0.06 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.11 g
19% 11% 71%
Saturated Fat: 0.021 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.012 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.08 g
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +37.5%
Contains less Saturated Fat -65%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +20%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Radicchio Red cabbage
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Radicchio Red cabbage Opinion
Net carbs 3.58g 5.27g Red cabbage
Protein 1.43g 1.43g
Fats 0.25g 0.16g Radicchio
Carbs 4.48g 7.37g Red cabbage
Calories 23kcal 31kcal Red cabbage
Fructose 1.48g Red cabbage
Sugar 0.6g 3.83g Radicchio
Fiber 0.9g 2.1g Red cabbage
Calcium 19mg 45mg Red cabbage
Iron 0.57mg 0.8mg Red cabbage
Magnesium 13mg 16mg Red cabbage
Phosphorus 40mg 30mg Radicchio
Potassium 302mg 243mg Radicchio
Sodium 22mg 27mg Radicchio
Zinc 0.62mg 0.22mg Radicchio
Copper 0.341mg 0.017mg Radicchio
Manganese 0.138mg 0.243mg Red cabbage
Selenium 0.9µg 0.6µg Radicchio
Vitamin A 27IU 1116IU Red cabbage
Vitamin A RAE 1µg 56µg Red cabbage
Vitamin E 2.26mg 0.11mg Radicchio
Vitamin C 8mg 57mg Red cabbage
Vitamin B1 0.016mg 0.064mg Red cabbage
Vitamin B2 0.028mg 0.069mg Red cabbage
Vitamin B3 0.255mg 0.418mg Red cabbage
Vitamin B5 0.269mg 0.147mg Radicchio
Vitamin B6 0.057mg 0.209mg Red cabbage
Folate 60µg 18µg Radicchio
Choline 10.9mg 17.1mg Red cabbage
Vitamin K 255.2µg 38.2µg Radicchio
Tryptophan 0.026mg 0.012mg Radicchio
Threonine 0.04mg 0.039mg Radicchio
Isoleucine 0.085mg 0.034mg Radicchio
Leucine 0.062mg 0.046mg Radicchio
Lysine 0.056mg 0.049mg Radicchio
Methionine 0.008mg 0.014mg Red cabbage
Phenylalanine 0.034mg 0.036mg Red cabbage
Valine 0.065mg 0.048mg Radicchio
Histidine 0.024mg 0.024mg
Saturated Fat 0.06g 0.021g Red cabbage
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g 0.012g Red cabbage
Polyunsaturated fat 0.11g 0.08g Radicchio

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Radicchio Red cabbage
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
62%
Radicchio
36%
Red cabbage
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
24%
Radicchio
14%
Red cabbage

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Red cabbage
Red cabbage is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.039g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Radicchio
Radicchio is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.23g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Radicchio
Radicchio contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Radicchio
Radicchio is lower in glycemic index (difference - 32)
Which food is cheaper?
Radicchio
Radicchio is cheaper (difference - $0.3)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Radicchio - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168564/nutrients
  2. Red cabbage - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169977/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.