How to Tell the Difference Between Lettuce and Cabbage (4 Great Distinctions)

how to tell the difference between lettuce and cabbage

Vegetable salads are some of the healthiest foods available. They are made from leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, and others.

These vegetables (lettuce and cabbage) provide us with very healthy nutrients required to make our bodies function correctly.

Telling the difference between cabbage and lettuce is quite easy as a cabbage is shaped like a ball with a short stem and other layers of vegetables, while a lettuce although has a short stem but it is not round like a ball, also the leaves in cabbage are packed to be incredibly tight, while the leaves in lettuce are arranged more loosely.

We would also reveal how to tell the difference between lettuce and cabbage and answer questions such as “are lettuce and cabbage related?”.

Related: How To Cut Lettuce For Burgers

What Is Lettuce?

Lettuce is a leafy vegetable that is often consumed raw. They are used in making vegetable salads.

It is believed to have been discovered by the Egyptians who first cultivated it. In medieval times, lettuce was thought to possess specific medicinal properties.

There are different types of lettuce, but they share a similar scientific name known as Lactuca sativa.

They are incredibly rich in vitamins. There are four varieties of lettuce, and they include the following; Head lettuce (capitata), Romaine lettuce (longifolia), Leaf lettuce (crispa), and Celtuce lettuce (Augustana). The different types of lettuce are all edible and contain similar nutrients.

Nutritional Value of Lettuce

Lettuce contains a significant amount of water. It also contains proteins, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, et cetera.

In addition, lettuce has several minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, potassium, vitamin B, and vitamins A, C, K, and E.

For every 100 grams of lettuce, you’re likely to get 94.98 (almost 95g) grams of water, energy at 62 KJ, protein 1.36 grams, fat 0.15-gram, carbohydrate 2.87-gram, fiber 1.3 gram, sugars 0.78-gram, glucose 0.36-gram, fructose 0.43-gram, calcium 36 mg, iron 0.86 mg.

This sums up the nutritional value of lettuce which proves that lettuce is highly nutritious.

Health Benefits of Lettuce

As noted earlier, lettuce has long been known to contain medicinal qualities. The health benefits of this incredible leaf are numerous. These are some of them;

Lettuce Possess Anti-inflammatory Qualities

These qualities help in mitigating the effects of inflammation. Extracts from this leaf are known to provide considerable relief to inflammation in most body parts.

Lettuce Is Also Used as a Tranquilizer

Lettuce extracts are also known to help induce sleep in severe cases of insomnia. Its sleep-inducing qualities have been long known from medieval times.

Recent reports also seem to concur on the efficacy of lettuce as a sleep-inducing agent.

Lettuce Helps to Lower Cholesterol Levels in Our Bodies

This is another essential quality of this incredible leaf. High cholesterol levels in our bodies are frequently fatal, and lettuce helps regulate them, keeping us healthy.

Lettuce Helps With Dehydration

Water constitutes about 95% of lettuce, which is incredibly helpful as a hydration agent. Regular consumption of lettuce helps keep our bodies properly hydrated.

Lettuce Help Improve Vision

Another essential health benefit of lettuce is the uncanny ability to help improve vision.

Vitamin A is vital to our overall health because it helps improve our vision, and lettuce is also very rich in vitamin A.

Lettuce Helps Keep Our Bones Strong

Lettuce helps keep our bones strong due to the significant amount of vitamin K present in lettuce.

Vitamin K helps make our bones stronger, and lettuce is a good source of vitamin K. Lettuce is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.

Lettuce Also Contains Antioxidants Which Help Protect Our Bodies Against Diseases

They help build a stronger immune system and help defend the body against free radicals, which are known to pose a considerable threat to healthy tissues and cells.

What Is Cabbage?

Like the lettuce, cabbage is another leafy vegetable. Cabbage comes in different colors, white, red, or green.

It is round and made of several layers of white and light green leaves. It is mainly eaten raw and is very healthy.

Cabbage is eaten in most parts of the world, making it one of the most popular vegetables.

There are several types of cabbage, namely, cannonball cabbage, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, January king cabbage, choy sum, and bok choy.

Read: How To Reduce Salt In Curry

The Nutritional Value of Cabbage

Cabbage, like lettuce, is mostly water. It is also a very good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Like the lettuce, cabbage also contains several vitamins such as Vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, et cetera.

It is also rich in antioxidants such as choline, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, et cetera.

For a serving size of a hundred grams, water constitutes about 92.18 grams, energy 103 KJ, protein 1.28g, total lipids also known as fats 0.1g, ash 0.64g, carbohydrate 5.8g, fiber 2.5g, sugars 3.2g, sucrose 0.08g, glucose 1.67g, fructose 1.45g, maltose 0.01g.

The above sums up the nutritional value of cabbages, proving that cabbages are highly nutritious vegetables.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

The importance of cabbage in our regular diet cannot be overemphasized. They possess so many nutrients, which makes them incredibly healthy for consumption. Some of these health benefits include the following;

Cabbage Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Like the lettuce, cabbage also has anti-inflammatory properties present. They contain glutamine and sulforaphane, which are well-known anti-inflammatory agents.

Cabbage is particularly effective in alleviating pains or inflammation in the joints, feverish conditions, et cetera.

Cabbage Is Rich in Fiber Which Aids Digestion

This is also another fantastic health benefit of cabbage. It also contains glucosinolates (present in most plants of the Brassicaceae family, such as cabbage, broccoli, et cetera), which also help for easy bowel movements.

Cabbage Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Cabbage also helps lower blood pressure, thereby reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases.

Cabbage also contains polyphenols which are very effective in lowering blood pressure.

Cabbage Helps Lose Weight

Healthy vegetables such as cabbage are regularly recommended for those who intend to lose weight.

Cabbage is rich in specific vitamins and minerals, essential in any weight loss program.

Calories are responsible for weight gain, and cabbage’s calorie content is relatively low.

Healthy eating coupled with regular exercise would help reduce excess weight.

How to Tell the Difference Between Lettuce and Cabbage

Are lettuce and cabbage related? Unfortunately, the answer to that is mostly no. They might be linked because they are both vegetables, but that is precisely where the similarity ends.

Cabbage and lettuce belong to different families, and their nutritional profiles, textures, flavors/taste couldn’t be any more different.

While they may be leafy vegetables, they belong to very different families. For example, cabbage belongs to the Cruciferae/Brassicaceae family, while lettuce belongs to an entirely different family known as the Asteraceae family.

The looks also couldn’t be more different. The cabbage is shaped like a ball with a short stem and other layers of vegetables, while the lettuce also has a short stem that is not rounded like a ball.

The leaves in cabbage are packed to be incredibly tight, while the leaves in lettuce are arranged more loosely.

The nutritional value of both leaves is also quite different. Cabbage contains, amongst other nutrients, glutamine which is an anti-inflammatory agent, while lettuce contains folic acid and vitamin A. Both leaves are very healthy and help our bodies function correctly.

Another significant difference between both leaves is the taste. The taste of both leaves differs significantly.

The lettuce comes across as mild in flavor when introduced to our mouth, while cabbage comes across as sharp and mildly crunchy when eaten raw, as is the case with most people.

Both leaves are usually consumed raw, primarily when used in making vegetable salads. They also both taste delicious regardless of the difference in taste.

They’re also both cultivated in different climates. Lettuce is considered an annual plant (which simply means it grows yearly), and it grows in warmer temperatures, while cabbage is biennial and grows mainly in a colder climate.

Read: How To Peel Cabbage Leaves Without Breaking Them


The article addressed questions such as; what is lettuce? What is cabbage? Are lettuce and cabbage related?

And several more. Lettuce and cabbage are both leafy and healthy vegetables, but they belong to different families and are very different.

This piece was written with the intent to show you how to tell the difference between lettuce and cabbage while also giving you in-depth knowledge of their health benefits.

We believe this piece was both helpful and informative and will implore you to help share it across your social media platforms.

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