Gout diet foods – is cabbage gout benign or gout malign?

This page, which discusses cabbages  for gout, was last reviewed or updated on 24 November 2015.


It's hard to see why green cabbage can't be anything other than one of the good gout diet foods. Cabbage is low purine. Although it won't lower uric acid, neither will it raise it.

You can eat cabbage on any of these diets. Every nutritionist approves of it, even if your kids don't. Such unanimity in nutrition is as refreshing as an ice cold towel on a hot day.

Nutrition data on this page (below)  is taken from the high quality USDA National Nutrient database, and the USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected foods Release 3 (2011), both of which you can download free from our free-gout-resources page.

These are the gout-positive vital nutrition statistics for cabbage (green, common): 

100 grams of raw cabbage, uncooked. GI is the Glycemic Index. On the GI, low is good, medium is not bad, high is poor.

Purines:        Low.

Carbs:          5.8g.

Fibre (fiber): 2.5g.

Net carbs:     3.3g.

GI:                 Low.

Kcalories:      25

Vitamin C:     37mg.

pH:                Alkalising.(Alkalizing).

All this means cabbage is a good gout diet food. But it isn't in the premier division of those foods which have a reputation for helping with gout (cherries, celery, strawberries etc). Savoy cabbage has a similar profile. 

But now read about red cabbage, which may be due for promotion to the premier division of gout diet foods.


Red cabbage might lower uric acid and here's why, although my argument has not been scientifically studied. It has a higher level of vitamin C than green (57 mg/100 grams v 37 mg/100grams). Eat, or intake, just 500 mg of vitamin C daily and one study found that you’ll excrete more uric acid.

On the other hand, another vitamin C and uric acid study at 500 mg did not really lower it, but this dose may well  have been too low.(1) 

Doses above 1 gram have been successful. And if you can get vitamin C naturally in those foods with flavonoids, which aid its absorption, even better. Plus you can supplement with another 500 mg from a vitamin C dietary supplement. The amount in 200 grams of red cabbage will take you 20% of the daily way if you aim at 500 mg from food.

Red cabbage for gout  Now here's something very interesting about red cabbage. One of its ingredients is the flavonoid (aka plant polyphenol or polyphenol) anthocyanidin named cyanidin. Cyanidin just happens to be the most abundant flavonoid anthocyanidin in sweet, raw cherries, which have 75mg per 100 grams. Red cabbage has virtually the same amount of cyanidin – 73 mg/100 grams, and this is much, much more than in sour cherries. 

And yet both kinds of cherries are thought to be as good as each other for gout.

Raw red cabbage also has much more vitamin C than sweet, raw cherries (7mg) and sour raw cherries (10mg). 

Flavonoids such as these are speculated to be the reason why cherries have lowered uric acid levels in two studies by inhibiting its production, but precisely which ones do this has not been publicly identified.  Cherries have not reduced uric acid as much as gout medications such as allopurinol, febuxostat and probenecid.

100 grams of raw red cabbage, uncooked. GI is the Glycemic Index. On the GI, low is good, medium is not bad, high is poor.

Purines:        Low.

Carbs:           7.4g.

Fibre (fiber):  2.1g.

Net carbs:      5.3g.        

GI:                  Low.        

Kcalories:        31.

Vitamin C:        57mg.

pH:                   Alkalising.(Alkalizing).

The GI of red cabbage is our estimate. We estimate it to be low, about the same as green cabbage. This is because the Glycemic (Glycaemic) Index depends on three factors - the amount of carbohydrates, fats, and fibres (fibers) in a food. Both fibre (fiber) and fat slow the absorption of carbohydrate. Slower absorption of carbohydrate means a lower GI number, reckoned to be better. 

In red cabbage, the amount of sugars (which are carbohydrates) is very similar to those in green cabbage. Red cabbage has slightly more fat than green but of course neither have very much - vegetables are not fatty foods. And both have similar amounts of fibre (fiber). Red cabbage is low purine, like green. In fact one purines table has it with slightly fewer purines than green cabbage.

So do you eat red cabbage for gout ?

It has useful amounts of Vitamin C and cyanidin. Try it and see !


Some folk have said cauliflower causes gout. Can it? Visit our cauliflower for gout page.

Tomatoes. A lot of people wonder. Does eating them lead to gout toes ?

Parsley probably won't reduce your uric acid level, but read why it's a good food for gout.

How good are melons for a gout diet? We examine their merits.

Return to the first page about gout diet foods


Study References

(1)  Lisa K. Stamp, John L.O'Donnell, Christopher Frampton, Jill M. Drake, Mei Zhang, Peter T. Chapman  Clinically Insignificant Effect of Supplemental Vitamin C on Serum Urate in Patients With Gout: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.  Arthritis & Rheumatism. Volume 65, Issue 6, pages 1636–1642, June 2013.

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