Foods That Cause Gas: Cabbage And More

Foods That Cause Gas: Cabbage And More

The cabbage's crinkly green leaves hide a brainy treat inside, but some people avoid it because of its effect on their gut. Do you also feel like your stomach is acting weird after eating cabbage?

If so, you might’ve searched online, ‘Does cabbage cause gas?’ Well, the answer is yes. Let’s strip the layers of cabbage one by one and understand what makes cabbage so gassy.

Cabbage is a delicious and nutritious vegetable with many health benefits. Its vitamin C and potassium content contribute to overall health and immunity. It’s also rich in fiber and antioxidants, making this versatile veggie suitable for everything from stir fries to soups and rolls to noodles. 

However, there is a negative side to eating cabbages. Being a cruciferous vegetable, cabbage is known for causing digestive troubles in people. So, if you feel unusually full and tight or pass gas often after having cabbage, know you’re not alone.

Let’s begin by understanding ‘Why does cabbage cause gas?’ and learn ways to make it less gas-inducing.

Why does cabbage cause gas?

Who doesn’t love a creamy coleslawshredded cabbage and carrots dressed in mayo and vinegar? Nobody would think this leafy friend would turn hostile once it reaches your gut, making you wonder, ‘Why does cabbage cause gas?’

Though everyone may not face issues like gas and bloating, here are the top reasons why cabbage makes your stomach uncomfortable:

  • High fiber content: Fiber is good for digestion, helping the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. However, the high fiber content in cabbage sometimes overwhelms the digestive system, leaving the food undigested and making you feel bloated and gassy.

  • Presence of raffinose: Cabbage contains raffinose, an indigestible sugar that feeds the bacteria in the digestive tract. When bacteria try to break down this raffinose, it ferments, leading to the formation of gas. This gas builds up in the digestive system, causing discomfort and flatulence. The breakdown of raffinose also produces sulphur-containing glucosinolates, which give gas a distinct odour.

  • Contamination: Even though a few people experience gas after eating cabbage, you must be wary if it’s accompanied by sharp stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhoea. It could be because of a contaminated cabbage. If the cabbage is not properly washed and cooked, harmful bacteria can enter your body and cause foodborne illnesses. 

  • Underlying digestive issues: The answer to why does cabbage cause gas is not limited to its fiber and raffinose content. People with serious medical conditions like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), etc., may face gas, bloating, and nausea when they eat difficult-to-digest foods like cabbage. 

Now that we know why cabbage causes gas, let’s dive into some practical tips on preparing it to minimise digestive issues.

Tips to prepare cabbage to reduce gas


Whenever you prepare a meal with cabbage, you automatically think, ‘Does cabbage cause gas?’ ‘Will it disrupt your day and create tummy woes?’

Though eating cabbage can create gas problems in some, you don’t have to worry about throwing this garden gem out of your kitchen. You can still enjoy its varied benefits without the unpleasant side effects by following these simple cooking tips:

  • Fermentation: Have you ever had kimchi or sauerkraut? These fermented cabbage dishes are easier on the digestive system, as fermentation helps break down complex sugars in the vegetable. Moreover, they contain probiotics that support gut health. So, substituting raw cabbages with kimchi or sauerkraut can alleviate many gas problems. 

  • Steaming: Cooking vegetables usually makes them easier to digest. The same principle applies to cabbage. Steaming or stir-frying the cabbage will break down the difficult-to-digest compounds, thus reducing the likelihood of forming gas. However, if you're boiling the veggie, remember not to overdo it and drain the water, as it can lose its nutrient value.

  • Pairing with digestive aids: Pairing cabbage with the right herbs can improve digestion and reduce the chance of digestive troubles. So, next time you prepare a meal with cabbage, include carminative herbs and spices like ginger, cumin, turmeric, fennel, etc.

While these preparation tips help you overcome gas problems, you must also consider your cabbage intake and portion size. Eating a large portion of cabbage at a time can overload your stomach and create digestive hiccups. So, always choose smaller portions and pair cabbage with other easily digestible foods.

You know you haven’t had cabbage in a while but ate a lot one fine day, then immediately ponder, ‘Why does cabbage cause gas?’ The answer is there. A sudden intake of cabbage is also found to cause gas. Hence, it is recommended to gradually introduce it into your diet and increase its amount over time. 

Gradual dietary changes paired with the right gut-health regimen can work wonders. For a more comfortable digestive experience, explore personalised solutions with The Good Bug.

Secure these tips, and let’s put them into action with some delicious and gut-friendly cabbage recipes.

Easy cabbage recipes for gas troubles

Now that you know why does cabbage cause gas and how you can control it, it’s time to give a modern twist to the classic cabbage dishes and make them gut-friendly.

You might have understood how to prepare cabbage to reduce its gas-producing effect. Now, let us show you a few cabbage recipes that are not only delicious but also gentle on your gut.

Sautéed cabbage
  1. Sautéed cabbage: This quick and flavourful dish is a classic side dish for meals. It packs a punch of benefits, using digestive aids like fennel and cumin.


  • ½ medium cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 green chilli, chopped (optional)

  • Salt to taste

  • Pinch of turmeric powder (optional)


  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin and fennel seeds. 

  • Let them splutter for a few seconds (Optional: Add green chilli).

  • Add the sliced cabbage and saute for 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened.

  • Season with salt and turmeric (optional).

  • Serve hot with roti or rice.

  1. Spicy cabbage stir-fry: Unlike the usual stir-fries, this dish pairs the goodness of cabbage and carrots with natural herbs and spices.

spicy cabbage


  • ½ medium cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 grated carrot

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds

  • 1 green chilli, chopped

  • ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste

  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder

  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder

  • Salt to taste

  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  • Heat oil in a pan. 

  • Add mustard seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds.

  • Add green chilli and ginger-garlic paste, and saute for a minute.

  • Once the raw smell of ginger-garlic goes, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt.

  • Stir fry the masalas for a few seconds, then add cabbage and carrot. 

  • Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.

  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.


  1. Fermented cabbage salad: Take your regular salad for a spin with this appetising dish made of probiotics, which can aid digestion and reduce gas.

cabbage salad


  • ¼ medium cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 carrot, grated

  • 1 green chilli, chopped (optional)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Combine cabbage, carrot, green chilli (optional), and salt in a bowl.

  • Massage the mixture for a few minutes to release the juices.

  • Let it sit for 30 minutes or a few hours for a more fermented flavour.

  • Just before serving, add lemon juice and mix well.


  1. Cabbage Soup: This comforting soup is a great way to soothe an upset tummy.

cabbage soup


  • ½ medium cabbage, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 1 inch ginger, grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • Salt to taste

  • Chopped mint leaves for garnish


  • Heat oil in a pot. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds.

  • Add onion and saute until softened. Add ginger and garlic, and saute for another minute.

  • Add chopped cabbage, tomato, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (optional), and salt.

  • Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve hot.

These easy cabbage recipes are a delicious way to enjoy the benefits of this versatile vegetable without worrying about gas. So, go ahead and give them a try!

Gas can happen to anyone at any time. While taking cabbage off your grocery list is not practical, you must find ways to handle its negative side effects.

Following simple tips and experimenting with cooking can help control digestive troubles caused by eating cabbage. So, stop searching for ‘Does cabbage cause gas?’ and start taking effective steps to protect your gut health. 

Are you ready to say bye to gas troubles and unlock a happier gut? The Good Bug is your go-to partner for a healthier you!

Get personalised gut health solutions and expert advice from our registered dietitians. Call us today to grab the best of our prebiotics and probiotics!


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