Cabbage and lettuce are both leafy greens, but aside from their aesthetic similarities, are they actually the same thing?
The Short Answer:
No, cabbage and lettuce are completely different plants.
The Long Answer:
Most leafy greens seem to get lumped together, but the majority of them are completely different from one another. While many American kids see everything green as a check in their “no, thank you” column, various greens have different properties, which make them beneficial for different things.
In the case of cabbage and lettuce, while they may look somewhat similar, they’re completely different from one another on nearly every level.
When you look at cabbage and lettuce nutritionally, you immediately see stark differences. Cabbage has nearly twice the number of calories per serving, while also containing over twice the dietary fiber. In terms of vitamins, cabbage contains 60% of your daily average Vitamin C intake, whereas lettuce, on average, contains only 4%. Another benefit of cabbage is the presence of Vitamin B6, which does not exist within lettuce.
Cabbage and lettuce are entirely different plants as well and, thus, have very different growing conditions. Cabbage needs to be kept moist while growing, as its roots have a tendency to dry out easily. As such, cabbage needs to be grown in soil with a pH below 6.5. Lettuce primarily grows in the shade, requiring sandy soil and a pH between 6 and 7.
While cabbage and lettuce are not the same thing, they can sometimes be interchangeable. Lettuce has very little nutritional value, so substituting cabbage into your salad gives you an added boost of vitamins and fiber that will be beneficial to your daily life.