16 Complete Protein Pairings with Cabbage

Summary:

  • Cabbage contains a moderate amount of protein - about 16 grams per head.
  • However, cabbage provides only 3 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine.[1]
  • Cabbage pairs well with carrots, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, spirulina or dijon mustard to create a complete protein profile. [2] More cabbage pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of cabbage, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with cabbage that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of cabbage source

Amount of Protein in Cabbage

A decent source of supplementary protein, a single head of cabbage contains 16 grams of protein, or about 32% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with cabbage alone, you will need 3.1 heads of cabbage (3910 grams) for an average female, or 3.8 heads of cabbage for males. [4] That's about 977 calories, and a lot of cabbage! Supplementing cabbage with food higher in protein is a good idea.

Full nutritional profile for cabbage
USDA Source: Cabbage, raw

Macronutrients in 1 head (1248g) of cabbage:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
15.6% 312 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
2% 1.2 grams
Protein
31.9% 16 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Cabbage

Proportionally, cabbage does contain abundant amounts of 3 out of the nine essential amino acids. However, cabbage is a little short on isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with cabbage alone, you will have to eat 5.7 heads of cabbage (7167 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 83% more cabbage to compensate for the lack of isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 head (1248g) of cabbage:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
31.9% 15.974g
Histidine
43.6% 0.275g
Isoleucine
43.5% 0.374g
Leucine
27.1% 0.512g
Lysine
32.1% 0.549g
Methionine
17.4% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
26.8% 0.399g
Threonine
48.5% 0.437g
Tryptophan
52.8% 0.137g
Valine
48.5% 0.524g

More Complete Protein with Cabbage

Top vegan pairings with cabbage include:
  1. Carrots
  2. Pumpkin Seeds
  3. Chia Seeds
  4. Spirulina
  5. Dijon Mustard
  6. Pistachio
  7. Spinach
  8. Cashews
  9. Crimini Mushroom
  10. Avocado
  11. Flaxseeds
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with cabbage. These include:
  1. Sour Cream
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Yogurt
  4. Whipping Cream

Vegan 1. Carrots and Cabbage


image of carrots
image of cabbage

Low in protein, carrot is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.1 head of cabbage (126g) and 2.9 carrots (211g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1.7:1 of carrot to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 0.1 head cabbage and 2.9 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
7.2% 3.6g
Histidine
17.8% 0.11g
Isoleucine
23.3% 0.2g
Leucine
14.1% 0.27g
Lysine
15.7% 0.27g
Methionine
6.7% 0.06g
Phenylalanine
11.4% 0.17g
Threonine
49.7% 0.45g
Tryptophan
15.1% 0.04g
Valine
18.4% 0.2g

Vegan 2. Pumpkin Seeds and Cabbage


image of pumpkin seeds
image of cabbage

Pumpkin seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.3 head of cabbage (357g) and 0.4 cup of pumpkin seeds (26g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.07:1 of pumpkin seed to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 0.3 head cabbage and 0.4 cup pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.8% 9.4g
Histidine
33.8% 0.21g
Isoleucine
41.4% 0.36g
Leucine
29.4% 0.56g
Lysine
30.3% 0.52g
Methionine
17.6% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
23.8% 0.36g
Threonine
33.6% 0.3g
Tryptophan
47.8% 0.12g
Valine
49.9% 0.54g

Vegan 3. Chia Seeds and Cabbage


image of chia seeds
image of cabbage

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, chia seed is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.2 head of cabbage (260g) and 0.8 ounce of chia seeds (23g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.09:1 of chia seed to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for chia seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, chia seeds, dried

Table of amino acids of 0.2 head cabbage and 0.8 oz chia seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.2% 7.1g
Histidine
28.4% 0.18g
Isoleucine
30.4% 0.26g
Leucine
22.3% 0.42g
Lysine
19.7% 0.34g
Methionine
19.3% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
21.2% 0.32g
Threonine
28.2% 0.25g
Tryptophan
49.5% 0.13g
Valine
30.3% 0.33g

Vegan 4. Spirulina and Cabbage


image of spirulina
image of cabbage

Spirulina is a great source of protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.2 head of cabbage (284g) and 1.5 tablespoons of spirulina (11g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.04:1 of spirulina to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for spirulina
USDA Source: Seaweed, spirulina, dried

Table of amino acids of 0.2 head cabbage and 1.5 tbsp spirulina :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.4% 9.7g
Histidine
28.1% 0.18g
Isoleucine
49.3% 0.42g
Leucine
33.8% 0.64g
Lysine
26% 0.44g
Methionine
18.1% 0.16g
Phenylalanine
25.8% 0.38g
Threonine
45.9% 0.41g
Tryptophan
49.8% 0.13g
Valine
45.4% 0.49g

Vegan 5. Dijon Mustard and Cabbage


image of dijon mustard
image of cabbage

A great source of protein, dijon mustard is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.2 head of cabbage (223g) and 4.9 tablespoons of dijon mustard (29g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.13:1 of dijon mustard to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for dijon mustard
USDA Source: Spices, mustard seed, ground

Table of amino acids of 0.2 head cabbage and 4.9 tbsp dijon mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
21% 10.5g
Histidine
48.6% 0.31g
Isoleucine
48.1% 0.41g
Leucine
37.1% 0.7g
Lysine
37.3% 0.64g
Methionine
19.5% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
27.8% 0.41g
Threonine
35.9% 0.32g
Tryptophan
38.2% 0.1g
Valine
49.6% 0.54g

Vegan 6. Pistachio and Cabbage


image of pistachio
image of cabbage

Pistachio is a great source of protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.1 head of cabbage (160g) and 0.3 cup of pistachio (36g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.23:1 of pistachio to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pistachio
USDA Source: Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, without salt added

Table of amino acids of 0.1 head cabbage and 0.3 cup pistachio :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.3% 9.7g
Histidine
36.3% 0.23g
Isoleucine
45.9% 0.39g
Leucine
35.5% 0.67g
Lysine
29.3% 0.5g
Methionine
18% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
31.1% 0.46g
Threonine
34.9% 0.31g
Tryptophan
43.1% 0.11g
Valine
49.9% 0.54g

Vegan 7. Spinach and Cabbage


image of spinach
image of cabbage

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, spinach is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.2 head of cabbage (208g) and 8.3 cups of spinach (249g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1.2:1 of spinach to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for spinach
USDA Source: Spinach, raw

Table of amino acids of 0.2 head cabbage and 8.3 cup spinach :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.6% 9.8g
Histidine
32.6% 0.21g
Isoleucine
49.8% 0.43g
Leucine
33.9% 0.64g
Lysine
30.7% 0.52g
Methionine
18.2% 0.16g
Phenylalanine
26% 0.39g
Threonine
41.9% 0.38g
Tryptophan
46.1% 0.12g
Valine
45.2% 0.49g

Vegan 8. Cashews and Cabbage


image of cashews
image of cabbage

Cashew is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.2 head of cabbage (271g) and 1.2 ounces of cashews (35g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.13:1 of cashew to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for cashews
USDA Source: Nuts, cashew nuts, raw

Table of amino acids of 0.2 head cabbage and 1.2 oz cashews :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.6% 9.8g
Histidine
34.5% 0.22g
Isoleucine
41.3% 0.35g
Leucine
32.9% 0.62g
Lysine
25.8% 0.44g
Methionine
18.4% 0.16g
Phenylalanine
28% 0.42g
Threonine
37.1% 0.33g
Tryptophan
49.9% 0.13g
Valine
45.6% 0.49g

Vegan 9. Crimini Mushroom and Cabbage


image of crimini mushroom
image of cabbage

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, crimini mushroom is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 35.5 grams of cabbage and 2.6 cups of crimini mushroom (225g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 6:1 of crimini mushroom to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for crimini mushroom
USDA Source: Mushrooms, brown, italian, or crimini, raw

Table of amino acids of 35.5 grams cabbage and 2.6 cup crimini mushroom :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
12.1% 6.1g
Histidine
25.1% 0.16g
Isoleucine
27.1% 0.23g
Leucine
19% 0.36g
Lysine
34% 0.58g
Methionine
13% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
15.4% 0.23g
Threonine
29.6% 0.27g
Tryptophan
49.9% 0.13g
Valine
25.3% 0.27g

Vegan 10. Avocado and Cabbage


image of avocado
image of cabbage

Avocado is low in protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.2 head of cabbage (266g) and 2.9 avocado (400g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1.5:1 of avocado to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for avocado
USDA Source: Avocados, raw, California

Table of amino acids of 0.2 head cabbage and 2.9 fruit avocado :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
22.5% 11.2g
Histidine
39.8% 0.25g
Isoleucine
47.8% 0.41g
Leucine
35.6% 0.67g
Lysine
37% 0.63g
Methionine
20.9% 0.18g
Phenylalanine
31.2% 0.47g
Threonine
42.3% 0.38g
Tryptophan
49.8% 0.13g
Valine
49.2% 0.53g

Vegan 11. Flaxseeds and Cabbage


image of flaxseeds
image of cabbage

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, flaxseed is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.1 head of cabbage (110g) and 3.8 tablespoons of flaxseeds (39g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.36:1 of flaxseed to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for flaxseeds
USDA Source: Seeds, flaxseed

Table of amino acids of 0.1 head cabbage and 3.8 tbsp flaxseeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.3% 8.6g
Histidine
33.4% 0.21g
Isoleucine
45% 0.39g
Leucine
28.2% 0.53g
Lysine
22.7% 0.39g
Methionine
18.5% 0.16g
Phenylalanine
27.7% 0.41g
Threonine
37.9% 0.34g
Tryptophan
49.7% 0.13g
Valine
43.5% 0.47g

Vegetarian 12. Sour Cream and Cabbage


image of sour cream
image of cabbage

Sour cream is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.5 head of cabbage (624g) and 0.7 cup of sour cream (137g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.22:1 of sour cream to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 0.5 head cabbage and 0.7 cup sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
22.7% 11.3g
Histidine
41.8% 0.26g
Isoleucine
47.7% 0.41g
Leucine
36.9% 0.7g
Lysine
38.1% 0.65g
Methionine
21.1% 0.18g
Phenylalanine
27.8% 0.41g
Threonine
45.9% 0.41g
Tryptophan
48.5% 0.13g
Valine
49% 0.53g

Vegetarian 13. Mayonnaise and Cabbage


image of mayonnaise
image of cabbage

Low in protein, mayonnaise is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.4 head of cabbage (480g) and 2 cups of mayonnaise (436g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.9:1 of mayonnaise to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for mayonnaise
USDA Source: Salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular

Table of amino acids of 0.4 head cabbage and 2 cup mayonnaise :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.7% 10.3g
Histidine
34.8% 0.22g
Isoleucine
49.7% 0.43g
Leucine
32.3% 0.61g
Lysine
30.7% 0.52g
Methionine
24.5% 0.21g
Phenylalanine
27% 0.4g
Threonine
45.3% 0.41g
Tryptophan
48.8% 0.13g
Valine
48.5% 0.52g

Vegetarian 14. Yogurt and Cabbage


image of yogurt
image of cabbage

Yogurt is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of cabbage.

For example, 0.4 head of cabbage (480g) and 0.5 cup of yogurt (115g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.24 to 1:15 for cabbage to yogurt by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yogurt
USDA Source: Yogurt, plain, whole milk

Table of amino acids of 0.4 head cabbage and 0.5 cup yogurt :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.3% 10.1g
Histidine
32.5% 0.2g
Isoleucine
42.1% 0.36g
Leucine
31.7% 0.6g
Lysine
33.3% 0.57g
Methionine
20.4% 0.18g
Phenylalanine
24.9% 0.37g
Threonine
36.8% 0.33g
Tryptophan
29.2% 0.08g
Valine
49.3% 0.53g

Vegetarian 15. Whipping Cream and Cabbage


image of whipping cream
image of cabbage

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, whipping cream is high in isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to cabbage.

A ratio of 0.4 head of cabbage (480g) and 2.4 cups of whipping cream (143g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.3:1 of whipping cream to cabbage will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for whipping cream
USDA Source: Cream, whipped, cream topping, pressurized

Table of amino acids of 0.4 head cabbage and 2.4 cup whipping cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
21.4% 10.7g
Histidine
36.5% 0.23g
Isoleucine
48.9% 0.42g
Leucine
34% 0.64g
Lysine
33.6% 0.57g
Methionine
20% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
25.1% 0.37g
Threonine
41.5% 0.37g
Tryptophan
45.1% 0.12g
Valine
47% 0.51g


Complete Protein Pairings

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