Bok choy

Studies have shown that those people who eat more bok choy which is a cruciferous vegetable have a lower risk of developing cancer as it has anti-cancer properties and is full of antioxidants and other compounds that help in promoting better health. 

What is bok choy?

Bok choy is a Chinese white cabbage that belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It was first cultivated in China and is now available all over the world. It’s a non-heading cabbage that has thick crunchy white stems and broad green leaves. It is easy to prepare and is a common ingredient in Asian soups and stir-fries. 

Bok Choy has a good supply of nutrients and has low calories which makes it one of the perfect choices for a healthy diet.

Health Benefits Of Bok Choy

Bok choy is a good supplement of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and other nutrients that make it a must in the diet. It is rich in antioxidants that promote health. Along with being healthy it also has a crunchy and delicious taste. Health benefits of bok choy include :

  • Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease Bok choy contains folate and vitamin B6 which help in lowering the risk of developing heart disease. Homocysteine in large amounts can damage our blood vessels and can increase the risk of heart problems so, these nutrients help in removing homocysteine from our blood.

    Studies have shown that diets high in leafy green vegetables create a lower risk of developing any kind of heart disease.

    It is also high in potassium and calcium which help in lowering high blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart-related problems. 
  • Boosts Immune HealthBok choy contains a nutrient called selenium that contributes to a healthy immune system, enabling our body to fight all harmful viruses and bacteria.
  • Aids in the Prevention of Cancer- Studies show that cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy are full of cancer-fighting compounds like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, fibers, and selenium.

    Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene: powerful antioxidants that help in preventing cell damage. Thus, lowering the risk of developing cancer.

    Selenium: slow down the growth rate of tumors.

    Fibers: keeps your digestive system healthy and can help to prevent colon cancer
  • Keeps Skin Healthy- Bok choy contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights free radicals and helps to reduce damage to our skin caused by the sun, smoke, or pollution. Vitamin C also helps to fight signs of aging such as wrinkles and  fine lines
  • Protects Eye Health- Not only carrots which are high in beta-carotene helps in lowering your risk of developing age-related eye diseases as you age but bok choy also has a similar feature as it contains a decent amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene which helps in keeping our eyes healthy.
    Consuming 1 cup of bok choy contains more than half of vitamin A as recommended by the nutritionist.

Nutrients in Bok Choy

Bok choy is a vegetable which contains a lot of nutrients and is filled with many essential nutrients i.e. vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and many other. It has:

  • Vitamins A, C, K
  • Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6
  • Calcium, potassium, magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Copper

Nutrients based on Serving

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of raw bok choy contains:

  • 9 calories
  • 0 g of cholesterol
  • 1 g of sugar
  • 05 g of protein
  • 1 g of carbohydrates
  • 7 g of dietary fiber
  • 74 mg of calcium

Children up to 4 years of age need less of these nutrients and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require more nutrients.

Ranking of Bok Choy among other Vegetables

Bok choy holds the sixth rank on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) for fruits and vegetables.

This index gives the highest rankings to foods with the most nutrients per calorie based on their vitamin and mineral content, antioxidant capacity, and phytochemical composition.

The American Diabetes Association describes non-starchy vegetables such as cruciferous vegetables which include bok choy, as “ a food group where your appetite can be satisfied.”

How to Cook Bok Choy?

Bok choy is used as an addition to many dishes. It’s a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, stir-fries, and soups. It has low-calorie and high nutrient content, its mildly sweet flavor, and crisp texture makes it a great addition to almost any dish. It takes few minutes to cook and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Some ways are:

  • Served raw in the form of salad
  • Steamed
  • Grilled
  • Chopped bok choy can be added to soups, stews, or stir fry

The risks of consuming bok choy in the diet:

  • Like all cruciferous vegetables raw bok choy contains an enzyme called myrosinase which can hinder thyroid function by preventing our body from absorbing iodine but Cooking it nicely can deactivate it.
  • Bok choy also contains glucosinolates which can prevent cancer in small doses but can be toxic in large doses, especially to people who are already ill.
  • It also contains salicylates, which are related to aspirin. IF a person is sensitive to aspirin he should first consult a doctor.
  • Bok choy contains Vitamin K which helps in blood clotting, which may cause problems to individuals taking blood thinners. So, Firstly you should consult your doctor before adding it to your diet.

FAQs

Ques. Is bok choy healthy?
Ans. Bok choy is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and is rich in vitamin K. It is a good source of dietary fiber.

Ques. How do you prepare bok choy?
Ans. It can be eaten raw or chopped fresh for salads. Otherwise, it can be quickly cooked so the stalks stay crisp and the leaves get tender.  

Ques. What does bok choy taste like?
Ans. Bok choy or Chinese white cabbage is a staple ingredient in Asian dishes. It has tender dark green leaves and crispy off-white-colored stalks. The greens have a spinach-like taste with a very mild bitterness.

Ques. Is bok choy healthier than spinach?
Ans. Bok choy contains more vitamin C, vitamin A, and some other nutrients than spinach and around the same amount of calcium. Spinach, however, contains higher amounts of some other nutrients, including vitamin K.

Ques. Is bok choy a Superfood?
Ans. Yes, bok choy is a superfood as it is a. Cruciferous veggie which is rich in fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.

Ques. What part of bok choy do you eat?
Ans. Bok Choy is a cruciferous vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family. All parts can be eaten of bok choy.  

Ques. Can you eat too much bok choy?
Ans. Bok choy overload can be dangerous as it contains an enzyme that can hinder the thyroid’s ability to function. Cooking bok choy can deactivate the enzyme.

Ques. How do you cook bok choy so it’s not bitter?
Ans. Adult bok choy is used in soups. So sometimes it’ll depend on the vegetable itself, you can get some that are not bitter or can use in less quantity.

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