Benefits of Bok Choy
Benefits of Bok Choy

1. Bok choy
Bok choy belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for little calories. If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like bok choy should be at the very top of your grocery list.

2. Bok Choys Name
Bok choy is sometimes referred to as white cabbage, not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is also a type of Chinese cabbage. There are many kinds of bok choy that vary in color, taste, and size, including tah tsai and joi choi. You might also find bok choy spelled pak choi, bok choi, or pak choy.

3. Description
Bok choy is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which also includes broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage, mustard greens, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Bok choy is a type of cruciferous vegetable in which the leaves of the plant do not form a head. For this reason, it is often referred to as non heading and you will sometimes see bok choy being referred to as non heading Chinese cabbage. Because bok choy means white vegetable in Chinese, you may also hear it being referred to as white cabbage or white stem cabbage. However, as a practical matter, not all bok choy is white stemmed. While often white or cream colored, bok choy stalks can also be varying shades of green. (In fact, it is also possible to find yellow stemmed and purple stemmed bok choy.) But regardless of stem color, you can recognize bok choy as a non headed cabbage with distinct individual leaves that cluster together in a way that is similar to celery stalks.

4. History
Bok choy and other forms of Chinese cabbage has been enjoyed in China and other parts of Asia for over 1,500 years. And bok choy is by no means a total newcomer to North America either, having been cultivated on the continent for over 100 years. In the U.S., Florida, California, Hawaii, and New Jersey are key states in the commercial production of both headed and non headed Chinese cabbage, including bok choy. For example, about 4,500 acres of these Chinese vegetables are grown in Florida each year. When evaluated in the marketplace, bok choy is typically included among other Oriental vegetables that include both headed and non headed varieties of cabbages, mustards, and other cruciferous vegetables.

5. Its Plant Family
Bok choy might look a lot like celery, but it s a member of the cabbage family. Bok choy, also known as leafy Chinese cabbage, is one of the popular mainland crops in China, Philippines, Vietnam and other oriental regions. At the same time, this humble Brassica family vegetable has captured popularity even in the western world for its sweet, succulent nutritious leaves and stalks.

6. Where It s Grown
Although the veggie is still grown in China, bok choy is now also harvested in California and parts of Canada. Bok choy is one of the popular very low calorie, leafy vegetable. Nonetheless, it is a very rich source of many vital phyto nutrients, vitamins, minerals and health benefiting anti oxidants. 100 g of bok choy carries just 13 calories. It is one of the recommended vegetables in the zero calorie or negative calorie category of food items, which when eaten would add no extra calories into the body but facilitate calorie burns and reduction of body weight.

7. Cooking It
Bok choy, known for its mild flavor, is good for stir fries, braising, and soups. You can also eat it raw. As in other Brassica family vegetables, bok choy too contains certain anti oxidant plant chemicals such as thiocyanates, indole 3 carbinol, lutein, zea xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Together with dietary fiber and vitamins, these compounds help to protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers and help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the blood.

8. Antioxidant Benefits
As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), and manganese, and a good source of zinc, bok choy provides us with a concentration of these core conventional antioxidants. Yet, its antioxidant support extends beyond these conventional antioxidants to a wide range of other phytonutrient antioxidants. These phytonutrients include flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, as well as numerous phenolic acids (including significant amounts of hydroxycinnamic acids). It s important to understand the unique benefits provided by this diverse array of antioxidants. Different types of antioxidants function in different ways.

9. Anti Inflammatory Benefits
Many of the antioxidant nutrients listed above also provide anti inflammatory benefits. They not only lower the risk of oxygen based damage to your cells and body systems, but they also lower your risk of unwanted chronic inflammation. While it is a good thing for your body s inflammatory system to respond promptly to dangers or actual damage, it is not a good thing for it to continuously trigger inflammatory responses when there is not danger or actual damage. Anti inflammatory phytonutrients in bok choy help prevent this type of continuous and unwanted inflammation from occurring. Yet in addition to these phytonutrients, bok choy also provides you with two additional anti inflammatory nutrients.

10. Other Health Benefits
Bok choy has been included in human studies of cruciferous vegetables that have shown decreasing risk of certain cancers when these vegetables were consumed on a frequent basis, usually involving one or more daily servings. At least part of this protection has been associated with the glucosinolate content of the cruciferous vegetables, including bok choy. (Glucosinolates are unique sulfur containing compounds that have been shown to have cancer protective properties.) However, we have yet to see a study exclusively focused on bok choy in comparison to its fellow cruciferous vegetables, and we suspect that it would rank on the lower end in terms of its glucosinolate related benefits since it contains a significantly lower amount of these sulfur containing compounds than other vegetables in the cruciferous family like Brussels sprouts or mustard greens.

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Benefits of Bok Choy

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