Benefits Of Bok Choy
- Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage, spoon cabbage, or pak choi) is a cruciferous vegetable from the Brassicaceae family. The other related vegetables to Bok Choy are cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Unlike cabbage and cauliflower, Bok Choy does not have a head but possesses extensive dark green leaves with crusty white stems.
- Bok Choy is indigenous to China and one of the most well-liked veggies consumed. However, Bok Choy is now extensively cultivated globally for its beneficial nutrients .
- As we all know, green vegetables are a healthy part of our balanced diet. Many of you might have queried what Bok Choy vegetable contains and their potential health benefits.
The present article attempts to clarify everything regarding Bok Choy nutrition and its potential human health benefits.So keep reading to explore in depth about the Bok Choy vegetable.
Bok Choy Nutrition
70 grams of finely chopped Bok Choy consist of the following nutrients-
- Calories- 9
- Fiber- 1 gram (gm)
- Carbohydrate- 1.5 gm
- Fat- 0 gm
- Protein- 1 gm
- Sugar – 1 gm
- Iron- 3 % of DV ( daily value)
- Calcium- 6% of DV
- Potassium – 4% of DV
- Magnesium- 3% of DV
- Phosphorus- 2% of DV
- Selenium- 1% of DV
- Magnesium- 3% of DV
- Zinc- 1% of DV
- Folate- 12 % of DV
- Vitamin K- 27% of DV
- Vitamin A- 17% of DV
- Vitamin C- 35% of DV .
Percentage daily value is the percent of the daily amount of nutrients in a food serving. Daily value is the maximum amount of nutrients one should consume daily.
Bok Choy contains an excellent amount of vitamins K and C. It also possesses fibers that aid in maintaining our digestive health and also prevent us from persistent diseases. The other nutrients in Bok Choy help our body’s general fitness.
Health Benefits of Bok Choy
- Enhances the heart health
- Maintains the blood pressure
- Prevents cancer
- Strengthen the bone health
- Helps thyroid function (in moderate consumption)
- Decreases inflammation
- Enhances the skin health
- Prevents diabetes
- Boosts the body’s immune response
- Maintains healthy pregnancy
- Promotes the eye health
- Helps with weight loss
Enhances the heart health
- The Bok Coy nutrients viz; calcium, magnesium, and potassium assist in maintaining the body’s normal blood pressure and healthy heart
- Uncontrolled blood pressure is the root cause of several heart-related ailments. Bok Choy also has vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folates (vitamin B9) that help prevent the blood vessels homocysteine (protein building block) deposition, thereby preventing persistent heart diseases and stroke. A stroke is when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain .
Maintains the blood pressure
- Bok Choy nutrients viz; calcium, magnesium, and potassium help control our blood pressure.
- Research studies have indicated that a daily potassium intake of around 4700 milligrams might reduce the body’s blood pressure, which has increased because of increased sodium consumption. The study also indicated that an individual’s daily sodium intake must be less than 1500 milligrams .
- Research studies have found that green veggies, including Bok Choy, have cancer-preventive properties due to the presence of glucosinolates (sulfur-containing compounds) and isothiocyanates (natural compounds formed from glucosinolates)
- Studies have found that consuming Bok Choy once in 7 days reduced the risk of certain cancers viz; breast, kidney, and esophageal cancers compared to those that do not or rarely consume Bok Choy.
- Moreover, Bok Choy also has selenium having antitumor properties. Research studies have found that high consumption of green vegetables, including Bok Choy, decreases the probability of abdominal cancer.
- In another study, researchers have found that people with high selenium in their blood have decreased risk of lung, breast, and prostate cancer 6 Cancer | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health, 7 Stomach Cancer | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health.
Strengthen the bone health
- Vitamins and minerals in Bok Choy viz; vitamin D, K, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus are vital in maintaining bone health. Iron and zinc helps in vitamin D and collagen production.
- Collagen is a protein that gives structural support to joints, cartilage, bones, and other body tissues.
- Research has indicated that decreased levels of the body’s minerals result in reduced production of collagen and increased risk of bone fractures .
Helps thyroid function (in moderate consumption)
- Bok Choy contains selenium, a necessary nutrient for correct thyroid functioning. The thyroid is a gland present at the frontal part of the neck’s base. It produces hormones (chemical messengers) necessary for proper growth and energy utilization.
- Research studies have found that people with lower levels of selenium in the blood have an increased risk of hypothyroidism and goiter (thyroid gland enlargement). Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland cannot make adequate thyroid hormone .
- Nutrients in Bok Choy viz; choline and antioxidants help maintain muscle movement, thinking, and proper brain functioning. It also helps reduce pain and swelling and nullifies the oxidative stress in the body.
- It prevents the risk of persistent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease .
Enhances the skin health
- Bok Choy contains a lot of vitamin C to neutralize the body against harmful substances.
- It also protects the body from harmful sun radiations and thus prevents skin injury. It also helps in collagen synthesis, which is essential for maintaining good skin texture and preventing wrinkle formation .
- Research studies have found that green vegetables, including Bok Choy, can keep the sugar level regular.
- It reduces the probability of type 2 diabetes .
Boosts the body’s immune response
- Bok Choy nutrients viz; selenium, vitamin C improves the body’s ability to fight against infections. It helps produce immune cells (T-cells) that protect the body against harmful microorganisms .
Maintains healthy pregnancy
- Bok Choy nutrient viz; folate is essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
- The folate requirement during pregnancy gets doubled. Inadequate folate consumption during pregnancy can lead to fetal complications and congenital disabilities, so pregnant women should incorporate enough green veggies, including Bok Choy, into their regular diet to carry a risk-free pregnancy .
Promotes the eye health
- Bok Choy nutrient viz; vitamin A helps in maintaining the correct vision
- It helps in preventing blurred vision with increasing age and decreases the chance of age-related eye disorders, viz; age-related macular degeneration .
Helps with weight loss
- Bok Choy has meager calories, and its fiber content makes you feel full for an extended period.
- It also reduces hunger and decreases the urge for food intake in the next meal and thus helps in weight loss .
However, more studies are warranted to confirm the effect of Bok Choy on weight loss.
Is Bok Choy a Superfood?
- Bok Choy is a nutrient-dense food (superfood). Bok Choy has many different vitamins viz: A, K, C, various minerals, and antioxidants. It has multiple properties which aid in our health in various ways .
Bok Choy & Thyroid
Bok Choy & Thyroid
- Raw Bok Choy contains myrosinase enzyme (protein) that disintegrates the glucosinolates present in vegetables. Glucosinolates are natural nitrogen and sulfur-containing compounds present in green leafy vegetables.
- The disintegrated products of glucosinolates hamper the iodine absorption needed for our appropriate thyroid functioning.
- In some rare cases, studies have found that individuals who consumed 1200 to 1500 grams of raw Bok Choy every day for several months experienced severe thyroid issues (hypothyroidism) and coma .
So, people should avoid taking vast amounts of raw Bok Choy or other green veggies for a comprehensive period.
Eating Bok Choy Everyday
- 70 to 100 grams of Bok Choy is safe for most people to consume daily. However, one must remember that excess consumption of raw Bok Choy might obstruct general thyroid functioning. So, people should always consume green veggies, including Bok Choy, in moderate food amounts.
Bok Choy & Spinach
Is Bok Choy better than Spinach?
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture, an equal amount of raw Bok Choy and spinach, when compared, researchers found that raw Bok Choy contains more amount of vitamins C and A. But both vegetables have the same amount of calcium.
- However, spinach has a higher quantity of vitamin K than Bok Choy. Also, it contains some other nutrients which are in higher amounts than Bok Choy.
- So, overall, both are nutritious, healthy vegetables that one can incorporate in food amounts to a daily diet based on accessibility .
Raw or Cooked
Is Bok Choy Healthier in Raw or Cooked form?
Bok Choy is healthy in both cooked and raw form. When one opting to consume the natural, one must keep in mind the following things-
- The raw Bok Choy might harbor some harmful bacteria, viz; salmonella that might cause food poisoning, so one must thoroughly wash the raw Bok Choy under running water to avert potential food contamination before chopping and eating.
- Moreover, raw Bok Choy contains more goitrogens than cooked form, so one must take it in small food amounts.
- People with thyroid issues must go for the cooked form of Bok Choy rather than the raw form. However, individuals with thyroid issues who are confused about incorporating the Bok Choy vegetable into their diet must speak to the doctor to make the best decision based on their health and fitness.
Bok Choy-Key Takeaways
- Bok Choy is a nutritious leafy veggie indigenous to China, but now it is grown globally for its nutritional benefits.
- Bok Choy is rich in several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, suitable for our general health.
- People should prefer to eat Bok Choy in the cooked form to decrease the myrosinase intake, which might hamper correct iodine absorption and thyroid functioning. However, eating moderate amounts of this vegetable does not cause health issues.
- Bok Choy contains adequate vitamin K, so people on blood thinning medication must consult a health professional before including Bok Choy in their regular diet.
- Bok Choy can greatly add to an average individual’s healthy, balanced diet.