The word “bokchoy” simply means “white vegetable” in Chinese. It is a type of Chinese cabbage that comes under the cruciferous vegetable family. Its stems are usually white and has smooth and dark green leaf cluster. With the smaller bokchoy varieties, the stems are light green in color. The stems have a chewy texture with a mild and sweetish taste.
Bokchoy has over 70 phenolic antioxidants including several hydroxycinnamic acids, which are excellent for eliminating free radicals. Bokchoy contains high amounts of vitamin A, C, K, and several B-vitamins. It is also rich in calcium, choline, copper, fiber, folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, pantohenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Anti-cancer: Bokchoy contains sulfur-containing compounds that may help lower the risk of breast, prostate, lung and digestive tract cancers. These compounds help remove carcinogens from the body and prevent cancerous cells from developing.
Antioxidants: There are several phytonutrient antioxidants including flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, along with phenolic acids. These antioxidants help prevent unwanted oxygen damage to our cells and body systems. The antioxidants function in different ways and the combination of all of them provides excellent health benefits that can never be duplicated by man-made supplements.
Anti-inflammatory: The antioxidants in bokchoy provide excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease the risk of chronic and silent inflammation. They prevent the body’s inflammatory system from responding to triggers that are not real danger or damaging. The high content of vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin, has proven to be helpful at regulating the body’s inflammatory responses, especially in the cardiovascular system.
Bone health: To maintain healthy strong bones, our bodies need magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K along with calcium, in the right proportions. Although vitamin K is known for its blood clotting role, it is also necessary for mineralization of bones. Including this nutrient powerhouse vegetable in our diet helps improve bone strength and health.
Brain health: Bokchoy is high in B vitamins, including folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5. These vitamins are crucial for energy and have the potential to slow brain shrinkage in brain sections that have been known to be most affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Heart health: High levels of homocysteine can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Folate and vitamin B-6 remove homocysteine from the blood and these nutrients are found in bokchoy. The high content of potassium, calcium and magnesium help regulate heartbeat and keep the heart healthy.
Liver detox: Bokchoy contains nutrients that are essential for detoxification of the liver. Including bokchoy juice in your diet regularly may help to improve liver health for overall wellbeing.
Skin health: Bokchoy contains several skin nutrients like antioxidant carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium and selenium. When these nutrients are combined with other superfoods, bokchoy juice is a great way to improve skin health and complexion.
Vision health: Bokchoy is high in vitamin A, carotenoids that have an excellent ability to protect our eyes. Carotenoids can fight age-related macular degeneration, decrease the risk for cataracts, improve night vision and decrease the risk of other vision disorders.
Choose bokchoy that has firm, bright colored green leaves that have moist sturdy stems. Bokchoy should be stored in the fridge to prevent it from wilting.
Bokchoy can be juiced like kale or spinach and added to juices or smoothies for an excellent nutritional boost.
Bokchoy is a cruciferous vegetable. Individuals suffering from thyroid dysfunction should limit their consumption of bokchoy and other vegetables high in goitrogens.