Howdy everyone! How is the week going so far? I started my cleanse and so far so good, but more on that later. Today’s post in our food adventure series is about bok choy. If you missed the last (and first) food adventure series, check out last week’s vegan brownies and the nutritional data on white, milk and dark chocolate. Also, if you’re confused on what the food adventure series is, take a look at this post where I explain my idea. And don’t forget to send me your food adventure series ideas. 🙂
So, back to bok choy. My inspiration came from a beautiful bunch I found at our grocery store a few weeks ago. I love bok choy and couldn’t resist. Spoiler alert: my next post will be a recipe for bok choy soup. Be sure to check back!
Bok choy, baby bok choy, chinese cabbage, snow cabbage are all the same. It is a vegetable native to China and popular for centuries. The stem, crunchy in texture (if consumed raw) is usually white but a few varieties can be found with a light green stem. It opens up to beautiful long, flowing green leaves, slightly resembling cabbage. Baby bok choy stands about 6 inches tall and other varieties can grow twice as high.
Any vegetable that has dark leafy greens is going to be good for you and your body. Just like kale or spinach, bok choy is a good source of beta-carotene, calcium and vitamins A and C. Here’s a brief breakdown of these nutrients:
- Beta-carotene: A carotenoid (sounds like carrot, right?) and phytonutrient is most popularly found in fruits and vegetables with a red, yellow or orange color. But it is also found in dark, leafy greens because the yellow/orange color of the carotene is hidden by the chlorophyll in the leaves. It acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that harm cells that could eventually lead to cancer or other age-related diseases.
- Vitamin A: Carotenoids form Vitamin A. It helps vision, both day and at night as well as growth and health of cells and tissues in the body, protects from infection and regulates the immune system. Intake, from the age of 14 and up should be about 900 micrograms (about 0.9 milligrams) for men and about 700 micrograms (0.7 milligrams) for women daily. If you are breastfeeding, you should be ingesting about 1200 micrograms of vitamin A daily.
- Calcium: Yes, calcium can be found in foods other than dairy! If you eat your greens, you will be eating a good amount of calcium. Calcium helps to make and keep bones strong, helps muscles to contract and helps to regulate the heart beat. It also aids in clotting the blood when necessary. Adults through 50 years of age should consume about 1000 milligrams of calcium per day and after 50 years, 1200 milligrams per day.
- Vitamin C: Is the most popular vitamin. It is good for an immune system boost, it also works as an antioxidant, but did you know it’s good for collagen production in the body? It also helps to keep the capillary and blood vessel walls firm and protects us from bruising. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron and folate, keeps gums healthy and helps to heal cuts, scrapes and wounds. If you are an adult male, you should be ingesting about 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily and 75 milligrams if you are female. A little more is necessary during pregnancy and 115-120 milligrams is necessary while breast feeding. Also, if you’re a smoker, increase your consumption of vitamin C by 35 milligrams because it is necessary to counteract the oxidative damage done by nicotine.
There you have it, all the good stuff bok choy compacts into a beautiful little vegetable. I actually think the baby ones are cute. Phil was joking that I should dress up like a bok choy for Halloween this year….maybe I will… 😉
If you’re tired of spinach and kale and want to switch up to another leafy green, try bok choy. It’s great in juice, salad, soup and great steamed and served on it’s own as well.
Have a happy day! Love to you all.