As the weather gets colder and the seasons change from Summer to Autumn, we can take advantage and try out produce that gets harvested during Autumn. One vegetable that stands out as superfood is baby bok choy. A delicious vegetable that is extremely nutrient rich and goes well in many different dishes.
What is Baby Bok Choy?
Bok choy is a popular cruciferous vegetable that grows in a bunch and comes in different sizes. It kind of looks like a mix between romaine lettuce and spinach on the leafy top and like celery or napa cabbage at the bottom. It was originally cultivated from China thousands of years ago and nowadays it has been brought all over the world.
Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the regular bok choy. It is around half the size of the regular bok choy and all varieties of bok choy can be grown as the baby version. There actually is not much difference between baby bok choy and regular bok choy. Most people would say that baby bok choy tend to be slightly more sweeter and tender than regular bok choy.
Baby bok choy is a very nutrient dense vegetable. It is low in calories and contains a good amount of vitamin A, B6, C and K, calcium, folate and fibre. Since it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, it is a good superfood vegetable for you to eat to provide you the necessary nutrients. ‘
Bok choy is rich in antioxidants, these are compounds that can help protect your body from free radicals and oxidative stress damage. These usually can lead to inflammation and a variety of chronic diseases. In addition, like many other dark leafy greens, bok choy also contains quercetin. This antioxidant can help with reducing swelling, control your blood sugar and even reduce your chance of heart diseases.
Reducing Cancer Risks
Studies have shown that bok choy has the ability to reduce your risk of developing cancer. This is because bok choy is packed with antioxidants and also anti-cancer compounds such as vitamin C and E, folate and selenium. The antioxidants helps with preventing cell damage and selenium can help slow the rate of tumor growth. Studies have shown that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy have a lower risk of developing colon, lung and prostate cancer.
The selenium that appears in bok choy has been suggested to help with prevention of certain cancers. This is because selenium has the ability to reduce DNA damage and oxidative stress while also boosting your immune system. A review of studies have found that those who had high blood level of selenium have a correlation with a lower risk of certain types of cancers such as breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.
Reducing Heart Disease
Bok choy might also help lower your risk of developing heart diseases. Both folate and vitamin B6 are able to help remove homocysteine from your blood. If your body has high levels of homocysteine, it might lead to an increased risk for heart disease, dementia and stroke. Folate and vitamin B6 helps remove homocysteine by breaking down the homocysteine to create other chemical compounds your body might need. Through the breakdown of homocysteine, it is believed it can help decrease your risk of heart disease.
Your blood pressure might also be able to be reduced naturally through the consumption of bok choy. This is because bok choy is also high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. All of these are helpful in reducing your blood pressure. If your diet is good in potassium, it can help lower the chance of high blood pressure and thereby lowering your risk of heart disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that consuming around 4,700mg of potassium every day can help decrease the blood pressure that is caused by high sodium intake.
Reducing Thyroid Diseases
Selenium in bok choy has also the ability to help with the function of your thyroid gland. Selenium is crucial to thyroid hormone metabolism and in fact, the thyroid organ has the highest concentration of selenium in your body. Those who are deficient in selenium might see issues with their thyroid.
Because bok choy is high in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin K. It is also a vegetable that is helpful with your bone health. All of these help contribute to the building and maintenance of your bone structure and keeps your bones strong. It helps maintain your balance of calcium in your bones and also decrease the chance of bone fractures.
You might not expect it, but bok choy is also great for your skin. This is because it contains vitamin C and collagen actually relies on vitamin C. Collagen is important for our skin health and keeps our skin looking plump and elastic. Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen. It can help improve your collagen production and also give your skin a better glow.
Baby bok choy is definitely a superfood. It is pretty similar to the regular bok choy in that it also contains the same types of nutrients. The only difference between them is that baby bok choy is smaller and tend to taste milder and have more tender leaves. This is why I personally like baby bok choy as it goes pretty well with a lot of dishes.
However, if you can’t find baby bok choy in your supermarket, give bok choy a try. They are both very delicious and a superfood that can help provide a decent boost of nutrients. It is also super affordable and is a vegetable that is still being sold regularly during winter.
You can use baby bok choy in many different types of dishes. For example, I use it in soups, stir fry, steamed and even pickled into baby bok choy kimchi. If you haven’t tried it before, I would really recommend you to give it a try. One simple way of cooking it is just simmering the baby bok choy in chicken stock. It soaks up the chicken stock and becomes a tender vegetable for anybody to eat.