Bok choy (American English), pak choi (British English), or pok choi (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis) is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads and have green leaf blades with lighter bulbous bottoms instead, forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard greens.
Chinensis varieties are popular in southern China and Southeast Asia. Being winter-hardy, they are increasingly grown in Northern Europe. Now considered a subspecies of Brassica rapa, this group was originally classified as its own species under the name Brassica chinensis by Carl Linnaeus. They are a member of the family of Brassicaceae or Cruciferae, also commonly known as the mustards, the crucifers, or the cabbage family.
BOK CHOY NUTRITION FACTS
Bok choy, also known as leafy Chinese-cabbage, is one of the popular vegetables in the mainland China, Philippines, Vietnam and other East-Asian regions. At the same time, this humble Brassica family leafy- vegetable has captured attention of the western world for its sweet, succulent nutritious leaves and stalks.
SIGNS, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT
In structure, bok choy resembles collards and could be described as a non-heading cabbage (Acephala group). It is a small plant which grows uprights from the ground surface with smooth white romaine lettuce like stalks, which spread at its top to fine, glossy green, oval or round leaves. Fully grown-up bok choy may reach about 12-18 inches in height.
Brassica campestris group can be further categorized according to the color of petioles in its leaves as:
White petioled; varieties include joi choi, pak-choy white, prize choi, lei choi, taisai canton pak choi. Etc.
Green petioled types are Chinese pak choi green, mei Qing choi. etc.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BOK CHOY
● Bok choy is one of the popular very low-calorie leafy vegetables. Nonetheless, it is a very rich source of many vital phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and health benefiting antioxidants.
● as in other Brassica family vegetables, bok choy too contains certain antioxidant plant chemicals such as thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates. Together with dietary fiber and vitamins, these compounds help protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers and help reduced LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood.
● Fresh pak choi is an excellent source of water soluble antioxidant, vitamin C, (ascorbic acid). 100 g provides 45 mg or 75% of daily requirements of vitamin-C. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against and scavenge harmful, pro-inflamatory free radicals from the body.
● Bok-choy has more vitamin-A, carotenes, and other flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants than cabbage, cauliflower, etc. Just 100 g fresh leaves provide 4468 IU or 149% of daily-required levels vitamin A.
● Pak choi is an excellent source of vitamin K, provides about 38% of RDA levels. Vitamin-K has a potential role in the bone metabolism by promoting osteoblastic activity inside bone cells. Hence, enough Vitamin-K in the diet makes bone stronger, healthier and delay osteoporosis. Further, vitamin-K also has been found to have an established role in curing Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain
● Fresh bok choy is a vital sources of B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that our body requires them from external sources to replenish.
● Further, this leafy vegetable is a moderate source of minerals, particularly calcium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important electrolyte inside the cells and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, super oxide dismutase. Iron is required for the red blood cell formation.