Often praised by the ancient Chinese through their writings and poetry, bok choy has been around more than 6,000 years. In fact, seeds have been found in one archeological excavation of an ancient Chinese village. In the 18th and 19th century, bok choy made its way to Europe where it also became popular.
In China, bok choy is one of the most popular vegetable used in cooking. They considered this vegetable extremely flavorful and nutritious. It is best in stir fries, stew and soup.
A member of the cabbage family, although it does not look like one, actually looks more like a celery with its green leaves and white stalks. As compared to cabbage, bok choy has a much lighter taste, better texture and a slight mustard tang. The stalks are crunchy, slightly sweet and juicy. It is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower. Except for the months of July and August, this vegetable is available year round and is best when bought in the fall and winter. It is commonly grown in California and Canada and mostly found in grocery stores and ethnic markets.
The nutritional value that can be found in bok choy is plentiful. It is full of vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron.
This vegetable is a powerful cancer fighter due to the glucosinolates it contains, including brassinin, a phytoalexin found in Chinese cabbage that is an effective inhibitor of stage two skin carcinogenesis.
Bok choy has a rich supply of beta carotene, an antioxidant that is known to reduce the risk of cancer and may even actually reverse the damages that has already been done by the cancer cells in the body. Your eyes can also benefit from beta carotene as it can prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Simply eating bok choy has a natural thermo genic effect, a wonderful veggie for weight watchers and in addition, it has a very low glycemic load which is an ideal diet for people with diabetes. As a rich source of fiber, it can help you obtain a healthy digestive system by helping remove the waste through the intestines, keeping everything moving through the digestive tract.
In Chinese medicine, bok choy is thought to contain the yin energy to help balance the energy of the stomach, gall bladder, kidney and lungs.
While bok choy can provide you with substantial vitamins and nutrients, it should be eaten in moderation. Too much of this vegetable, especially in the raw state, can have a serious effect to the thyroid glands. For people with hypothyroidism, it is advised to avoid eating this food.
Here’ a nice foodie tip for you…. Try steamed baby bok choy with oyster sauce…delizioso!
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