What is Bok Choy?
Bok choy somewhat resembles a large white celery stalk topped with romaine lettuce leaves, but it is actually a member of the cabbage family. It has been cultivated in China for centuries and is now also grown in North America. Bok choy’s green leafy tops make it an extremely healthy vegetable.
How to Choose a Fresh, Healthy Plant
Bok choy is conveniently available all year long. Look for firm, white bulblike bases with deep green leaves. Large bok choy is about 10 to 20 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Baby bok choy is 6 to 10 inches long and 11/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Avoid soft spots on the base and wilted or shriveled leaves. Bok choy can be stored in a plastic bag for no more than 3 days.
How to Cook Bok Choy
Bok choy is extremely versatile and can be boiled, steamed, stir-fried or even deep-fried. Baby bok choy is generally preferred over large for eating raw. Also, the green leafy tops will cook quicker than the large white stalks. For the best nutrient retention and to obtain all the health benefits of bok choy, chop and either steam or stir-fry just until slightly tender. Bok choy is also excellent in soups.
Health Benefits of Bok Choy
Bok choy is an excellent vegetable for weight management because it only has 4 calories per serving and is fiber rich. It has more calcium and beta-carotene than its other cabbage relatives and is also high in potassium, folate and Vitamins A, C and K. Bok choy is an excellent source of phytonutrients which, along with the powerful antioxidant combination of Vitamins A and C, help keep your body cancer free. Potassium is important for healthy muscle and nerve function. In addition, the high levels of Vitamin K and calcium promote strong, healthy bones.
Diseases Bok Choy Can Help Prevent
The dark green leafy tops of bok choy are nutrient dense and help in the prevention of many diseases and health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Bok choy is a good source of potassium which helps to prevent high blood pressure. Because of its low glycemic index, bok choy can actually help decrease your risk of diabetes. The high level of carotenoids are very beneficial to your eyes and can prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. With all the amazing benefits of bok choy, this is one vegetable you can’t miss out on!
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