The Health Benefits of Bok Choy

Bok choy, pak choi or Chinese white cabbage, belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It was first cultivated in China thousands of years ago. Now it is available all over the world.

Cruciferous vegetables include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips.

These vegetables are a good supply of nutrients, and they are low in calories. They are well suited to a healthy diet.

Nutritional content of bok choy

[bok choy]
Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage, has may health benefits.

One cup of raw bok choy contains 9 calories, 1 gram of protein, 1.5 grams of carbohydrates, 0.7 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of cholesterol, and 0.1 grams of polyunsaturated fat.

A one-cup serving of raw bok choy provides 5 percent of daily potassium needs, 62 percent of vitamin A, 7 percent of calcium, 5 percent of vitamin B-6, 3 percent of magnesium, 3 percent of iron and 52 percent of vitamin C needs.

Other vitamins and minerals include phosphorus, zinc, sodium, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, folate, choline, beta-carotene, and vitamin K.

Bok choy ranks sixth on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) for fruits and vegetables. The index rates foods based not only on their vitamin and mineral content but also their phytochemical composition and antioxidant capacity.

Foods with the most nutrients per calorie have the highest rankings.

Cruciferous vegetables, such as bok choy, are rich in glucosinolates. These are sulfur-containing compounds that have been found to benefit human health in a variety of ways.

Possible health benefits of bok choy

The nutrients in bok choy offer protection from a number of conditions.

Protection from cancer

Bok choy and other cruciferous vegetables have certain anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of developing lung, prostate, colon, and breast cancer.

The glucosinolates found in these vegetables are converted into isothiocyanates in the body, and these compounds help the body to fight cancer.

Bok choy contains folate. Folate plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, so it prevents cancer cells from forming due to mutations in the DNA. Vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene function as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against free radical damage.

Selenium is a mineral that does not occur in most fruits and vegetables, but it can be found in bok choy. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and it helps to detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Additionally, selenium prevents inflammation, and it also decreases tumor growth rates.

Cruciferous and other vegetables also offer protection because they provide fiber. Fiber keeps the stool moving. This keeps the bowel healthy and reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.

Bone health

The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K in bok choy all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

Iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen.

Phosphorus and calcium are both important in bone structure. However, the two must be carefully balanced for proper bone mineralization. Too much phosphorus with too little calcium intake can result in bone loss.

Low vitamin K intake has been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it modifies bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and it may reduce urinary excretion of calcium.

Blood pressure

Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are all present in bok choy. They have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.

A low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. A high potassium intake is also beneficial because of its vasodilation effects.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), fewer than 2 percent of adults in the United States meet the daily requirement of 4,700 milligrams.

Incorporating bok choy into the diet

All parts of bok choy can be consumed. They are prepared in a variety of ways. In addition to its low-calorie and high nutrient content, its mildly sweet flavor and crisp texture make it an agreeable addition to almost any dish.

[stir fry bok choi]
Bok choy goes well in a stir fry.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Shred raw bok choy and toss with other fresh vegetables to make a salad
  • Add chopped bok choy to hot and sour soup
  • Stir-fry bok choy with a variety of vegetables, some soy sauce, and sesame oil
  • Sauté fresh garlic and ginger in olive oil until soft, then add bok choy and continue to sauté until desired tenderness
  • Mix minced bok choy, mushrooms, chives, and soy sauce together to make a homemade dumpling filling.

Here are some links to recipes using bok choy:

  • Stir fried bok choi with ginger and garlic
  • Bok choi salad
  • Chicken and bok choy soup
  • Sesame shiitake bok choy

Potential health risks of consuming bok choy

Raw bok choy, like all cruciferous vegetables, contains the enzyme myrosinase. Myrosinase can hinder thyroid function by preventing the body from absorbing iodine. It is deactivated by cooking. Eating raw bok choy in moderate amounts does not pose a hazard.

A person who is taking blood-thinners, such as Coumadin, or warfarin, should not suddenly begin to eat more or fewer foods containing vitamin K, as vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting.

To achieve good health and prevent disease, it is important to consider the overall diet. It is better to consume a variety of foods than to concentrate on individual items as the key to good health.

 

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Book Select: Traditional Medicine & Women Healers in Trinidad

With the increasing number of maternal and infant deaths reported in our hospitals, expecting mothers would like to give serious thought to traditional health care. Our ancestors from Africa and India had brought these folk traditions during slavery and indentureship and continued to practice the only way of life they knew. Most women at that time would have given birth to almost a dozen children in the comfort of their home without the assistance of a registered nurse or midwife.

Dr Kumar Mahabir’s latest publication, Traditional Medicine & Women Healers in Trinidad: Postnatal Health Care, discusses the relationship between traditional healers and modern healthcare practitioners in Trinidad and Tobago. The information presented in this book was collected from almost two decades of library studies, oral interviews and extensive research on the health system commencing in the mid-1990s, with special focus on patients admitted to the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital.

The book is the first to be published in the English-speaking Caribbean on this subject, and focuses on the postpartum period in which traditional techniques are used to care for the new mothers and their newborn babies. It highlights the activities of traditional masseuses, their training, and other techniques that were passed down from one generation to the next. These masseuses share not only their techniques and personal experiences, but also a major part of their domestic and family lives.

The wealth of information contained in this book makes for interesting reading and is educational in its own right. It documents the traditional day-to-day rituals of the new mother and her newborn under the care and supervision of elders. D. Mahabir is thorough in presenting the information in his book, covering a wide range of topics that include treating female infertility, inducing the flow of breast milk, “setting” the mother’s womb back into place and ensuring she eats the right foods, as well as treating jaundice in the newborn, and massaging the infant to ensure that his head is “shaped” and his limbs “stretched” and “exercised” in a yogic manner. The reader can also learn about the traditional chatti ceremony which is described as “The sixth-day … celebratory, social announcement of the safe return of the new mother and her newborn from the perils of childbirth …”

Traditional Medicine and Women Healers in Trinidad raises a lot of questions. For example, why are traditional medicine and health care — though easily available and cost effective — not widely accepted as alternative resources, and are often dismissed as primitive. It questions whether there is any real difference between the folk masseur or bonesetter, with no formal training practicing at home, in treating sprains and fractures, and the certified chiropractor operating in his clinic with expensive equipment, when the end result might be the same. Dr Mahabir argues: “… biomedicine, rather than traditional medicine, is supported by a male-dominated, social elite for political and economic intentions.”

He also states that there were men and women healers of long-ago who “prescribed” lime and honey for sore throat, and the same idea is now being patented, packaged and sold by international drug companies, among other products that bear similarities to traditional home remedies.

What is of particular interest in this book is the key role that women played in a society that was male-dominated, especially at a time when women were expected to be subservient to men. As the book reveals, some of the women performed these activities without their husband’s knowledge or permission because they wanted to serve their community.

Dr Mahabir is successful in documenting the humble traditions and culture of our ancestors, and has done a great favour to both the present and future generations by making this information available in the public domain. It would have been a tremendous loss had this information been left to die a natural death. By publishing this book, he has paid a collective tribute to many remarkable men and women who have dedicated their entire lives to caring for others at a time when public healthcare was not a viable option. – CaribeannewsNows

 

This book could be hard to come by but, You can check out the book at ABEBOOKS

100k+ Luxury Tree House

This luxurious treehouse complete with its own slide and open air tree shower is world’s away from your wooden childhood den. Hidden in a forest in West Dorset, the modern treehouse was built by London designer Guy Mallinson for the ultimate retreat for holidaymakers wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Woodsman’s Treehouse is a combination of sustainable craftsmanship and 5 star interiors including a sauna and hot tub on the upper deck, a revolving wood burner and even has something for those who want to really be at one with nature – an open air tree-shower. The treehouse has only been open to guests since the beginning of August 2016 but is already fully booked for the next few months, encouraging the designer to think about building a second tree house.

To book your stay at The Woodsman’s Treehouse or to join Guy on one of his woodworking courses, visit: http://www.mallinson.co.uk

Shark Callers

The Sharkcallers of Kontu depicts the ancient tradition of ‘sharkcalling’ in the village of Kontu, on the remote west coast of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. There are only a few men remaining who use magic to call, trap and kill sharks by hand from their small outrigger canoes. Making this very old and extraordinary practice the spine of the film, the filmmaker also weaves in a compelling portrait of the daily life of the villagers. The Sharkcallers of Kontu explores the changes to cultural values and traditional customs wrought by colonisation, alcohol, commerce and Christianity. The film is beautifully shot in an observational style and makes memorable use of archival stills and interviews with villagers. Filmmaker Dennis O’Rourke narrates.

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