Bok Choy. Containing a wealth of vitamins C, A, and K, and excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron
1. Helps Treat and Prevent Cancer Cruciferous vegetables are known for their glucosinolates, sulfur-containing chemicals that sometimes cause a bitter flavor. During the preparation, chewing and digestion of these vegetables, other compounds, such as indole, nitrile and sulforaphane, that have proven anticancer effects are created. (2, 3) These compounds are effective against cancer because they can do things like help protect cells from DNA damage and inactivate carcinogens. This is partly why bok choy and other cruciferous veggies are some of the top cancer-fighting foods around. Bok choy also contains brassinin, an antimicrobial and often antioxidative substance that’s a proven chemopreventive agent. (4) Many studies have shown that individuals who consume multiple servings of cruciferous vegetables per week are at a lower risk of cancers, specifically prostate, colorectal, lung and breast cancer. (5)
2. Provides Antioxidant Power Free radicals can wreak havoc on the body. High-antioxidant foods like bok choy do a great job at scavenging these disease-causing molecules. Just one cup of this leafy vegatable can provide substantially more than your daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are some of the most powerful antioxidant vitamins in the body. Beyond these traditional antioxidants, there are a number of phytonutrients and phenolic acids in this nutrient-dense veggie that also activate a number of beneficial antioxidant activities (6, 7). Its significant levels of selenium also help boost its antioxidant powers.
3. Reduces Inflammation Bok choy provides omega-3s and vitamin K, which help lower the risk of unwanted inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of many illnesses and can cause considerable damage if left untreated. Many of the polyphenols found in this form of Chinese cabbage also help reduce inflammation. (8)
4. Promotes Eye Health Carrots are popularly known as the vegetable that helps keep eyes healthy, but thanks to substantial amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene, bok choy is a serious contender. One cup provides the RDA of beta-carotene and over half of the RDA of vitamin A. The beta-carotene levels are high enough that the Macular Degeneration Association highly recommends it as a food that can help individuals suffering from macular degeneration — an eye disease that causes vision loss. Aside from being an antioxidant that can help prevent infection, vitamin A is also very effective at preventing cataracts, improving of low-light vision, and treating of dry eyes and other eye-related diseases. (9)
5. Strengthens Bones Bok choy has a stellar lineup of nutrients that help promote bone health. Iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and bone-building vitamin K are abundant even in small servings. In addition, this superfood is a much healthier alternative to fat-filled milk for getting the RDA of calcium and preventing calcium deficiency. The primary mineral found in bones and teeth is made with calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin K is proven to increase bone density in osteoporotic individuals, as well as reduce fracture rates. (10) The combination of these minerals greatly contributes to the healthy growth and maintenance of healthy bones and muscles. (11)