Bok (or pak) choy is an ideal choice of vegetable when following a ketogenic diet. It is low in carbs but high in nutrients, such as vitamins K, C and A. As a mild-tasting cabbage, it’s a great base to which other flavours can be added.
- High in antioxidants
One cup (170g) of cooked bok choy provides 64% of the Daily Recommend Intake of vitamin K, 59% of vitamin C and 49% of vitamin A1.
Due to its high levels of antioxidants, bok choy contains anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is at the core of many diseases which is why I ensure my diet is full of anti-inflammatory foods2.
- Boosts the immune system3
I will always choose a leafy green vegetable such as bok choy over a vitamin C tablet when feeling under-the-weather. This way, I am not consuming harmful sweeteners, such as aspartame, artificial colours and flavourings, or bulking agents – side note: despite popular belief, these aren’t overly muscular personal trainers sporting an ear-piece.
- Promotes heart health
Bok choy also provides a fair amount of potassium which helps to naturally lower blood pressure4. Additionally, it provides vitamin B6 and folate which help prevent the accumulation of homocysteine5, a compound which, in large concentrations, can lead to coronary artery disease6.
- Protects skin, hair and nails
The antioxidants present also help protect the skin from free-radical damage7. Vitamin C supports the growth of collagen8, an important protein which promotes the regeneration of dead skin cells9, helping skin to remain youthful.
I lightly steam bok choy. Along with other brassicas such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, bok choy is a goitrogen, meaning it has the potential to disrupt thyroid function10. Lightly steaming reduces this risk whilst retaining its nutritional and medicinal benefits.
I always pair vegetables with some form of fat to obtain maximum nutrients.
Try my Cold-Busting Chicken Soup!
1: whfoods.com – Bok Choy.
2, 3, 5, 8: Bok Choy: A Top 3 Nutrient-Dense Vegetable that Battles Cancer, Dr. Axe.
4: Top 10 Potassium Rich Foods, Dr. Axe.
6: Homocysteine, Wikipedia.
7: NYR: Healing Foods, 2013.
9: What is Collagen? 7 Ways Collagen Can Boost Your Health, Dr. Axe.
10: Food Bites with Dr. Hyman – Crucifers and Thyroid, Dr. Hyman.