What part of bok choy do you eat?

Short answer: Bok Choy is completely edible. Yes! the bulb, stalk and leaf can be consumed. However, as you do with celery, cut off its root end before preparation.

Long Answer
Bok Choy (AKA: Chinese Cabbage/Brassica campestris/Pak Choi) is a cruciferous vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family. As you can see in the picture above, it has a white bulb in the bottom, white stalk like celery and dark leafy greens in the top. It has a mild flavor and is considered to be the best leafy green to start off when you plan to move to a diet that includes dark leafy greens. Bok choy is at its best during winters as the frost sweetens the flavor up a bit and gives it a more crunchy texture.

Bok Choy Nutrients
Bok Choy is very nutrient dense. The detailed nutrition fact table is as below.


Source: Self Nutritional data

Few Bok Choy health benefits

  • Isothiocyanates and  Indole-3-Carbinol in Bok Choy show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.  1 2
  • Isothiocyanates in Bok Choy reduces oxidative stress by fighting against free radicals. 3
  • Detoxifies and removes carcinogens in the body through urine. 4
  • Cancer prevention – Glucosinolates in bok choy helps prevent cancer. 5
  • Improves cardiovascular health by reducing bad cholesterol. 6
  • Vitamin K and other minerals present in Bok Choy help strengthens bones. 7

Cooking Bok Choy
Since the stems and leaves take different times to get properly cooked, cut the stems separately and cook them first. Once it is almost cooked, toss the cut leaves in.

Bok Choy is pretty versatile and can be prepared in any way – stir fry, steam, bake etc or can be used raw in salads.

  1. Isothiocyanates. Linus Pauling Institute.Accessed December 14, 2017.

  2. Indole-3-Carbinol. Linus Pauling Institute.Accessed December 14, 2017.

  3. Bai Y, Wang X, Zhao S, Ma C, Cui J, Zheng Y. Sulforaphane Protects against Cardiovascular Disease via Nrf2 Activation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2015;2015:1-13. doi:10.1155/2015/407580.

  4. Egner P, Chen J, Zarth A et al. Cruciferous Vegetables.Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China. Cancer Prevention Research. 2014;7(8):813-823. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.capr-14-0103.

  5. HIGDON J, DELAGE B, WILLIAMS D, DASHWOOD R. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacological Research. 2007;55(3):224-236. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2007.01.009.

  6. Armah C, Derdemezis C, Traka M et al. Diet rich in high glucoraphanin broccoli reduces plasma LDL cholesterol: Evidence from randomised controlled trials. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2015;59(5):918-926. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201400863.

  7. Weber P. Vitamin K and bone health. PubMed 2001. Accessed December 14, 2017.

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