Bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable, and it is also known as chinese cabbage. This vegetable is crunchy and tastes like a cross between celery and lettuce. It is quite popular in general grocery stores, but it originated in China and has been used in cooking for hundreds of years.
Bok choy contains antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, beta carotene, selenium, vitamin E, flavonoids such as quercetin, and vitamin B6. The high levels of antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, and A may aid in reducing damage done by free radicals and lower risk for developing colon cancer. Selenium may also be beneficial in preventing colon cancer, as it can decrease or even stop the growth of tumors in the body. B6 specifically (as well as the other b-complex vitamins) are important for digestion and motility; they help the gut keep moving so your stools can feel complete and effortless!
Flavonoids such as quercetin have been found in studies to have antiviral, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, and they can even act as a muscle relaxant! Antiviral properties can help prevent and reduce symptoms of SIBO and potentially prevent the overgrowth of negative bacteria in the gut. Flavonoids can also help metabolize the toxic compounds that we consume daily (such as pesticides) that can harm our #goodgut bugs and prevent sufficient nutrient absorption! Unfortunately, more research needs to be done in the human studies area, as most of the research has been done in-lab with non-human subjects.
Fiber, of course, has been implicated in reducing constipation, helping with motility and digestion-- cruciferous vegetables like bok choy are plentiful in this #goodgut nutrient. One cup of raw bok choy contains 1.5 grams of fiber! You can find both baby and regular bok choy at many major grocery stores. It is best to purchase organic, and be sure to wash the leaves well since this crunchy veggie grows very close to the ground!
Ways to eat it:
Bok Choy is actually quite easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
You can eat them raw, or sauteed with other greens: the crunchy ends also make great “chips” for low-calorie, high-fiber dipping! Just add some salt, and you are good to go!
Recipe: Bok Choy and Bean Soup
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
4 cups yellow onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-oz canned white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large bunch fresh rosemary (approximately 6–7 inches)
8 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
6 cups chopped greens like escarole, collard greens, bok choy, or kale
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, sauté the onions with about 1-2 oz of vegetable broth until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 2 more minutes.
Add the drained white beans, rosemary, remaining vegetable broth, and bay leaf.
Cover, bring the soup to a boil, and simmer for 30–40 minutes until the beans are very soft.
Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf.
In small batches, either purée the soup in a food processor or leave the soup in the pot and use a hand blender to purée.
Return the soup to the pot if it was removed and reheat before adding the greens.
Cook until the greens are wilted. (Side Note: If you are using escarole or kale, they will need a few minutes longer than more tender greens.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Web MD. (n.d.). Health benefits of bok choy. Nourish by WebMD,
Jan, A. T., Kamli, M. R., Murtaza, I., Singh, J. B., Ali, A., and Haq, Q. (19 April 2010). Dietary
flavonoid quercetin and associated health benefits- An overview. Food Reviews International, 26(3), pp. 302-317, DOI: 10.1080/87559129.2010.484285.
Wendt J., Considine C., Kogan M. (10 October 2021) Gastrointestinal health.: Integrative
Geriatric Nutrition. pp. 25-57. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81758-9_3.