In 2014 the number of people living following a cancer diagnosis was approximately 14.5 million. This number is expected to increase to 19 million by 2024. (1) Technological or medical advancements may be one reason why this number may increase, but other possibilities may be related to an overall increase of cancer diagnosis or even an improved awareness to lifestyle factors that may prevent cancer.
An active lifestyle and a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables could help prevent or even reverse a cancer diagnosis. Nutrient dense foods can help the body not only fight cancer but also reverse other chronic disease.
An active lifestyle and healthy diet can help prevent or even reverse chronic diseases!
Bok choy is a powerhouse vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family. This family also included kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. Whether you are battling a chronic illness or seeking to prevent one, bok choy should be a part of your regular diet.(2)
Five health benefits bok choy provides!
- Treat and Prevent Cancer: Indole, nitrile and sulforaphane are released into the body during chewing and digestion of cruciferous vegetables. These compounds have been shown to have anticancer effects due to their ability to help protect cells from DNA damage and inactivate carcinogens. Bok choy contains brassinin, which is a chemoprentive agent as well as an antimicrobial and anti oxidative. Studies have shown that those who consume multiple servings of cruciferous vegetables per week are at lower risk for prostate, colorectal, lung and breast cancer. (3)
- Promotes Eye Health: Bok choy contains substantial amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene. The Macular Degeneration Association highly recommends Bok choy for individuals suffering from Macular Degeneration or as a preventative. Vitamin A is also very effective in preventing cataracts, improving low-nigh vision, treating dry eyes and other diseases.(3)
- Lowers Blood Pressure and Improve Heart Health: Bok choy is a calcium and potassium rich food that naturally lowers blood pressure. Potassium helps the body process sodium, which reduces damage to the cardiovascular system. Bok choy is also a good source of vitamin K which helps with blood clotting. If that isn’t enough, this powerhouse vegetable is also a good source of vitamin B6 and folate which help prevent an accumulation of homocysteine. Too much homocysteine in the body can lead to damaged blood vessels and heart problems. (3)
- Bone Health: Bok choy contains iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin K. Vitamin K has been found to increase bone density in patients with osteoporosis and can help reduce fractures. The combination of these minerals can help help maintain healthy muscle development.(3)
- Immune Health: Bok choy contains vitamin C, which is a powerful immune booster, and selenium which helps stimulate the production of killer T-cells. Incorporating bok choy into your regular diet can help your body fight off small bugs as well as chronic illness.(2)
This summer, considering making bok choy a regular part of your weekly meals. Either shred it and add it to a salad or soup. Add bok choy to your favorite stir fry or sauté it with garlic in olive oil. Try new recipes and find ways to enjoy the nutritional benefits of bok choy in delicious new ways. (2)