Pak Choi: 4 + 5 effects of the superfood & tips for preparation

For a long time, Pak Choi was only known to lovers of Asian cuisine in this country. You can now find it in every well-stocked supermarket. However, many still don’t know what Pak Choi actually is. We enlighten you about the vegetables.

What is bok choy

Just a few years ago, you could only get Pak Choi in Asian shops. It originally comes from Central China and is used in many traditional dishes there. Externally, it resembles Chinese cabbage or Swiss chard, but has longer and less densely arranged leaves.

The vegetables are also similar in taste, but you can taste a clear difference. Pak Choi tastes less bitter than other types of cabbage and has a spicy to sweet taste. It thus resembles the taste of mustard and is also known in this country as ” mustard cabbage “.

Although the Pak Choi originally comes from East Asia, it is mainly grown in the Netherlands for the German market. The first records of cabbage can be found in Europe as early as the 19th century, but only a few people in this country are aware of it to this day. The cabbage has many advantages. When grown in greenhouses, it can be harvested all year round. It only takes about six to eight weeks from sowing to harvest. Due to this, he is rarely affected by diseases.

You can recognize the cabbage by its white stem and dark green leaves. When the pak choi is freshly harvested, the leaves squeak when pressure is applied. To keep it fresh for a long time, you should store it in a cool place, ideally at four degrees.

When bok choy is recommended

Pak Choi is a suitable addition to a healthy diet. It is full of vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances and can even protect against some diseases. In addition, it is particularly versatile and can be prepared quickly.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 grams of fresh pak choi
  • Calories 12 calories
  • Carbohydrates 1.3 grams
  • protein 1 gram
  • Fat 0.5 grams
  • minerals
    • Iron 0.3 milligrams
    • Magnesium 19 milligrams
    • Potassium 252 milligrams
    • Calcium 105 milligrams
    • Phosphorus 30 milligrams
  • vitamins
    • Beta carotene 425 micrograms
    • Vitamin C 26 milligrams
    • Vitamin K 250 micrograms

In case of lactose intolerance

For people who avoid dairy products due to lactose intolerance , pak choi can be a good addition to your usual diet. Pak Choi contains many important vitamins and nutrients that the body needs for its natural functioning. When avoiding dairy products, the high calcium content in pak choi is particularly important. 100 grams of fresh vegetables can already cover ten percent of the daily calcium requirement.

Calcium is particularly important for bone formation and teeth as it provides strength and stability. It is also involved in many other processes in the body. If there is a calcium deficiency, the body gets the important nutrient from the bones. This can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis.

For vegans

Pak choi is also a good alternative for vegans who do not use any animal products at all. Pak Choi is a supplier of important vitamins, minerals and trace elements and can thus provide the body with the necessary nutrients. Here, too, the high calcium content of East Asian cabbage is important. Because calcium is primarily found in animal products, vegans can sometimes find it difficult to get enough of the nutrient. Regular consumption of bok choy can be helpful in getting an adequate amount of calcium.

In addition, the exotic vegetables can provide variety and more choice in the kitchen . Vegans avoid many foods. Although there are now countless substitute products and alternatives, it cannot hurt to integrate different types of vegetables into your diet. In this way you take in different nutrients and can thus better prevent a deficiency.

To lose weight

Pak Choi can be easily integrated into a diet. Cabbage is low in calories and almost fat free , but contains many important nutrients . In addition, it is easy to digest and is full of fiber that keeps you full for a long time.

Whether you want to lose weight quickly or healthily , cabbage can be used in any diet. Eating can get a little monotonous, especially when you’re on a diet. Pak choi can provide a bit of variety here and provide an alternative to popular vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Due to the versatile preparation options, you can integrate more dishes into your menu. So you can rediscover the vegetables again and again.

For a varied diet

In general, vegetables can provide more variety in your eating habits. The preparation of the vegetables is quick and uncomplicated. Even non-professionals quickly get to grips with the vegetables and can use them properly within a very short time. There are also countless preparation options . Whether as a soup, in a casserole, curry or prepared separately – the exotic vegetables go well with many dishes. Due to the intense taste of its own, it only needs to be seasoned a little or not at all.

Effects of pak choi

Pak Choi is full of healthy ingredients that can have positive effects on the body. A sufficient supply of nutrients not only ensures that the body can function optimally, but also that it can better protect itself against diseases. For a healthy body, pak choi is a good addition to your diet.

For a healthy cardiovascular system

Secondary plant substances, minerals and vitamins in the East Asian vegetables can promote a healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system. A healthy and balanced diet has a positive effect on the heart and can prevent heart attacks and strokes.

A healthy diet contains very little cholesterol . When there is too much cholesterol in the body, it can build up in the arteries and cause them to narrow, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. You can find out more about cholesterol here. However, a healthy diet also includes a healthy lifestyle with enough exercise, adequate fluid intake and relaxation .

Since Pak Choi is almost fat-free, it is ideal for a low-cholesterol diet. In addition, the vegetable can prevent inflammatory diseases and tissue damage due to its high-quality ingredients in the form of vitamins, especially vitamin C, and secondary plant substances, and support metabolic processes and the immune system. All of this contributes to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

For cancer prevention

Pak Choi is full of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants are radical scavengers that act against so-called free radicals and thus protect the cells from damage.

Free radicals can damage the cell’s DNA and thus promote premature skin aging and the development of serious diseases. This happens, for example, through air pollution, UV radiation and bad habits such as smoking. Here’s how to quit smoking. Among other things, free radicals are also responsible for the development of cancer. The tissue can change as a result of cell damage. This is how tumors can develop.

The plant pigment anthocyanin , which is also found in pak choi, is particularly effective against cancer. Anthocyanins have a particularly strong antioxidant effect and are therefore anti-carcinogenic. In addition to pak choi, blueberries also have a high content of anthocyanins.

For the bones

Because bok choy is high in calcium, it can promote strong bones. The calcium from the exotic vegetables can be absorbed particularly well by the body and thus have an optimal effect on the body. Calcium plays a role in many processes in the body. It is important for both the nervous system and blood clotting. The nutrient accumulates in the bones and teeth and ensures stability there.

Pak choi also contains a lot of vitamin K. Just under 30 grams of fresh vegetables can cover the daily requirement of vitamin K. Vitamin K strengthens the bones and can thus prevent fractures and age-related diseases such as osteoporosis. This is especially true for women who are already past menopause .

In case of inflammation

There are many ingredients in Pak Choi that have anti-inflammatory properties. These can have a positive effect on inflammatory processes in the body and prevent the outbreak of infections.

Inflammation is caused by bacteria, viruses or chemicals entering our bodies. The penetration of these foreign bodies activates the body’s own immune system, which fights the invaders. If inflammation persists, it can become chronic. Diseases such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis can develop. For example, pak choi contains the anti-inflammatory flavonoid anthocyanin , which acts as an antioxidant to counteract damage in the body.

Side effects of bok choy

Pak Choi is very well tolerated and can therefore also be consumed by sensitive people. Side effects and allergies are very rare . It is therefore also suitable for allergy sufferers. However, you should be careful if you have a mustard allergy. The consumption of small amounts of the vegetables should not be a problem here either.

gas

Like many other types of cabbage, pak choi can also promote flatulence and indigestion , but this unwelcome side effect is far less than with other types of cabbage. Such symptoms can only occur if Pak Choi is consumed in large quantities. Sensitive people who tend to have bloated stomachs can reduce the bloating effect of cabbage with a few spices. These include, for example, ginger, cumin and garlic. All of these spices can be easily incorporated into bok choy recipes.

Buy bok choy

Pak Choi can be found mainly in Asian shops but also in well-stocked supermarkets. As the cabbage variety becomes more popular, it is also increasingly being offered in conventional supermarkets. It is available in good quality all year round and costs around two euros .

When buying, you should pay attention to the freshness of the cabbage. This is fresh when the leaves squeak when pressed lightly. They should be dark green in color while the stem is firm. If the leaves look dull, you should use a different specimen.

If you want to try the exotic vegetables first, you can also get the vegetables in a smaller version. Pak choi comes in a mini version, also called mini pak choi . If the vegetables are combined with other types of vegetables, the small version of the pak choi is usually sufficient for preparation. Like the regular version, mini pak choi is available in well-stocked supermarkets.

It is best to store pak choi in the refrigerator, as it stays fresh the longest at around four degrees Celsius. You can keep it like this for up to four days. However, the longer you keep it, the more nutrients are lost.

Prepare the pak choi

There are countless ways to prepare the exotic vegetables. You can use it as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, curries, salads and wok pans. The preparation of the cabbage is very quick and easy. The preparation time usually takes just under a minute. Before doing this, however, you have to cut the pak choi into fine strips. Cut off the lower end of the stem as it is not suitable for consumption. Now separate the green leaves from the white stem. You cut both into fine strips or cubes.

Now fry the cabbage in a pan. To do this, heat a little sesame oil or a similar oil. Then you add the stems and a short time later the leaves. Let everything sauté for a minute. Then the pak choi is ready to eat. You can eat it straight or use it in a dish of your choice.

If you prefer to eat the vegetables raw, we recommend preparing a salad with pak choi. For example, you can simply mix the raw vegetables with tomatoes and cucumbers and serve with a vinegar and oil dressing. Pak Choi is also suitable for savory or sweet recipes . You could prepare the vegetables with honeydew melon or papaya, for example. A fruity yoghurt dressing goes well with it. Ginger and shallots, for example, go well with a savory preparation.

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