Do you ever find when tapped for time, that whole food prep just feels like takes too long?
It can feel that way for sure, but when we look at a few outside of the box options, there are very quick ways to still get a good volume of veggies in.
Take bok choy for instance. You may have seen it before? There are tiny cute baby bok choy that are about 6 inches in length. There are also the full grown (and still yummy) ones that are more like 12 inches in length. A quick rinse, then chop the stalks into 1 inch chunks and the leaves into 1/2 in strips, toss in a pan on medium heat with some coconut oil (or a few table spoons of broth) and a splash of soy sauce type of condiment, and within 5 minutes you have a nice side dish. The leftovers are even better I find, so I make a big batch.
They have a mild but sweet taste. They are full of water, fibre, and lots of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K and folate. They actually boast a full spectrum of over 70 antioxidants! (source: whfoods.com).
Why are antioxidants important? They reduce the daily damage that happens in our bodies due to normal processes, wear and tear, and toxins. Free radical damage is normal, but when too much damage happens, it can result illness and diseases like cancer, autoimmune issues, inflammation, and such. The more antioxidants we consume help to reduce free radicals in our bodies, which can be a protective factor for inflammation, as well as cancer. There are many studies showing the benefit of veggies, especially the cruciferous family of veggies that bok choy belongs too. Other veggies in this family include broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnip, rutabaga, mustard, radish, watercress, etc. I suggest folks aim for 2 or 3 daily doses of this family of whole foods. Just a cup will do for each dose, but more is great too!
An additional area of interest in cruciferous veggies is their sulfur content and it’s relationship to cancer prevention and chemoprotective properties. This is a biggie, so I will save that for another blog as I find it motivating to eat more when I know how it affects our bodies ability to fight off challenges such as those. When we consider that the foods we eat do have a considerable effect on our protective and preventative factors, it becomes more of a mission to make the effort. The impressive benefits of sulfur for us are many, so I will cover that soon!
One cup of bok choy has 10% of your daily recommended amount of iron and 16% of your daily recommended amount of calcium! It is pretty darn easy to eat one cup. Eat 2 cups and you have over 1/3 of your calcium needs for the day. May people a low in iron, so getting 20% in this form can be very helpful.
How else can you use it? You can also chop and toss with other veggies into any recipes you are making - soups, stir frys, steamed veggies, etc.
Buy them when they are a nice green (or some varieties are purple), and store them in the fridge as they will wilt when warm. Use all parts - leaves and stems.
You can find bok choy, and it’s whole family of other cruciferous veggies, easily at Quality Greens.