Strong beta-carotene content, bok choy ranks as our 11th richest food in vitamin A. This vitamin A richness places bok choy ahead of some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
Significant amounts of other carotenoids—for example, lutein—are also provided by bok choy.
Antioxidant Benefits of Bok Choy
As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), and manganese, and a good source of zinc, bok choy provides us with a concentration of these core conventional antioxidants.
Yet, its antioxidant support extends beyond these conventional antioxidants to a wide range of other phytonutrient antioxidants. These phytonutrients include flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, as well as numerous phenolic acids (including significant amounts of hydroxycinnamic acids). It's important to understand the unique benefits provided by this diverse array of antioxidants.
Different types of antioxidants function in different ways. While all types are helpful in preventing unwanted oxygen damage to our cells and body systems, different types of antioxidants go about this task in different ways, and it is the combination of these types in cruciferous vegetables—including bok choy—that make them so valuable in terms of their antioxidant support. (It is also a key reason why whole, natural foods like fresh bok choy provide you with benefits that antioxidant supplements cannot.)
At least one study on bok choy has shown higher total phenol content in organically grown versus non organically grown bok choy. This study seems in keeping with research showing overall greater nutrient contents in organic versus non-organic food. Still, we would like to see some follow-up studies in this area, since there are many reasons why phenol content in bok choy might vary widely.