Bok Choy Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 07/03/22 •  12 min read
bok choy benefits and side effects

What are bok choy benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are bok choy pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on bok choy benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about bok choy benefits and side effects. This will include bok choy benefits for your health and potential risks, bok choy water footprint and bok choy carbon footprint, bok choy sustainability, if bok choy is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if bok choy is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about bok choy benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Bok Choy Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Energy: bok choy is good for / helps anemia prevention and treatment, constipation relief and prevention, eye health and vision, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, wound healing

Longevity: bok choy is good for / helps bone health, boost immune system, cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, regulate blood pressure

Appearance: bok choy is good for / helps glowing complexion, skin health, weight loss

Bok choy is…

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08/15/2022 02:40 pm GMT

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: low, it takes 280 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cabbages and other brassicas such as bok choy / 34 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cabbages and other brassicas

Carbon footprint: low, 0.09 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of Chinese cabbage, a car driving equivalent of 0.25 miles or 0.5 kilometers

Destruction: low, bok choy production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Bok choy is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, bok choy production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, bok choy production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from bok choy production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Bok choy is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Bok choy is…

Where does most bok choy come from?

Bok choy originated and is produced in China but also harvested in California and parts of Canada. The world’s top bok choy exporting country is Mexico, followed by China, USA, Spain, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Macedonia.

Is bok choy nutritious?

Yes! Bok choy is high in vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A, fiber and an excellent source of folate, calcium, and vitamin B6.

bok choy is alkaline. bok choy benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

bok choy benefits include being alkaline

Is bok choy alkaline or acidic?

Bok choy is alkaline, as it is a member of the cabbage family.

What is the pH level of bok choy?

Raw, green cabbage, and bok choy, has an 8.0 pH level.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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08/15/2022 12:14 pm GMT

bok choy is gluten free.

bok choy benefits include being gluten free

Is bok choy gluten free?

Yes, bok choy is gluten free. Bok choy does not contain gluten. Bok choy is a type of vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

bok choy is not a common food allergen. bok choy benefits include being safe for most.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is bok choy a common food allergen?

No, bok choy is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to bok choy but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

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12/04/2022 12:08 am GMT

bok choy is a low-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Is bok choy FODMAP friendly?

Yes. Bok choy is a low-FODMAP food and ok to eat while on a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food

bok choy has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does bok choy have a high or low water footprint?

Bok choy has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of bok choy? It takes 0.09 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of Chinese cabbage, a car driving equivalent of 0.25 miles or 0.5 kilometers.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake…quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bok choy has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does bok choy have a high or low carbon footprint?

Bok choy has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of bok choy?

It takes around 0.12 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of cabbage, a car driving equivalent of 0.25 miles or 0.5 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bok choy is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is bok choy eco friendly? Is bok choy sustainable?

Bok choy production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides are not used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

bok choy is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is bok choy vegan?

Yes, bok choy is vegan. Bok choy is a vegetable and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

bok choy is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is bok choy a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with bok choy production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Sources:

Bok Choy

Bok Choy Inspection Instructions | Agricultural Marketing Service

Garlic Bok Choy | MyPlate

Cabbage, chinese (pak-choi), raw – FoodData Central – USDA

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.