Show your heart some love and boost your odds of a longer life by stir-frying this Chinese green: bok choy.
A large-scale study found that people who eat the most vegetables have lower mortality rates — especially from heart troubles. But the strongest protective benefits were tied to intake of cruciferous vegetables, like bok choy.
Not All Vegetables Created Equal
The study followed over 100,000 middle-aged men and women in Shanghai, China — a part of the world where people consume lots of veggies, particularly cruciferous ones. And a diet survey there revealed that people whose daily diets included the most vegetables were 15% less likely to have died during the 5-year study period. And the risk of heart disease-related death was particularly low for the vegetable lovers. But the surprising insight? People who consumed the most cruciferous vegetables were the best protected. (Related: Cut your risk of cancer with just this little extra amount of veggies each day.)
The Cruciferous Quotient
Bok choy is just one example from the cruciferous vegetable group. But you can also toss broccoli, turnip greens, kale, cauliflower, and napa cabbage into your wok. They’re full of antioxidants, vitamins, and other protective phytochemicals, which are probably responsible for the life-extending effects observed in the study. The potential bonus of cruciferous vegetables, though? Their sulforaphane — an isothiocyanate with supreme antioxidant powers, the kind that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Eating these vegetables raw retains their nutritional value and gives you the life enzymes!