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Do you like leafy greens? Try pechay, a traditional Asian veggie. It’s also called Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage, or pe-tsai. Like other types of cabbage, pechay works well in soups and stews. The inner leaves are often used in kimchi, a tasty Korean staple. Pechay’s benefits are worth noting. Granted, it’s pretty similar cabbage found in America. But when you’re craving something different, pechay fits the bill. Here’s how pechay can help you.
1. Pechay Is Low In Calories
If you’re trying to lose or manage weight, pay attention to calories. Eating more than you lose will work against you. With pechay, you won’t have to worry about that. One cup of shredded raw pechay has just 12 calories. That’s it. Pechay adds texture without the calories. It’s a dieter’s best friend.
2. Pechay Is Low In Fat
Pechay doesn’t have much fat. In one cup of shredded raw pechay, you’ll get just 0.15 grams. It’s basically a fat-free food. However, keep in mind that fat is a major macro nutrient. You need to eat it every day to stay healthy! Roughly 20 to 35 percent of your daily energy intake should be from fat. Pechay is a healthy source. It’s very low in saturated fat, making it ideal for weight loss and general heart health.
3. Pechay Is Low In Cholesterol
Do you have high cholesterol? Eat pechay, a cholesterol-free food. Over 31 million American adults have high cholesterol. It doubles the risk for heart disease, and increases the chances for heart attack and stroke. To protect yourself, eat more foods like pechay.
4. Pechay Is Low In Sodium
Pechay is also a low-sodium food. One cup only has 7 mg. The recommended daily intake is 1,500 mg. Unfortunately, the average American eats more than 3,400 mg a day. This can raise blood pressure, a major risk for heart disease. For a heart healthy diet, eat pechay.
5. Pechay Contains Vitamin A
That same cup of raw chopped pechay contains 242 IU of vitamin A. That’s almost as much as one egg. As an antioxidant, vitamin A promotes normal immune function. It’s also needed by each and every cell. To top it off, healthy vision and eye health depend on vitamin A.
6. Pechay Contains Potassium
Eating pechay also provides potassium. One cup boasts 181 mg. This is nothing compared to a banana, of course. But it definitely counts. As an electrolyte, potassium manages the body’s fluid balance. It also preserves bone calcium, regulates blood pressure, and lowers the risk for kidney stones.
7. Pechay Contains Calcium
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Pechay seems like an unlikely source of calcium. Regardless, one cup raw chopped pechay contains 59 mg of calcium. Compared to the recommended 1,000 mg a day, this doesn’t seem like much. Yet, if you don’t get a lot of calcium, every bit counts. Calcium is crucial for healthy and strong bones. It’s even more important with age, when osteoporosis becomes a risk.
You can find pechay at Asian grocery stores. Often, the outer leaves are used for soups, while the inner leaves are used for kimchi. Don’t be afraid to experiment!