Pechay a common staple food in the Philippines which is also called on its cantonese name bok choy or pak choy. This vegetables belongs to the family of cabbage that Filipinos love not only due to its delicious taste but because it is accessible and available in most places.
It is availability in every market and groceries in the country makes this vegetable common to every Filipino. In its simplest form, it can be cook with water and salt to taste, others uses vinegar. Everytime I see pechay, I always remember how my mother cook it.
If we are going to search for the health benefits of pechay, we will be able to find different sources in the net. We may be able to find things we never expected that this vegetable can give to our body.
Pechay has advantage in making our bones strong due to its calcium content. Not only that, its phospuros content helps in the development and formation of bones. When a person consumes pechay everyday experiences a good digestion and hormonal balance. It has no fat content, no cholesterol, and no carbohydrates, which makes this food safe for consumption.
How Safe is Pechay?
I don't want to find any negative thoughts for this vegetable because it's not only because I love it eating, but because people may not like it. I have no idea yet, and hope with this review I won't be able to find any.
Nutritional Content of Pechay
Vitamin A - 89%
Vitamin C - 75%
Calcium - 10%
Iron - 4%
Vitamin B6 - 10%
Magnesium - 4%
In order find any negative for this vegetable (if any), lets take a look on each of these nutritional content and take a look on its effect when taken. I am not an expert to this, I am not taking any medicinal course or any related to it.
Let's take a look on the nutrient that has the biggest content in pechay, Vitamin A. What is vitamin A and how can it helps human body? On its definition, Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds called retinol, retinal, retinoic acid and provitamin A carotenoids. Vitamin A is significant for growth and development. It helps maintain the immune system and promotes good eyesight.
We may find Vitamin A to be good in human health and development but when it is taken excessively, could lead to many body illnesses such as skin yellowing, negative changes in vision especially with young children, brittle nails, hair loss, weak bones, headaches, nausea, decreased appetite, gum disease, irritability, liver disease.
The National Institutes of Health has these recommended daily consumption of Vitamin A base on age level;
up to 3 yrs old - 600mcg/day
4 to 8 yrs old - 900mcg/day
9 to 13 yrs old - 1,700mcg/day
14 to 18 yrs old - 2,800mcg/day
19 and above - 3,000mcg/day
Mcg stands for microgram, and 1mcg is equivalent to a million grams.
The nutritional content of pechay above is base on 100 grams of pechay and if were going to take its equivalent value, on every 100 grams of pechay, it has a Vitamin A content of 89 grams.
Now lets convert the recommended daily intake of vitamin A:
up to 3 yrs old - 600mcg/day = 0.0006 gram
4 to 8 yrs old - 900mcg/day = 0.0009 gram
9 to 13 yrs old - 1,700mcg/day = 0.0017 gram
14 to 18 yrs old - 2,800mcg/day = 0.0028 gram
19 and above - 3,000mcg/day = 0.003 gram
Let's try looking the conversion using IU a unit measurement of vitamins. A 100 grams of pechay has 967 IU which is equivalent to 24.17 mcg. If where going check the conversion above, it seems that even if a 3 year old kid can consume 100 grams of pechay safely. This nutritional content is when the pechay is cook or boiled and it changes when it taken raw. Don't worry, if taking all 100 grams of boiled and cooked pechay is safe, it is much safer when taken raw. When raw, the 100 grams of pechay has only 318 IU of vitamin A. The question is, can you take it raw?
Each leaf of pechay has 14 grams of vitamin A and it will take 25 leaves for a 3 year old baby to be considered excessive consumption. For 19 years old and above, it will 125 leaves consumption of pechay before it can be considered excessive consumption.
To put a conclusion on this review, I found out that it is safe to consume pechay as far as vitamin A is concerned.
I will be reviewing the other nutritional content of pechay in my future review post.