Tatsoi by Dr. Jagdev Singh11-Oct-2013
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Another member of the green leafy vegetable family is the Tatsoi. It has big green round leaves like cabbage and therefore it is known as Chinese Flat cabbage because it has flat leaves and rosette bok Choy. Though it resembles Cabbage, it actually belongs to the Mustard family as suggested by its botanical name Brassica narinosa. (Brassica means mustard)
It originated in China, but is used greatly in Japanese cuisine and now all over the world extensively in Salads. After cooking, it tastes like spinach and is therefore known as spinach mustard. Because of its typical strong spicy flavor, which resembles mustard and it, has a big spoon like leaves it is called spoon mustard. Its other family members are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc. It grows very fast and can be harvested in 3-4 weeks. It grows well in warm and subtropical climates very well though it has been grown in North American climate too where winters are cool. It can give many plants in a year and all the parts be it flowers or the stems are useful as they are edible.
Uses of Tatsoi
Tatsoi is an all-rounder in the kitchen. You can use it in every way you can use spinach. Thus, you can make salads with it. This is the raw version of it. Use it in its cooked version in the form of soups and goes well with chicken, seafood, rice, mushrooms and tofu dishes. Tatso vegetable also goes well with citrus flavored dishes like vinaigrette or sectioned oranges or kiwi on salads.
Health benefits of Tatsoi:
Like any green vegetable, Tatsoi is full of vitamins and minerals and it is a powerhouse of nutrients.
· It has lots of Vitamin A and if eaten raw, it can satisfy the daily requirement of Vitamin A. Vitamin A for good eyesight and great shiny hair.
· Tatsoi has lots of Vitamin B6 and C. Vitamin B6 prevents lung cancer. Smokers and smoking-quitters are suggested to eat food rich in Vitamin B6 as it helps to reduce the risk of lung cancer or damage. Moreover, Vitamin B6 is not synthesized in the body. One needs to take it from outside through diet.
· In addition, nothing more than Tatsoi can help! Vitamin B6 is also necessary for hemoglobin in our blood to function well.
· Vitamin C helps in fighting diseases and improves immunity. They help us reduce the risk of asthma and such breathing related diseases.
· Tatsoi is rich in Vitamin K, which helps our blood to clot. Lack of Vitamin K will lead to increased blood flow in case of injury.
· Tatsoi is full of Antioxidants. That means that they strengthen your immunity to fight against diseases and infections because during breaking down of food, some free radicals, which are harmful, are generated. Antioxidants in Tatsoi prevent those free radicals from damaging your cells.
· Tatsoi being green in color has many phytonutrients, which prevent cancer in our bodies as they help cells not to grow in abundance. Tatsoi is especially helpful in preventing colon cancer, if eaten raw as salad.
Fiber & Vitamin B12 in Tatsoi:
The most important health benefit of Tatsoi is that contains fiber, which is very necessary for our body. It is well known that fiber is required for digestion and a good bowel movement in our bodies so that toxins in our body are removed easily. People suffering from constipation should eat raw Tatsoi or take its juice or soup.
A branch of Tatsoi is enough to satisfy a good amount of our daily requirement of fiber. Enough fiber intakes ensure reduced cancer risk and give support to the good bacteria in our body, which helps production of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B 12 is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system. In addition, blood purification.
Eating Tatsoi is especially suggested to the vegetarian people as non-vegetarian people get Vitamin B 12 from animal products. Last but not the least, Tatsoi has negligible calories and thus helps us to control body weight and helps to control body pressure. It has no sugars and is good for people suffering from diabetes.
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