Asian-vegetables ~ Super Vegetables

With the growing popularity of Thai, Korean, and Japanese cuisines.

And the increasing sophistication of Chinese cuisine in North America.

Gardeners and health foodies alike.

Are becoming familiar with super vegetables such as edamame, daikon and bitter melon.

These were unknown outside of specialty markets not too long ago.

They're not just delicious.

Many, like yard-long (asparagus) beans and winged beans, are fun to grow and share, too.

Some, including Asian melons, eggplant, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Are oriental cultivars of common veggies.

And are grown like any other cultivar of their species.

Bitter Melon

These Asian-vegetables, which are also called bitter cucumber and balsam melon.

Health Benefits

Bitter melon leaves are also brewed into a tea in South America and in other parts of Asia.

The liquid coming out of these leaves contains a protein which called lectin.

When ingested, this protein has the same function as insulin.

Which removes excess sugar from the blood.

This ingredient adds to the health benefits of bitter melon.

And provides the curative properties, especially for type II diabetes.

Recent studies in the U.S. also prove that regular intake of the bitter melon fruit or its tea.

Can help in fighting cancer cell growth.

Bitter melon is useful in treating psoriasis also.

The extracts from the bitter melon leaves.

Have been used for many years by traditional herbologists in treating infections.

Because of its anti-viral properties.

It is being studied now as an alternative cure against the HIV virus.

Aside from the health benefits of the bitter melon.

It can also provide the body with other essential vitamins and minerals.

Such as calcium, iron and potassium.

Vitamins A, C and B complex are also found in big doses in the bitter melon.

These vigorous cucumber-like vines produce green, white or orange fruits.

Which resemble wrinkled, bumpy or warty cucumbers.

Depending on the cultivar.

Bitter melons range from quite bitter ('Siamese Bitter Cucumber').

To mild ('Chinese Long White').

All types are used extensively in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.

Bok Choy

Asian-vegetables which are also known as bok choi or pak choi.

These asian-vegetables are actually cabbage relatives.

Having long, thick white stems and dark green leaves.

Leaves and stems are used fresh and cooked.

Health Benefits

Bok Choy is a very low-calorie food.

As a dark green vegetable, it doesn’t contain a lot of fats and sugars.

This makes it a good way to bulk up a meal without adding a lot of calories to your plate.

When it comes to carbohydrates, it’s hard to keep this element of your diet under control.

You can lower your calorie count, cut out red meats, and avoid cheeses and fatty foods.

But those carbs still creep in.

After all, carbs are in almost everything, right?

Bok Choy is one of a few select foods that has a low carb value, making it a prime candidate for a low-carb diet.

The general category of vitamins called antioxidants.

Help to ward off a wide range of diseases.

Antioxidants help to prevent various types of cancers.

They also protect the heart against various types of illness.

These elements help the body fight off illness and pack a powerful health punch.

Another vitamin that bok choy has is vitamin-C.

This vitamin, also found in citrus fruits.

Helps to prevent you from getting health conditions like scurvy.

Where a deficiency leads to skin problems and other illnesses.

Bok choy is a source of folic acid, which is something pregnant women generally need in their diets.

Potassium is another nutrient that your body needs in specific levels.

Bok choy can deliver this nutritional element as well.

All the above are great reasons to include bok choy in your diet.

Chinese Okra

These Asian-vegetables are also known as luffa (loofah) and/or sponge gourd.

The young fruit, leaves, blossoms, and seeds all have culinary value.

Dried and skinned, mature fruits are then used to make sponges.

Immature fruits ("okra") are sweet.

Health Benefits

These asian-vegetables are a nutrition powerhouse.

Chinese Okra is loaded with nutrients.

Such as dietary fiber, vitamin-C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron and magnesium.

It's also low in fat and calories.

An ideal weight loss food.

Being low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in dietary fiber.

It becomes the ideal choice for anyone who wants to lose some weight.

It also has a very high water content.

Making it a very low calorie vegetable (only 60 calories in 100 gm of cooked sponge gourd).

Cure for jaundice: The juice prepared from this gourd is a natural remedy for jaundice.

The juice is prepared by pounding the gourd and squeezing it through a cloth.

You can also eat powder made from the gourd seeds and dry crusts when curing jaundice.

Blood purifier.

Because of its blood purifying properties.

It helps to purify, restore and nourish liver protecting it from alcohol intoxication.

Lowers blood sugar level.

It contains insulin-like peptides, alkaloids and charantin.

Which help to lower blood and urine sugar levels.

Without altering blood insulin levels.

Good for the stomach.

Cellulose helps to overcome constipation and also aids in curing piles.

Skin care.

When this gourd is mature and dry on the vine, it can be harvested as a sponge.

Everything (skin and seeds) is removed except for the main network.

Loofah sponge is used as an exfoliating product when bathing.

They're very good for removing dead skin cells.

Leaving the skin smooth and conditioned.

They can also help stimulate the skin thus making it healthier and more vibrant.

The blood purifying properties helps you to stay away from pimples and acne.

Loofah sponge can also help control body and foot odor.

Strengthens immune system.

A glass of juice mixed with other healthy vegetables in the morning.

Can help to strengthen your immune system against any infection.


These Asian-vegetables are also known as Chinese, Japanese or Asian radish.

Is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, kale and cabbage.

With a variety of health benefits.

Torpedo-shaped radishes in a wide variety of colors including white.

Larger cultivars can reach 2 ft long and 3 in. wide.

The flesh has a crisp texture and flavor.

Health Benefits

The large quantities of vitamin-C and folacin found in daikon.

Provide many of its health benefits.

The enzymes found in daikon can slow the production of a carcinogen.

Found in the chemicals of many processed foods and a few natural ones.

This carcinogen, nitrosamine, will attack the stomach.

But daikon combats nitrosamine's effects.

When eaten raw, daikon operates as a diuretic and a decongestant.

Besides the digestive health benefits of daikon, it's used to cleanse the blood of toxins.

And, Daikon stores well.

The root adds a mild, spicy flavor to salads, Chinese sauces, and stir-fried seafood.

Traditionally diced and made into a sweet pickle in Korea.

Steam peppery leaves or add to clear soup.


These Asian-vegetables, pronounced eh-dah-MAH-may.

Is the Japanese word for branched bean and is also called green soybeans.

Bushy plants bear short, hairy green pods.

Harvested and eaten when both pods and beans are still bright green but pods have filled out.

Health Benefits

Isoflavones, Antioxidants and Phytochemicals

Edamame has high nutritional value and health benefits.

These green soybeans are a natural source of antioxidants and isoflavones.

These asian-vegetables contain about 36 percent protein.

Which is 86 percent higher than mature soybeans.

Edamame's low oil content, combined with its high protein content.

Makes this vegetable very popular with health-conscious people.

Who want a low-fat, protein-rich snack

This super vegetable has no cholesterol, very little saturated fat.

Edamame is rich in vitamin-C and B vitamins, and it is one of the few natural sources of vitamin-E.

These soybeans also provide you with minerals.

Such as calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.

Nutrients in green soybeans that benefit heart health include vitamin-K and folate.

Edmame has anti-inflammatory qualities.

And can be a good food to eat if you have arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.

Such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Long Bean

Another of the Asian-vegetables, which is also called yard-long and asparagus beans.

These asian-vegetables pods can reach 38 inches long and are stringless and tender.

Red or green pods are borne on 8–10 ft vines.

Health Benefits

Yardlong beans are one of the ancient cultivated crops.

Young, immature pods are one of the very low calorie vegetables.

100 grams contain just 47 calories.

Fresh yard long beans are one of the finest source of folates.

100 grams provide 15% of daily need of folates.

Folate along with vitamin-B-12.

Is one of the essential components of DNA synthesis and cell division.

Adequate folate in the diet around conception and during pregnancy.

May help prevent neural-tube defects in the newborn baby.

Fresh beans contains a good amount of vitamin-C.

100 grams provide 31% of vitamin-C.

Vitamin-C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant.

And when provided in the diet, it helps build immunity against infections.

Helps maintain blood vessels elasticity and offers some protection from cancers.

Furthermore, the long beans are excellent sources of vitamin-A.

The beans have more of this vitamin than that of the other legumes such as lima beans, fava, green beans, etc.

Vitamin-A is one of essential vitamins for the body provided through our diet.

Vitamin-A maintains mucus membrane integrity, enhances skin complexion and improves night vision.

Luscious flavor is more like an asparagus–bean cross than pure green bean.

Best sautèed or stir-fried rather than boiled or steamed.


These Asian-vegetables are also known as Mustard greens or Japanese greens in China.

One of the mildest mustard greens.

Mizuna, often found in mesclun mixes.

Is high in immune-boosting vitamin-C, folate, and iron.

It also contains powerful glucosinolates, antioxidants linked to decreased cancer risk.

These asian-vegetables have been cultivated in Japan since ancient times.

Mizuna brings an exotic, slightly spicy flavor to the table.

Blend these asian-vegetables with lettuce and crisp vegetables for an unusual, nutritious salad.

Stir-fry with other Asian-vegetables.

Add to cream and clear soups for flavor and texture.

Health Benefits

An excellent source of vitamin-C, vitamin-E, beta-carotene and manganese.

As an excellent source of vitamin-K.

And a smaller, but reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA).

Mustard greens provide us with two hallmark anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Vitamin-K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response.

And ALA is the building block.

For several of the body's most used families of anti-inflammatory messaging molecules.

Napa Cabbage

These Asian-vegetables are a compact, delicately flavored cabbage.

Also known as michihli, tientsin and Chinese celery cabbage.

Savoyed green leaves on light green stalks reach 13–16 in.

Use in coleslaw or stir-fry for a crisp texture.

Traditionally pickled as in kimchee.

Will store 2–3 months in a cool environment.

Napa cabbage is low in calories.

100 g. fresh leaves contain only 16 calories.

Along with celery, bok choy...etc.

It easily fits into zero calorie or negative calorie group of vegetables.

As often recommended by some dieticians.

Health Benefits

Napa is packed with many antioxidant plant compounds.

Such as carotenes, thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates.

Also, it is abundant in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

Scientific studies suggest these compounds offer protection against breast, colon and prostate cancers.

And help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels in the blood.

Fresh cabbage is an excellent source of folates.

Folic acid is one of the essential components of DNA.

Enough amounts of folates in the diet, especially in expectant mothers.

Help prevent neurological diseases in newborn babies.

Further, napa cabbage has very good levels of vitamin-C.

100 g. of fresh vegetable provides about 45% of daily requirements of this vitamin.

Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C.

Helps your body develop resistance against infectious agents.

And scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

Like in other cabbages, napa has adequate levels of vitamin-K, provides about 38% of RDA levels.

Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone metabolism.

By promoting osteotrophic activity in bone cells.

Thus, enough vitamin-K in the diet makes your bones stronger. Healthier and delays osteoporosis.

Further, vitamin-K also has established role in curing Alzheimer's disease patients.

By limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

Napa cabbage has small levels of vitamin-A.

But, it also contains flavonoid polyphenolic compounds.

Such as carotenes, lutein and xanthins which convert to vitamin-A in the body.

Like other green vegetables.

It's a good source of many essential vitamins.

Such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and thiamin.

These vitamins are essential.

In the sense that our body requires them from external sources to replenish.

Also, it's a very natural source of electrolytes and minerals.

Like calcium, potassium, phosporous, manganese, iron and magnesium.

Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids.

That helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor.

For the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Iron is required for red blood cell formation.


These Asian-vegetables are also known as edible chrysanthemum, and tong ho in Chinese.

Beautiful, yellow, and single chrysanthemum flowers are edible.

But the plant is grown primarily for the edible leaves.

It's popular in Korean traditional soups, stews, hot pots and casseroles.

Cantonese cuisine, especially in Hong Kong and in Japanese cuisine in Nabemono.

Health Benefits

The plant is rich in minerals and vitamins.

With high potassium concentrations and significant carotene in edible portions.

Also, the plant contains various antioxidants (in stem, leaf and root tissues).

That have potential long-term benefits for human health,

Enjoy these asian-vegetable,s leaves and flowers raw in salads.

Or stir-fry the leaves with other Asian vegetables.

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