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Vitamins in Pechay

By William McCoy

If you enjoy Asian-inspired soups and stir-fry dishes, you've likely come across pechay in one of your meals -- perhaps without even knowing it. More commonly called Chinese cabbage, this leafy, green and white vegetable is readily available in supermarkets and provides a vitamin-rich addition to your diet.

Loaded With Vitamins

One cup of raw, shredded pechay has 20.5 milligrams of vitamin C, 60 micrograms of folate and 32.6 micrograms of vitamin K, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database. The serving of pechay also has small amounts of other vitamins such as vitamin A, niacin and vitamin B-6.

Vitamin C Improves Your Immune System

Ensuring your diet is high in vitamin C helps your body fight free radical damage and build a stronger immune system. One serving of pechay provides a significant percentage of your recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C. Men should get 90 and women should get 75 milligrams of this vitamin in their diet daily. One cup of pechay provides about 22 percent of the RDA for men and about 27 percent of the RDA for women. Pregnant women should have 85 milligrams and breast-feeding women should have 120 milligrams. One cup provides about 24 and 17 percent, respectively, of the RDA for these two demographics.

Folate's Role in Healthy Cells

Folate contributes to the production of DNA and plays a role in cell division. Adults should get 400 micrograms of this B vitamin per day; pregnant women need 600 micrograms, and breast-feeding women need 500 micrograms daily. Although most Americans get enough folate in their diets, it's especially important for pregnant teenage girls and women, or those who are planning to get pregnant, to consume this vitamin. One cup of pechay provides 15 percent of the recommended amount for adults, 10 percent of the RDA for pregnant women and 12 percent of the recommendation of breast-feeding women.

Vitamin K and Bone Strength

Getting enough vitamin K contributes to the clotting of your blood and might also help to strengthen your bones as you age. If you're deficient in this vitamin, you have a greater risk of developing bruises. Adults should get 90 micrograms of vitamin K in their diets per day. One cup of pechay provides about 36 percent of the daily recommended amount.

Pechay in the Kitchen

You can include pechay in your cooking in several ways to enjoy the health benefits of this vegetable. It's effective in Asian-inspired stir-fry dishes, soups and salads. Although many recipes require you to cook it, you can also slice pechay thinly and toss it into your salad as you would a traditional cabbage. This vegetable can keep in your refrigerator for a few weeks.

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