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Gai-lan is a green leafy vegetable from Brassica family. It is widely used in Chinese Gai Lan. Canadian Academy of Sports Nutritioncuisine and famous as “Chinese Broccoli” or “Kai-Lan” as well. One cup of gai-lan contains 3 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.

Average calories: 16 per one cup.

Gai-Lan: one cup












Vitamins found in higher amounts: vitamins K, C, A, B9 and B2.

Minerals found in higher amounts: manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Phytonutrients found in higher amounts and their health benefits: like other vegetables from brassica family, gai-lan contains certain phytochemicals and they include indole-3-carbinol, diindolylmethane, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and carotenoids.

Indole-3-carbinol is a phytonutrient that can reduce risk of developing estrogen-related cancers by altering the metabolism of estrogen. Indole-3-carbinole is also found in cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard and broccoli.

Diindolylmethane (DIM) comes from the breakdown of indole-3-carbinol in the body and has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-androgenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. DIM interferes with the blood supply of the tumors, making them shrink. In other words, DIM has an anti-angiogenesis effect. It is also a potent antiviral and antibacterial agent.

Sulforaphane can inhibit the growth of Helicobacter Pylori, a microbe responsible for peptic ulcer and stomach upset. Sulforaphane is also found in Bok Choy,Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, mustard greens, turnip, radish, arugula, collard, and watercress. It has an anti-cancer activity as well.

Isothiocyanates induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in certain cancers. However, the downside of isothiocyanides is that they interfere with uptake of iodine, leading to goiter (enlargement of thyroid gland). Isothiocyanates can enhance liver detoxification by stimulating both phase I and phase II of liver detoxification process.

Beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are the carotenoids found in gai-lan. They are antioxidants with protective effects on the eyes.