Health Benefits of Tatsoi Superfood Greens

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Tatsoi is a popular Asian green that’s closely related to bok choy. This versatile leafy green vegetable has a distinct mustard-like flavor that works great in salads and stir-fries.  

Also known as spoon mustard, tatsoi is incredibly nutritious. It’s a rich source of vitamins and minerals and contains several phytochemicals that promote healthy vision, support your heart health, and may lower your cancer risk.  

Discover the health benefits of tatsoi and how you can incorporate this keto-friendly green into your diet. 


What is tatsoi?

Tatsoi is a type of Asian green commonly used in salad mixes, stir-fries, and dressings. It has a mild, slightly mustardy flavor, and its spoon-shaped leaves resemble baby spinach.

Tatsoi belongs to the Brassica family and is closely related to other Asian vegetables, including bok choy and Napa cabbage. 

While tatsoi is traditionally used in Asian cooking, it's becoming increasingly popular in North American cuisine. However, it can be challenging to find tatsoi, and you may have to visit specialty grocers or local farmer's markets to get your hands on this nutritious superfood green.

Tatsoi goes by many names, including:

  • Spinach mustard

  • Tat choy

  • Spoon mustard

  • Rosette bok choy 

  • Baby bok choy 

  • Mustard greens 

  • Chinese cabbage

  • Broadbeak mustard 

  • Tat soy

Tatsoi leaves

Five health benefits of tatsoi

Like many other leafy green vegetables, tatsoi is an incredibly nutritious plant with many potential health benefits. 

Research suggests that regularly eating Asian greens, including tatsoi, is linked to a lower risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.   

Here are five reasons why you should be eating tatsoi regularly. 

1. Nutritional powerhouse

Not only is tatsoi low in carbs and calories, but it also contains essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.

Tatsoi is an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin K

  • Vitamin B2

  • Vitamin B6

  • Folate

  • Beta-carotene 

  • Calcium

  • Potassium 

  • Iron 

  • Magnesium 

Tatsoi also contains glucosinolates, a plant compound that gives tatsoi its distinct mustard-like flavor. 

Glucosinolates have a profound impact on human health. This study summarizes glucosinolate's potential health benefits, including protecting your cells from oxidation and inflammation and supporting detoxification.   

2. Lowers cancer risk  

Eating tatsoi may lower your risk of developing kidney, lung, colon, and prostate cancer. 

Tatsoi and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolate, a phytochemical that's converted to isothiocyanates when the vegetable is chopped or chewed. 

Isothiocyanates have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and can trigger apoptosis, which is the programmed cell death of cancerous cells. 

Close-up of male eye

3. Supports healthy vision  

Tatsoi is an incredibly rich source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for healthy vision. 

Vitamin A is essential for the normal functioning of the retina, the part of the eye that detects light. Lack of adequate vitamin A can increase the risk of night blindness and corneal xerosis, which is dryness of the eye's outer layer.  

Evidence suggests that a diet rich in beta-carotene may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness. 

4. Combats inflammation  

The glucosinolates in tatsoi have been found to lower the activity of enzymes involved in inflammation.

In addition, tatsoi is rich in vitamins C, beta-carotene, and folate, which are all anti-inflammatory nutrients that help your body combat the effects of inflammatory compounds. 

Lowering inflammation helps to protect your cells and DNA from oxidative damage linked to premature aging and the development of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

5. Promotes heart health 

Eating cruciferous leafy greens like tatsoi has significant benefits for heart health. 

This large study suggests that regularly consuming nutrient-rich leafy green vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease by 16 percent. 

It's believed that tatsoi's various anti-inflammatory nutrients—including glucosinolates, beta-carotene, and vitamin C—promote the health of blood vessels and reduce the risk of arterial plaque formation and stroke.

Tatsoi salad

Possible downsides of tatsoi

Tatsoi greens are often treated with pesticides to protect crops from pests and diseases. Because long-term pesticide exposure can cause health problems, including cancer, fertility issues, and neurological disorders, it’s best to buy organic produce whenever possible.

Like other cruciferous vegetables, tatsoi contains goitrogens, a group of plant chemicals that can interfere with thyroid functioning in people who are sensitive to goitrogens or at risk of iodine deficiency. However, consuming moderate amounts of tatsoi is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.  

How to use tatsoi

Tatsoi can be served raw, lightly steamed, sauteed, braised, and stir-fried. 

Its mild mustard flavor adds some kick to any salad mix and makes a fantastic addition to salad dressings. Because tatsoi is a type of leafy baby green, it mixes well with baby kale, arugula, and mizuna. 

Tatsoi has a similar flavor profile to arugula and pairs well with fish sauce in various stir-fry recipes. It's also an excellent leafy green that can be added to sauces, stews, and soups, or you can blend fresh tender tatsoi leaves with pine nuts, salt, and olive oil to make a spicy tatsoi pesto. 

Tatsoi is a perishable green that you should use immediately after purchasing or harvesting. It's best to store tatsoi greens in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag or container with a damp paper towel to keep the leaves from drying out.

Brassica rapa subsp narinosa

Key takeaways

Tatsoi is a nutritious leafy green vegetable typically used in Asian cuisine. Its mustard-like flavor adds a kick to salads, stir-fries, sauces, and dressings and works great in your favorite green smoothie recipe.  

Tatsoi is a keto-friendly food that tremendously benefits your health and well-being. It’s rich in health-promoting nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. 


1. What is tatsoi?

Tatsoi is a type of Chinese cabbage that’s closely related to bok choy and other Asian greens. It’s a leafy baby green with a mild mustard flavor that works great in mixed salad greens and stir-fries.


2. Is tatsoi a superfood?

Yes, tatsoi is considered a superfood. Like other cruciferous vegetables, tatsoi is incredibly nutritious and a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and various phytochemicals with health-promoting properties. 

3. Can I eat tatsoi raw?

Yes, you can eat raw tatsoi. It has a slightly spicy and mustard-like flavor that works well in salad mixes, sauces, and dressings.

4. What are the health benefits of tatsoi?

Eating tatsoi is excellent for your health. Tatsoi promotes healthy nutrition, supports eye health, and is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  

5. Is tatsoi keto-friendly?

Yes, tatsoi is keto-friendly. Tatsoi is low-carb with exceptional nutritional value, making it a perfect choice if you are doing Healthy Keto®. 

6. What is the difference between bok choy and tatsoi?

While bok choy and tatsoi are Asian greens, they’re different varieties of the same species. Bok choy has a white stem, dark green leaves, and a slightly sweet and mild flavor. 

On the other hand, tatsoi has spoon-shaped leaves and a slightly spicy, mustard-like flavor. 

7. Do you eat the stems of tatsoi?

Yes, all parts of tatsoi are edible and nutritious. 

8. Does tatsoi taste like bok choy?

Tatsoi has a spicy, mustard-like flavor. Bok choy, on the other hand, tastes slightly sweet.    

9. Does tatsoi taste like spinach?

While tatsoi and spinach are leafy greens, they have different flavor profiles. Tatsoi has a slightly spicy and mustard-like flavor, while spinach has a mild, earthy flavor.

10. Does tatsoi affect the thyroid?

Like other cruciferous vegetables, tatsoi contains goitrogens, a group of plant chemicals that can interfere with thyroid hormones in people sensitive to goitrogens and those at risk of iodine deficiency. 

Consuming moderate amounts of tatsoi as part of a healthy diet is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. 


11. How do I cook tatsoi?

Tatsoi is a versatile green that you can prepare in various ways. Most tatsoi recipes recommend sauteing or stir-frying tatsoi’s tender leaves for three to five minutes. 

Tatsoi can also be added to sauces, soups, and stews and is an excellent leafy green to make pesto. 

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