Benefits of Watercress for Human Health: Did You Know?

Date: 24 Aug, 2022

Author: sweepbovril

This spicy little leafy green has a lot of nutritional advantages that can support bone and heart health, among other things. Additionally, it is the ideal sandwich topping.

Watercress is a leafy green that is often disregarded despite being a popular food in Asia and Europe. What’s the big deal, then? Discover everything about the possible health advantages of watercress by reading on.

What Is Watercress?

Natural habitats for watercress (Nasturtium officinale), a semi-aquatic plant, include springs and areas with shallow water. Watercress is related to collard greens, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, turnips, and radishes and is a member of the mustard family.

If you’ve never seen watercress before, it consists of a group of glossy, tiny, round, green leaves with round edges that are affixed to hollow, light-green stems. It has a strong, peppery taste and a fresh, herbal aroma like arugula. Usually, the blooms are not consumed.

Watercress is most readily available from late spring to early summer, when it is also sold at farmers’ markets and specialized food shops. Hydroponically, watercress may also be cultivated all year round. (Using hydroponics, plants may be grown without soil.)

Watercress Nutrition:

Contains in a single cup of raw watercress:

Watercress Health Benefits:

The traditional vegetable that is high in fiber may not be watercress. Nevertheless, it is a nutrient-dense green that offers a variety of additional nutrients, including vitamin A, manganese, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, as well as a decent source of vitamin C and an outstanding source of vitamin K.

Watercress may also be beneficial for your health in the ways listed below.

Promotes Hydration:

There are more methods of hydration than just drinking water. Consuming plants like watercress may have a similar impact. In reality, watercress, which contains 95% water, is one of several leafy greens that are virtually totally water.

Water in particular must be consumed in sufficient amounts to support all biological processes, such as the circulation of nutrients and waste products, the regulation of body temperature, the maintenance of appropriate blood pressure, and more.

Supports Building Bones:

You can get all the vitamin K you need for the day by eating 1 cup of raw watercress. According to some research, consuming a lot of vitamin K may boost bone density and lower the risk of hip fractures. According to a review of research published in the journal Medicine, individuals with the greatest consumption of vitamin K had a 22% lower incidence of fractures than those with the lowest intake.

May Reduce Cancer Risk:

Vitamin C may be found in abundance in watercress. This vitamin provides a broad number of health advantages, including promoting the creation of collagen to maintain the health of your hair, nails, skin, and joints. Additionally, vitamin C helps to strengthen the immune system and heal wounds.

Vitamin C may also shield the body from free radicals that could harm cells by blocking the development of certain cancer-causing substances. A diet high in vitamin C, mostly from vegetables and fruits, may reduce the chance of developing cancer, according to a meta-analysis of research that was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Also Read: How Green Tea Make Your Life Batter and Healthy

May Lower Heart Disease Risk:

It may surprise you to learn that vitamin C also protects the heart. Many studies have indicated that eating a more produce-rich diet (and this would include watercress) may reduce one’s risk of heart disease, including one published in Public Health Nutrition. Vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities may help blood vessel health and prevent heart attacks.

May Support Vision:

Lutein and zeaxanthin may be found in abundance in watercress. Additionally serving as antioxidants, these carotenoids may reduce the incidence of age-related eye conditions like cataracts. According to research, consuming foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may assist safeguard eye health.

Potential Side Effects of Watercress:

Vitamin K may interact dangerously with several blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin. Thus, eating foods high in vitamin K may make your prescription less effective. Consult your doctor about the recommended daily intake of vitamin K if you use any blood thinner drugs.

How to Enjoy Watercress:

The vegetable watercress is quite adaptable. It may be used as a green ingredient in sandwiches like these Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches or as the foundation of a salad like this one with peaches, feta, and mint vinaigrette.

Do you like to eat cooked watercress instead? Stir-frying it is one simple method, as shown in this recipe for watercress with rice wine-oyster sauce.

Want to improve how well you absorb iron? You’re in luck since watercress has a lot of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. This flavorful green goes nicely with meat dishes like Sirloin Steak with Rosemary and Garlic Basting or Skillet Steak with Mushroom Sauce.

Bottom Line:

More than simply a garnish, watercress has a wealth of minerals that may build your bones, guard against cancer, protect your heart, and generally enhance your health. Look through these nutritious watercress recipes to learn how to include this nutrient-dense green into your weekly supper vegetable rotation.

Novella Lui, RD, M.H.Sc. headshot Geometry Dash, RD, M.H.Sc. Reviewed by Dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., RD

By sweepbovril

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