In terms of global reputation, watercress is just about picking especially when compared to its other renowned leafy cousins such as broccoli and kale- but the range of benefits contained by this salad leaf member from the cruciferous vegetable family are no less laud worthy.
Watercress is one of the most nutrient dense food, which is why it is repeatedly topping the health lists all across. Watercress is loaded with Vitamin K, it contains four times more beta-carotene and vitamin A than apples, tomatoes and broccoli, more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than whole milk, more vitamin E than broccoli and more iron than spinach.
Here are some more benefits of watercress that will impel you to grab some of these nutrition-laden greens.
1. Good for Digestion
According to the book 'Healing Foods' the watercress leaves contain digestive enzymes which can aid smoother digestion. The chlorophyll that gives watercress its characteristic green tinge is particularly rich in these digestive enzymes that help the body fully utilize the nutrients in any meal.
2. Good for Eyesight
It's an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are plant chemicals, known as carotenoids that protect your retinas from the damage of aging.
3. Good for Skin
Watercress can prov to be a great detox companion for your skin. It is rich in Sulfur which is known to aid protein absorption, blood purification and cell building. It also promotes healthy hair.
4. Maintains Water Balance
5. May Reduce Cancer Risk
Watercress also comprises of glucosinolate compounds which have been known to restrict colon, breast, lung and prostate cancers. According to the book 'Healing Foods', "Watercress is a great source of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta carotene, which help fight free radicals. Studies have found that regularly eating cruciferous vegetables can help reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum and bladder."
So what are you waiting for? Quickly go pick one of these fresh greens. Have it in soups, juices or toss them up in salads and make most of this nutrition-packed vegetable.