The Many Health benefits of arugula
A serving of fresh garden salad is definitely an excellent and healthy way to start a meal. How about replacing your usual and boring lettuce with a serving of some spicy arugula instead? Some people are a bit on the fence with this green leafy vegetable because of its distinctive strong peppery taste.
But you might be surprised that the arugula health benefits and unique flavor easily complements and goes great with other food ingredients.
Arugula, or also known as salad rocket or garden rocket, is easily distinguished by its long dark green oat shape leaves. It is in the same plant family with cabbage, kale, mustard greens and cauliflower.
Its sharp bitter taste and pungent smell not only makes an excellent garden salad base, but also adds an interesting zing of flavor in pizza, pasta, breads and is even used in a lot of Middle Eastern dishes.
To say that it is overflowing in health benefits is an understatement. It does not fall short in providing the body with healing qualities. It is low in fat, calories and cholesterol and is a good source of protein. While in small amounts, it boasts a broad list of essential nutrients that include Vitamins A, B, C and K, copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron. But compared with the regular iceberg lettuce, its Vitamins A, C and K, calcium and iron content is multiplied many times over.
It may not have the vibrant orange color of carrots or vivid yellow hue of squash. But the dark green color of arugula contains a considerable load of carotenoid, lutein and xanthin. These antioxidants have been associated in promoting good eyesight and help to prevent the occurrence of macular degeneration.
Also, the Vitamin C in the garden rocket helps in the prevention of cataracts. It also strengthens the eye’s defenses thanks to its rich content of a photochemical called glucosinolates. And did we mention that it contains 47% of the recommended daily value of the crucial eye Vitamin A? That is definitely a chockfull of eye health nutrients.
Promotes Healthy Bones
Arugula hosts a bevy of health giving bone nutrients. It contains high levels of Vitamin K, which is essential in bone formation and strengthening. The calcium and magnesium, on the other hand, help to boost bone density, while Vitamin C is needed to maintain healthy and strong bones by stimulating collagen formation.
It may be surprising to know that the garden rocket is actually used to energize and boost sexual prowess. It has since been used for many centuries as a sexual enhancer by mixing it with lavender and chicory. It is said that it contains phytochemicals, antioxidants and minerals that flush out toxins from the body that cause the decline in libido.
Effective Weight Loss Vegetable
Low in calories, rich in nutrients, contains protein and virtually fat–free. These make arugula an excellent and healthy choice for weight conscious individuals. Plus, the fiber content promotes bowel movement regularity. This helps keep your tummy in tiptop condition and makes you feel fuller for longer periods of time and resistant to food cravings.
Boosts Metabolic Functions
To add to its weight loss effect, the B vitamins in arugula help in cell metabolism. It works to promote energy production, fat synthesis and other vital processes in cell and metabolic functions.
Its intense green color only means that it contains high amounts of chlorophyll, or also known as liquid sunshine. This helps cleanse the blood, detoxify the cells, boost oxygen flow, fight infection and heal diseases in the body. And because it contains good levels of Vitamin C, it helps the body develop immunity in fighting infectious diseases.You can even use it on pizza to make it both a healthy and a delicious treat.
It contains a number of phytochemicals that inhibit the activity of cancer-causing cells. Thiocyanates, sulphoraphane and indoles have been shown to fight prostate, breast, cervical, ovarian and colon cancers.
Also, the phytochemical glutosinolates is known to reduce the risk of lung, colorectal, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers. Further, arugula helps prevent DNA and liver damage from a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxins.
If you want to keep your sharp mind, an abundant serving of arugula is what you need. It contains high amounts of folate that prevents and protects you from brain aging and cognitive decline.
Food for Expectant Mothers
Pregnant women can specifically benefit from the garden rocket’s folate content. This helps in preventing mental defects in newborn.
Optimizes Mineral Absorption
What is the use of essential vitamins and minerals when these are not properly absorbed in our bodies? Arugula helps in properly using the health benefits of the calcium, iron, copper, potassium and manganese. This is because it is naturally low in oxalates, which is responsible in inhibiting mineral absorption.
While it can be prepared steamed or lightly sautéed in olive oil, you can get the maximum arugula health benefits when you eat it raw. So the next time you think of devouring a bowl of fresh greens, spice it up with the wonderful flavor and nutritional benefits of fresh arugula.