From afar and in it’s natural state, it almost looks as if this vegetable is a clump of shamrock you’d see growing in your backyard. But don’t be fooled! Watercress is known to have many health benefits. Just one cup of chopped watercress offers nearly 25% of your Vitamin C, 20% of your Vitamin A, and over 100% of your Vitamin K daily intake. That’s not all this leafy green has to offer. Watercress is also known to provide other benefits such as boosting one’s immunity, preventing cancer, and even thyroid support.
Did you know that a serving of watercress actually contains more vitamin C than that of an orange, more calcium than that found in milk, more iron than in spinach, and more folate that in bananas? It’s no wonder that some consider this the newest powerhouse vegetable to-be. In addition to this, Watercress is a lot more beneficial than just the nutrients it contains. Here are some of the benefits this vegetable is known for:
Some studies have shown that a daily dietary intake of folate can act as a preventative against colorectal cancer. Studies also indicate that watercress’s phytonutrient may be effective in preventing and even stopping the recurrent of breast cancer. In addition to this, the vegetable’s carcinogenic abilities showed benefit in preventing other cancers relating to the stomach and lung. Another great benefit shown is in its effectiveness in reversing DNA damage done to white blood cells.
Improved Thyroid Gland Functionality
As a member of the brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, watercress has shown to be effective in thyroid health by reducing the thyroid hormone production, especially when eaten raw. Although, lightly steaming watercress is also OK since nutrients are still maintained.
Improved Bone Health
Since watercress is rich in calcium and folate, it’s no surprise that this vegetable works in reducing the risk of osteoporosis by repairing and building bones caused by an increase in the production of osteoblasts. This is especially beneficial in those who have a sedentary lifestyle.
Antidepressant and overall Brain Health
A low folate level, or excessive alcohol intake, may increase the risk of depression. With watercress being high in folate content, it can act as an important dietary supplement and aids in reducing the risk of chronic depression. Containing also vitamin C, this vegetable also prevents cognition changes relating to Alzheimer’s and aging by protecting and repairing brain tissues. Additionally, this vitamin also helps reduce bleeding when a stroke occurs.
This is just a short list of the many health benefits that food has to offer. And of course, the vegetable makes a great addition to any meal, especially a salad. Check out these photos of dishes that include watercress as an ingredient: