Did you know that Water Cress ranked number 1 on the CDC’s list of powerhouse veggies? Yes, that’s true! Rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals, watercress has some amazing health benefits that you should all know.
The history of use of watercress in the daily diet goes way back in the Roman times where it was just used as a mere side dish. But now, all the health freaks have realized the health benefits of watercress and are having it in the form of soups or smoothie! How great is that? So, it’s a call out for all the salad lovers as it’s time you throw in some of the delicious watercress on your salad and enjoy a healthy-tasty salad.
But wait, before I tell you all the amazing health benefits of watercress, let me give you a brief information about the nutritional facts of watercress.
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Nutritional Profile of Watercress
One cup (34grams) of watercress contains only 4 calories but other nutrients including 22% vitamin A, 24% vitamin C, 106% of Vitamin K, 4% Calcium and 4% of Manganese. It contains 0 grams of fat, 0.8 grams of protein and only 0.4 grams of carbohydrates.
It also contains small amounts of phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and copper. In addition, it is packed with plant compounds called antioxidants and other dietary fibres that are essential for our body.
For further details on the health benefits of watercress, see the full video below:
Health Benefits of Watercress
Watercress was ranked as number 1 on the list of CDC’s list of healthy veggies and here are the reasons why:
1.Rich in Vitamin K
As stated earlier, a total of 34 grams of watercress contains more than 100% of vitamin K. Along with vitamin K, it contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. These are some important nutrients that make up healthy bone tissue. High levels of vitamin K is required for our body to regulate the bone regeneration and bone turnover. This boosts your bone health, making you less prone to fracture and other bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Hence, a balanced diet with watercress and other vegetables is necessary to have a positive effect on bone health.
2.May Prevent Cancer
Watercress is high in phytochemicals, hence consuming it on daily basis might prevent certain types of cancer. These plants are rich in glucosinolates which get converted into isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are chemicals that have been known to protect the body against cancer. These compounds safeguard the healthy cells from carcinogenic substances and block the growth and spread of tumours. Studies show that isothiocyanates can prevent serious cancer such as colon, lung, prostate and skin cancer.
3.Benefits Heart Health
Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable that is also known to benefit the heart health. A review of studies in over 500,000 individuals linked eating cruciferous vegetables to a 16% reduced risk of heart disease. The antioxidants, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin present in watercress have been associated to lower the risk of heart attack and strokes. In addition, watercress also contains dietary nitrates which can boost blood vessel health reducing inflammation and improving the blood flow in the vessels.
4. Lower Cholesterol
Watercress may also help to lower cholesterol and ultimately improve heart health. Though further research is needed, a 10-study in rats with high cholesterol showed that treating with watercress extract lowered the LDL cholesterol by 53% and total cholesterol by 34%.
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5.Helps in Weight Loss
Though it hasn’t been studied specifically, watercress may have benefits for weight management as well. It’s an extremely nutrient-dense food — one cup (34 grams) contains only four calories but provides several important nutrients.
Therefore, if you are trying to lose some weight, adding this nutritious, low-calorie vegetable to your diet is certainly worth a try.
6. Boosts Eye Health
Like carrots and other vegetables, watercress is an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin C. These nutrients certainly helps to boosts eye health. The components like lutein and zeaxanthin are essential in maintaining eye health. Moreover, these compounds have also been linked to a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.