Watercress is a plant food and belongs to cruciferous family of vegetables, its health benefits are similar to those provided by greens like kale, broccoli, cabbage, arugula and Brussels sprouts. Increased consumption of wonder foods like watercress can save you from the risk of developing serious illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes and obesity.
Nutritional value of watercress
Watercress is incredibly rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and numerous vitamins and minerals which includes – vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, and low in fat, contains high levels of dietary nitrate, protein and carbohydrates. Eating watercress daily has the power to significantly eliminate free radicals from your body.
Health benefits of consuming watercress
- Reduces cancer risk –watercress contains a compound 3,3′- diindolylmethane (DIM) that is known to shield your body against the effects of cancer and also defend your body’s healthy tissues during cancer treatment. Consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables can also reduce the risk of breast, lung and colon cancer.
- According to studies a compound called phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is present in watercress which may inhibit the tumor growth by starving the cancer cells of blood and oxygen in this way watercress may protect your body against growth of tumors by suppressing the cancer cells multiplication.
- Strengthens bones- watercress is high in nutrient vitamin K which is known to aid bone health. Consuming huge amounts of watercress can supply your body with enough of daily recommended vitamin K intake that will help strengthen your bones by improving calcium absorption and reduces loss of calcium through urine. Lack of vitamin k in your body is known to put you at risk for weak bones that can lead to bone fractures easily.
- Boosts immunity – watercress is packed with vital vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C which is considered to boost your immune health by increasing the production of white blood cells and helps reduce frequency of infections, cold and flu.
- Lowers blood sugar levels – consuming adequate amount of watercress has shown to lower blood sugar levels, prevent oxidative stress and increases insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.
- Protects your heart – watercress is loaded with antioxidants beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which when consumed can help protect against the risk of developing heart diseases like heart attacks and strokes.
- Improves performance– watercress contains high amounts of dietary nitrates which is also found in foods like beets, green leafy vegetables and radishes. Consuming watercress in sufficient amounts can help increase nitric oxide in your blood which may boost your exercise performance.
- Improves eye health – consuming watercress regularly can protect your eyes as it contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which is good for maintaining healthy eyes. Watercress is also packed with vitamin A which is associated with reduced risk of developing cataracts.
Bottom-line – watercress is an unbelievably a super source of wide range of nutrients which needs to be included in your daily diet. You can add watercress to your salads, soups or you can also use it in your sandwich and add to your egg preparations. Include this wonder food to gain numerous health benefits.