7 Impressive Watercress Benefits for Your Health
Watercress is an aquatic plant species with the botanical name Nasturtium officinale. Belongs to the cruciferous family, which also claims kale, broccoli, arugula, and Brussels sprouts as members. It has been cultivated in Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas for millennia for use as both food and a medicine.
Among best culinary aspects of watercress is its versatility. Watercress can be used as a green salad (probably the most nutritious one) with Romaine lettuce or fresh spinach, steamed and eaten as a vegetable. Moreover, it can be used in soups for a subtle, peppery flavor.
This leafy green veggie comes with countless health benefits as a result of its nutritional value. Modern science has identified more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals contained in Watercress. It has more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and more vitamin C than oranges. Also is very low in calories. Here are some of the most notable health benefits of watercress:
Nutritional Value Of Watercress
Health Benefits Of Watercress
1. Maintaining Healthy Bones. Lack of vitamin K is associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption improves bone health by acting as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improving calcium absorption, and reducing urinary excretion of calcium. Consuming just one cup of watercress could satisfy your daily need for vitamin K.
2. Protect Your Eyes. Watercress is a fantastic source of eye-loving nutrients like vitamin A and beta-carotene, and the carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin. Only one cup of raw watercress contains 1961 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin! Not getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin has been linked to advanced age-related macular degeneration.
3. Prevents Hair Loss. Watercress is a treasure trove of numerous vitamins and minerals. Besides, it is very good blood cleanser and purifier. Thus, including watercress in your diet will help in keeping your scalp healthy and clean. A conditioned and hydrated scalp is always essential to prevent hair loss. Watercress is an excellent scalp hydrating agent. It also helps in keeping the scalp free of infections. Thus, your hair loss is prevented.
4. Protect Your Skin. Watercress benefits for skin work in a number of ways. Problems just like dryness, acne, and eczema are generally a consequence of inflammation or infection, and watercress offers value by acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. But it even offers several nutrients that help keep skin looking young, fresh, and healthy. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K all have a positive influence on your skin cells when it comes to protecting skin cells from toxins and damage while encouraging growth and regeneration. The fact that watercress also has a sufficient quantity of water means it can help keep your skin properly hydrated while aiding in the delivery of nutrients to the area. Watercress’s skin benefits can be obtained by eating it, drinking it, or applying it as a topical rub to areas affected by acne, sunburn, or eczema.
5. Lower Blood Pressure & Take Care of Your Heart. Amazingly but, high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin has been shown helpful to people that have cardiovascular disease. According to one study, higher blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were associated with less atherosclerosis, or artery hardening, than those with lower levels of the carotenoids. Plus, participants with higher carotenoid blood levels were also less likely to succumb to heart attacks.
6. Brain Health. Consumption of foods abundant with Vitamin C may be beneficial in preventing cognition changes as related to Alzheimer’s and aging and protecting and repairing brain tissue. It also works to decrease bleeding when a stroke has occurred. Other results showed that those having sustained traumatic head injury frequently have lower blood concentrations of vitamin C. These studies suggest that daily intake of vitamin C rich food like watercress could possibly benefit in preventing damage and improving the outcomes of brain injury and function. As a matter of fact, high concentrations of vitamin C may play a role in neuron building activity.
7. Treating Diabetes. Antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid contained in Watercress show ability to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha-lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral and autonomic neuropathy in diabetics. Note, most studies have used intravenous alpha-lipoic acid, there is uncertainty whether oral supplementation would elicit the same benefits.
Some Words of Caution: Remember, watercress from stagnant water may host harmful parasites or pathogens, so rinse and soak well before eating.
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