One of the heavens sent vegetables is the watercress. This green leafy vegetable is mainly grown naturally in the spring water. In the past decades, the watercress has been used more as a plate garnish. However, its now gaining popularity all over the world as the next superfood. Not only that it is a good addition to some dishes, it is also a home for many nutrients beneficial for the betterment of the overall health. The health benefits of watercress actually include the support in the thyroid, prevention of cancer, boosting the immune system, and providing wide-range of nutrition. All of these health benefits of watercress may start in just a single serving of it in a dietary supplement.s
What is Watercress?
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The vegetable, watercress is actually a green, leafy vegetable that is rich in many minerals. Furthermore, it is also a cruciferous plant that has been grown for centuries now. The plant, in fact, belongs to the Brassicaceae family. The health benefits that it can give all comes from its high levels of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, it is also because of the plant’s phytochemical structure.
Moreover, the watercress has the same family with the mustard. Its leaves and stems are actually edible and are good additions to your salad. The plant is peppery in nature, making it an additional spicy in every dishes. In the true sense, the vegetable is a super vegetable that can easily grab the heart of those who love eating vegetable salads.
Nutritional Facts of Watercress
The watercress, together with the beetroot and some other leafy vegetables have rich levels of dietary nitrate. High consumption of this dietary nitrate is beneficial in lowering the blood pressure, reducing the oxygen needs during exercise, and enhances the athletic performance. Below is a more detailed list of the nutritional breakdown of the amazing watercress.
2 cups of watercress may provide:
- Carbohydrates: 0.9 grams
- Fiber: 0.3 grams
- Sugar: 0.1 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Calories: 7
- Omega-6 fatty acids: 4.1 milligrams
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 7.8 milligrams
- Sodium: 13.9 milligrams
- Vitamin A: 44 percent of RDI
- Vitamins C: 48 percent of RDI
- Vitamin K: 212 percent of RDI
- Calcium: 8 percent of RDI
- Manganese: 8 percent of RDI
- Potassium: 6 percent of RDI
- Vitamin E: 4 percent of RDI
- Thiamin: 4 percent of RDI
- Riboflavin: 4 percent of RDI
- Vitamin B6: 4 percent of RDI
- Magnesium: 4 percent of RDI
- Phosphorus: 4 percent of RDI
Health Benefits of Watercress
Here are some of the best health benefits of watercress:
Helps prevent stroke. Studies show that watercress’s folate content help averts stroke.
Antidepressant. The folate content of the watercress helps in the production of neurochemicals like the serotonin. Furthermore, folate is beneficial in treating depression, which is a big trouble nowadays.
Rich in folate. Since the watercress has ample amount of folate, it is beneficial for the prevention of birth defects to infants.
Rich in calcium. Calcium is very important for the health, most importantly in the prevention of various diseases. Since the watercress is very rich in this particular nutrient, it is beneficial in averting the possible risks of various illnesses.
Helps in improving the bone health. Since the watercress is rich in calcium content, it is beneficial in strengthening the bones. Furthermore, calcium also helps in repairing the bone by means of increasing the osteoblasts production.
Helps in improving the cardiovascular health. The watercress has a power in lowering the cholesterol levels in the body. Hence, eventually reducing the risk of cardiovascular illnesses like atherosclerosis.
Helps in improving the function of the thyroid gland. The watercress is beneficial in reducing the production of thyroid hormones. However, this vegetable is more beneficial when it is raw, that’s why it is advisable that you consume it raw.
Helps in preventing colorectal cancer. This is one of the most amazing health benefits of watercress. Many studies show that the watercress’ folate content is beneficial for the daily diet and in averting the risk of colorectal cancer.
Helps in preventing cancer (Breast cancer). The cancer preventive phytonutrients in the watercress are essential for this certain health benefits. Furthermore, the phytonutrient helps in increasing the molecules into the body’s circulatory system, which may help in preventing and stopping the recurrence of breast cancer.
Possible Risks of Consuming Watercress
Before indulging watercress, you must first consult you, doctor. This is since the vegetable is high in nitrate content. If you have risk factors or cardiovascular disease, consuming this may cause harm. Because high levels of nitrate may interact with various medications. Always remember that it is the overall diet that is most important, rather than concentrating on just an individual food for a better health condition.