Health benefits of watercress

Health benefits of watercress

A dark, leafy green that grows in pure spring water is called watercress. Watercress has only ever been used historically as a garnish. However, as one of the newest superfoods, it is currently experiencing a resurgence in favour. 

Ancient green watercress may have been a mainstay of the diet of Roman troops. It belongs to the same family as cruciferous vegetables, which also includes kale, broccoli, arugula, and Brussels sprouts. 

Its resurgence in popularity can be attributed in part to people becoming more aware of its substantial nutritional value.

What health advantages may eating watercress actually provide? Here are a few examples: 

Elastin and collagen in the skin are broken down by sunshine, which helps stop and reduce skin ageing.

Watercress has an ingredient called isothiocyanate (ITC), which, along with vitamin C, can aid STOP and prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin and increase collagen formation, resulting in younger, healthier, and more elastic skin. As a result, cellulite and wrinkles will be diminished. 

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Nitrates found in watercress assist the blood vessels become more elastic, which decreases blood pressure.

Your risk of developing chronic diseases may be lowered by foods high in antioxidants. 

Antioxidants found in watercress guard against the oxidative stress brought on by the damaging chemicals known as free radicals, which cause cell damage

Numerous chronic disorders, including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, have been linked to oxidative stress. 

Fortunately, oxidative stress can be prevented by eating foods high in antioxidants, such as watercress, which may reduce your risk of developing certain diseases. 

Over 40 distinct flavonoids, a class of plant chemicals, were discovered in watercress in a study on the antioxidant components in 12 different cruciferous vegetables. 

In this study, watercress fared better than all other vegetables in terms of the overall amount of phenols and its capacity to scavenge free radicals.

High in iron

Watercress contains high levels of iron, which is necessary to convert energy from food and is essential for growth and development. Iron found in vegetables, however, does not get absorbed by the body unless vitamin C is also present to convert it into the same form that is easy to absorb from red meat (known as haem iron). Since watercress also contains vitamin C, that means the iron in watercress is more easily absorbed by the body.

Helps fight Breast and Colon cancer 

The compound Phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) , which is found in abundance in watercress, interferes with a critical protein in cancer development. It turns off a signal called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) which is a signal that is released in order for cancerous tumours to spread to other blood vessels. This therefore is starving the tumour of growth and slowing the cancerous cells from spreading.   

Watercress May Lower Cholesterol

Furthermore, watercress may help lower cholesterol, which can improve heart health. 

In a 10-day study in rats with high cholesterol, treatment with watercress extract lowered total cholesterol by 34% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 53%.

Maintains a strong immune system

Vitamin A that is needed to maintain a strong immune system, and 100 grams of watercress contains more than 50% of the recommended daily intake of.

 Promotes healthy pregnancy

Due to the high quantity of folate in watercress, it is very beneficial for pregnant women. Studies have reported that consumption of folate-rich foods, similar to watercress, can lower the risk of neural tube insufficiency.

Improves bone health

Watercress contains substantial amounts of calcium, which can help slow the progression of osteoporosis. Additionally, watercress has natural chemicals that stimulate the osteoblasts (bone cells) that build bone tissue.

Improves eyesight

Watercress is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids with antioxidant properties. These two carotenoids are essential for eye health.

Nutrient Density May Aid 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. 

If you’re trying to lose weight, adding this nutritious, low-calorie vegetable to your diet is certainly worth a try.

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