Tag Archives: Arugula

Spicy Nutrient Rich Greens

Perhaps, you remember the Seinfeld episode entitled, “The Chicken Roaster” in which Jerry suspects that Kramer is secretly ordering from a chicken place that Jerry is trying to put out of business because its neon sign disturbs his sleep. In an effort to cover for Kramer, Newman tries to convince Jerry that Kramer’s chicken order is actually for him. There is one problem; the order includes steamed broccoli which, as Jerry says, Newman wouldn’t eat, “if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce.” Newman claims to love broccoli, but Jerry remains unconvinced and asks Newman to eat a piece of the offensive vegetable in Jerry’s presence. Although Newman makes a valiant attempt, he is forced to spit it out, proclaiming it a”vile weed,” and calling for honey mustard, which he proceeds to use as a chaser, chugging it straight from the cup with enormous zeal.

If you are like Newman, straight vegetables may be a little hard for you to make peace with. You may find them slightly bitter and maybe on the bland side. If this sounds like you, here are some veggies that are anything but bland.

mustard seed Mustard Greens
Are you ready to try the veg that took home the title of “World’s Most Feared Vegetable?” These spicy green vegetables, also known as leaf mustard, may be one of the healthiest foods in the world, containing Vitamins A and K, carotene, flavonoids and antioxidants. They are also a source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Eaten regularly, mustard green has even shown to prevent osteoporosis, anemia, and arthritis and to protect against asthma, and prostate and colon cancers. There is also evidence suggesting that the supervening can limit neuronal damage in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s and has enough fiber to ward off hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and constipation.

Want some more tang in your salad? Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable with that offers intake levels of nitrate shown to cut down on the amount of oxygen intake needed for exercise, improve athletic performance and lower blood pressure. So what’s behind arugula’s mighty powers? Studies show that the same thing that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste is also responsible for their cancer-fighting properties. Sulforaphane is currently being studied as an impediment to melanoma as well as prostate, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. In addition, arugula’s high Vitamin K content has been shown to help bones absorb calcium and decrease its urinary elimination.

watercress Watercress
Once used by Hippocrates as a medical treatment, watercress achieved popularity in the 19th century when watercress sandwiches were a standard component of tea for the working class English, earning the vegetable a reputation as “poor man’s food.” Relegated to no more than a garnish in recent years, watercress is now getting its proper recognition. Like arugula, watercress contains nitrate to lower blood pressure and enhance the performance of athletes. Studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease while providing increased energy, lower weight, and healthy complexions. Watercress contains 3,3-diindolylmethane or DIM which has been shown in a recent study to function as a shield for a healthy tissue during cancer treatment. Rats were given lethal doses of radiation were able to stay alive longer when treated with DIM and had higher counts of red and white blood cells.

Incorporating The Greens Into Your Diet
Are you ready to bring on the greens? You can incorporate them into casseroles, sauces, and pasta for a slightly peppery taste. Blend them into your favorite smoothie, add them to your omelet, sauteed them in olive oil or use them to make pesto or eat them fresh and chase with large quantities of honey mustard. Let us know if you have gone daring with your greens. We would love to hear about recipes and adventures!

Why Arugula is Great

Salad greens are always healthy for you, right? Yes and no. Of course iceberg lettuce is far more healthful than a handful of french fries, but it does not contain a ton of vitamins, nutrients or minerals. Leafy greens, on the other hand, tend to be packed with necessary vitamins, nutrients and minerals to keep your body healthy and happy. Arugula is one leafy green that may be overlooked by many, but it is one that you should definitely be consuming.

Arugula salad

About Arugula
The botanical name for arugula is Eruca sativa and it has roots in the cruciferous family of vegetables. Other popular vegetables from this family include cauliflower and kale. Arugula is also referred to as “salad rocket,” which is a fitting name due to the zesty flavor this leafy green gives to your salads. Arugula has roots in the Mediterranean region, making it a popular choice in Italian cuisine. The peppery flavor of arugula greens spice up any dish you add it to from a fresh garden salad to your favorite pasta meal.

Health Benefits
Arugula is a member of the brassica family of vegetables (which also includes broccoli and cabbage) which are known to be full of fiber and high in antioxidants. Some of the specific health benefits of arugula are:

Fights Cancer – In addition to being rich in fiber and antioxidants, arugula also contains high levels of glucosinolates. Studies on vegetables from the brassica family suggest that these veggies may reduce the risk of developing breast, pancreatic, lung and prostate cancer.

Bone Health – Vitamin K is essential for strong, healthy bones. Your body needs vitamin K in order for proper absorption of calcium into your bones and teeth. Arugula is one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin K. A ½ cup serving of arugula contains 10.9 micrograms of vitamin K. If you consumed three cups of arugula, you would receive 100% of your necessary vitamin K for the day.

Weight Loss – Salads can get totally boring when you are attempting to lose weight, but not if you incorporate arugula into your salads. Arugula has a natural peppery flavor, adding a bit of zip to your salad. Additionally, one cup of arugula contains about 40 calories, so if you were to consume three cups of arugula (which provides you with all the vitamin K you need for the day), you would only be consuming 120 calories.

Rye bread with tuna and argula.

Hydration – Arugula is composed of 90% water. This makes it an excellent way to hydrate your body. Additionally, the peppery taste of arugula provides a natural cooling effect on your body, making arugula an excellent food to add to summer dishes for an extra bit of hydration.

Aphrodisiac – Bet you weren’t expecting this one, but arugula has been used as an aphrodisiac since the first century. Romans discovered that those who ate arugula were more sexually energized and arugula developed a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. There is actually science to back this up; the antioxidants and trace minerals found in this dark, leafy green are essential to your sexual health.

No matter what health benefit of arugula you find most appealing, you should definitely be adding this vegetable to your diet. Arugula is absolutely great for adding extra flavor to your salad, but you aren’t limited to salad if you want to introduce this veggie into your diet. Arugula is also a great addition to a pizza as it adds a lot of extra flavor but very few extra calories. Additionally, arugula tastes amazing added to your favorite tomato sauce of pesto recipe. Head to your local market and pick some of this leafy green up today to start seeing improvements in your health.