Healthy Ingredients

The health benefits of watercress

The health benefits of watercress are numerous. This leafy green is a member of the Brassica family and has been around for centuries. Native to South America, this semi-aquatic plant has long been used in Brazil for its therapeutic effects on tuberculosis. When it came to Europe, it was used as brain food, hair tonic and even an aphrodisiac by the Romans. Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine, named watercress the ‘cure of cures’ and even went so far as to reputedly build his first hospital in Kos near a river so he could grow it specifically for his patients. The fresh, tender green leaves of the watercress plant are power houses of goodness. Packed full of vital nutrients such as iron, calcium, iodine and folic acid, as well as many vitamins and beta-carotene, they are well worth incorporating into your salads. What’s more, watercress weight for weight surprisingly contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than a banana.

Health benefits of watercress

Disease prevention

Studies suggest that the significant levels of glucosinolate compounds found in watercress may help inhibit breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer. It’s thought that these levels help to increase our cells’ defences against carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).

Healthy bones and teeth

Watercress is a good source of vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and manganese, as well as vitamins K and A. These all help to promote strong teeth and good bone health and can safeguard against conditions such as brittle bones and osteoporosis.

For glowing skin

Watercress helps to protect against harmful rays from the sun due to the presence of vitamin C and vitamin A. These act as powerful antioxidants to combat free radicals that can lead to wrinkles and fine lines appearing.

Energy levels and metabolism

Watercress is high in naturally occurring iodine, which helps regulate the thyroid and metabolic rate. It also contains magnesium, vitamin B1 and iron, which help the body release the energy in food.

Digestive support

Watercress is rich in fibre and can help to improve digestive function,. The chlorophyll in watercress contains enzymes that helps aid nutrient absorption, as well as balancing the flora in the gut.

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