Saturday, July 7, 2012

Watercress: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

Watercress is one of the ancient green vegetables known to man. During those period people used to feed their children with watercress as it improved their physical growth. Watercress originates in Europe and it can also be found in some parts of North America. It is a member of the cabbage family that includes kale, kohlrabi, collards and mustard greens. Watercress contains fifteen important vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in watercress occur in high quantity. This plant grows in swamps and waterways; it has long angular stems and eye-catching dark green leaves.

Watercress: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits
Nutrition facts of Watercress

Watercress features small, deep green juicy leaves with high moisture content. The leaves of watercress are peppery, sharp & sour, which tastes like mustard greens and garden cress. One cup of chopped watercress contains four calories, these calories breaks down 42% of carbohydrate, 8% fat and 50% protein in the body. It also contains 106% of RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamin K, which helps in clotting of blood. Watercress generally helps in maintaining a good health.

Watercress is fat free, cholesterol free and contains low amount of sodium. It provides 24% of vitamin C, 22% of vitamin A, and 2% of vitamin E and these vitamins works as antioxidants to support the production of collagen and improve the eye-sight. In addition to that, it reduces the free radicals from the body that causes cellular damage and results in aging and disease. Watercress contains 2% of the RDA for vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin, magnesium and phosphorus. One cup serving gives 4% of calcium.

Health Benefits of Watercress
  • Cress has high amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) than the other fruits and vegetables. 100g of leaves gives 72% of vitamin C, which helps in reducing free radicals and reactive oxygen species.
  • This leafy vegetable is a store house of numerous phytonutrients that contains health promotional and disease prevention properties.
  • Watercress helps in improving the immune system. It also acts as an antibiotic, antiviral, and body detoxifier.
  • Cress leaves and stems contain gluconasturtiin, which helps in preventing cancer like diseases.
  • During the ancient period, the early Romans considered watercress as a brain food that strengthened the nervous system.
  • Watercress has a high revitalizing power, which tones the entire system and purifies the blood.
  • The potassium content present in the watercress helps in reducing the weight.
  • It contains sulphur, which helps in absorption of protein and cell building.
  • Watercress helps in digesting the heavy food and acts as an effective anti-cancer substance.
  • Carotenoids present in the vegetable helps in protecting the eyes and improving the eyesight.
  • Having a glass of watercress juice mixed with vinegar removes drowsiness and exhaustion from the body.
  • This plant is used for treating watery eyes, allergies, sneezing and stuffy head.
  • Presence of high calcium helps in strengthening of bones and teeth. It can also prevent arterial damage and heart disease as it contains lutein.
  • It controls the level of blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Watercress contains Phytochemicals that are expected to boast the health benefits.
  • Watercress helps in improving the memory and mental functions.
  • Watercress has high content of vitamin C that helps in preventing the symptoms of cold, flu and other types of inflammation.
  • Due to its iron, zinc and sulphur content, it can be used to treat dandruff and prevent hair loss.


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