Arugula (Eruca sativa) is a cruciferous vegetable, related to cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts and kale, among others. It is a staple in Mediterranean cuisines and has been used as food since ancient times. Some historic records show that it was even used as an aphrodisiac and anesthetizing agent, as previously noted. Here Joanne Washburn, Food.news, reflects on wild or cultivated arugula health benefits and recipes included:
“Salad greens are a common staple for calorie-conscious dieters and health enthusiasts alike. While for the longest time lettuce has reigned supreme as the most popular salad green among consumers, there are healthier options out there, including arugula.
Sometimes called rocket or roquette, arugula is a Mediterranean green with a distinct mustard-like flavor and strong, pungent aroma. When harvested too late in the
season, arugula can be a tad too bitter to eat. However, even tender, less bitter arugula leaves can be an acquired taste for some.
The many health benefits of arugula
Despite its polarizing flavor, arugula is teeming with nutrients, antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. Together, these components confer some incredible health benefits, such as:
- Boosts metabolism – You’ll find high amounts of most B vitamins in arugula. Together, these vitamins assist in promoting metabolism. In turn, a boosted metabolism allows for better respiration, digestion and blood circulation, among other important biological processes.
- Supports weight loss – Weight loss diets ought to include arugula. Besides being low in calories, arugula also boasts a good amount of fiber and fewer carbs. This combination is ideal for weight management in the long run.
- Maintains good eyesight – Carotenoids in arugula help to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. If consumed as part of a balanced diet, arugula can help reduce the risk of eye diseases in the long run.
- Improves immune health – Loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients, arugula can help bolster our natural defenses against infection and disease.
- Promotes bone formation – Some studies suggest that eating arugula helps in maintaining strong bones. That’s because arugula contains significant amounts of calcium and vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are essential for the formation, maintenance and overall health of our bones.
- Reduces the risk of cancer – Research has shown that eating cruciferous vegetables like arugula is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. This is because cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which can help eliminate potential carcinogens and inhibit cancer cell growth.”
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