Arugula – also known as salad rocket – is an edible plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. Cultivated as a leaf vegetable, arugula has a pungent aroma and peppery taste. It’s a common ingredient in salads, meat and pasta dishes.
Arugula is part of a special class of green leafy vegetables called cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables are prized for their nutrient content, phytochemicals and other beneficial bioactive. In today’s post, we are dishing out all the amazing benefits and nutritional facts of arugula.
Packed with Antioxidants
Just like all cruciferous vegetables, arugula is an excellent source of antioxidants. The antioxidant content of arugula is so high, it could boost a person’s ORAC value. ORAC or Radical Absorbance capacity measures the strength of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect from oxidative stress. This is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that attack healthy cells. This leads to cell mutation that causes chronic diseases.
Eating foods rich in antioxidants strengthen the immune system and reduce free radical damage. Your immune system is your first defense against oxidative damage. Arugula cuts the risk of cancer, heart diseases, and other chronic disorders. It can even reverse the signs of aging!
Rich in Vitamin A
Arugula is also loaded with vitamin A. Retinol or vitamin A acts as an antioxidant. It protects from free radical damage and repairs tissues. This vitamin also improves bones, eyes and teeth health. Even better, vitamin A also keeps the skin clear and the lungs healthy!
Loaded with Vitamin K
Vitamin K works to thin out the blood so it flows easily in the veins. This vitamin protects from disorders related to blood clotting, such as thrombosis and stroke. Vitamin K also works as an anti-inflammatory agent, protecting from disorders like arthritis and gout.
Some studies also suggest that consuming foods rich in vitamin K may cut the risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. This vitamin has the ability to inhibit the degradation of neutral pathways. Taking arugula is a great method of preventing such disorders.
The long list of vitamins found in arugula boosts the osteotropic activity in cells. This allows the bones to become denser, stronger. And those who suffer from osteoporosis saw significant improvement of their condition after eating more arugula. Consuming more arugula works as a preventive step to age-related or activity based bone degeneration.
Cuts the Risk of Cancer
Several studies suggest that arugula is an excellent deterrent to cancer. That’s because this vegetable is a rich source of phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are plant-based nutrients that keep the body healthy. They include substances like thiocyanates, sulphoraphane, and indoles. These compounds are linked to combating carcinogenic agents. Clinical tests also show that phytochemicals actually counters the body’s own cancer-causing tendencies. Arugula helps cut the risk of prostate, breast, colon, cervical and ovarian cancer.
Aids in Fetus Development
For expectant mothers, start eating large amounts of arugula! Arugula contains folic acid. This nutrient prevents physical and mental defects in the fetus. It ensures the proper development of an unborn child’s brain and spinal cord. Folic acid deficiency in pregnant women will result in the gaps in the spinal cord of the fetus. This will lead to brain damage, permanent paralysis or a stillborn.