Arugula, also known as salad rocket or garden rocket, is one of the world’s healthiest foods. It has a slightly peppery, spicy taste and is recognizable by its small, white flowers. This leafy green that might just look like fancy lettuce offers our body with a wide range of health benefits.
An Ultimate Anti-Cancer Green
Arugula’s anti-cancer activity is one of its commonly known health benefits. In a study funded by Australia’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), results showed that arugula’s sprouts and its mature leaves have higher anti-cancer potential as compared to those commonly consumed cruciferous veggies such cabbage, broccoli, mizuna, daikon, radishes, garden cress, and kohlrabi (German Turnip).
Experts have found that the plant’s ultimate anti-cancer capability is mainly due to its high concentration of glucosinolates. When we eat arugula greens or sprouts, the glucosinolates in them are broken down into compounds called metabolites, naturally occurring substances that affect the pace of metabolism and trigger specific enzymatic reactions to help protect our cells from damage—including the damage that leads to cancer various cancers like lung, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer – and to stimulate self-destruction of cancer cells.
In a separate study, it was found that this leafy green contains kaempferol and quercetin, two cancer fighters that are released when we chew. Eating a cup and a half of arugula per day can help nonsmokers lower their risk of lung cancer by 15%.
In addition to its anti-cancer potential, arugula also offers a variety of health benefits. Continue reading to know more about these amazing leafy green.
Powerhouse Of Heart-Healthy Nutrients
Arugula is packed with vitamin C and K which are beneficial in lowering the risk of heart diseases and other cardiovascular illnesses. Vitamin K can help boost cardiovascular health by pushing calcium into your bones, instead of directing it into your arteries. Meanwhile, in a study published in the April 2004 edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition researchers have found that individuals who received a daily Vitamin C supplement can experience a 24% drop in plasma CRP levels after two months. CRP levels (C-reactive protein levels) is considered by experts as an accurate measure of a person’s heart disease risk than cholesterol levels.
Helps Reduce Inflammation In The Body
Arugula contains indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates, which have been shown to suppress the production of inflammation in the body.
Rich in Chlorophyll
When eaten raw, arugula is one of the best sources of chlorophyll, a natural pigment occurring in many green veggies and can help prevent liver and DNA damage.
Helps Strengthen Bones
Due to its richness in vitamin K, arugula can help strengthen bones and protects them from diseases that may occur as we age. Aside from this, it also plays a crucial role in the formation of healthy skeletal structures of children.
Good For Diabetics
Present in these greens is a variety of antioxidants that can help those individuals suffering from diabetes. Some of its components can help increase insulin sensitivity and maintain a healthy level of blood sugar.
Looking for ways to incorporate Arugula in your diet? Simply eat it raw in a salad. You can also have sautéed arugula or add it to a cooked soup or stew once in a while. Aside from this, we can also enjoy its nutrients by making a nutrient-packed green smoothie made from blending arugula with blueberries, strawberries and coconut oil.