Gastric ulcers or stomach ulcers affect a number of people around the world. They are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach. This is usually caused by an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria or by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – particularly if they’re taken for a long time or at high doses. Some other factors of this disorder include stress, smoking, and nutritional deficiencies. Its most common symptom is a burning or gnawing pain in the center of the abdomen (tummy) while other people experience indigestion, heartburn, and nausea (feeling sick) (1,2).
Gastric Ulcer And Arugula
Arugula leaves have an aromatic, tangy flavor and gained greater importance as a salad vegetable and spice. It is also known by other names such as salad rocket, garden rocket, roquette, rucola, rugula or colewort. This superfood is composed of 90% water, high in fiber and antioxidants, rich in glucosinolates, chlorophyll, B-vitamins, and vitamin K, and contains indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates (3).
In a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, a research team led by Dr. Syed Rafatullah from Saudi Arabia suggests that Arugula can be a natural and safe alternative ulcer treatment. In this study, the researchers validated the gastric anti-ulcer properties of Arugula on albino rats that were exposed to chemicals, drugs, and other stressors in order to induce acid secretion and ulcers. At the end of the study, the team concluded that Arugula or Rocket extract possesses antisecretory, cytoprotective and anti-ulcer activities against experimentally-induced gastric lesions in rats. The anti-ulcer effect is possibly through prostaglandin-mediated activity and/or through the plant’s antioxidant properties (4).
Tips for Eating or Cooking:
· Eating raw arugula will provide our body with more of the healthy isothiocyanates as compared to eating cooked arugula.
· Eating lightly cooked arugula enables our body to absorb more of certain nutrients and carotenoids than when it is raw.
- Add arugula leaves to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread.
- Add a handful of the leaves to an omelet or scramble.
- Throw a handful of arugula and blend into a fresh juice or smoothie.
- Sauté the leaves in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and then season with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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