Watercress health benefits includes preventing breast cancer, offers a rich supply of vitamin C necessary for brain tissue repairs, boosting immunity, lowering blood pressure, improving thyroid gland function and preventing iron deficiency. Other benefits includes preventing hangover, promoting weight loss, purifying the blood, maintaining healthy bones, treating diabetes, improving vision, reducing damage caused by oxidative stress, managing gallbladder function, supporting hair health, strengthening teeth, preventing regular cold and improving brain health.
What Is Watercress?
Watercress is a mineral-dense dark, leafy green that originated from Asia and Europe, and is grown in natural spring water and slow meandering streams. It has a slightly peppery taste and an interesting balance of crunchy edible stalks and soft leaves.
This cousin of kale has long been known as a deliciously nutritious herb and a natural solution for numerous ailments – and you are probably most familiar with its use on sandwiches, in salads, and as a partially steamed side dish. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorizes watercress as a “powerhouse” vegetable.
Nutritional Value of Watercress
The vitamin C content in watercress is higher than that of an orange! Furthermore, it contains more iron than spinach, packs more calcium than milk, and has more folate than bananas. The vegetable also boasts a high content of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium, all of which are vital for a healthy body.
1 cup of chopped watercress has:
- Vitamin A 1085 IU
- Vitamin C 6 mg
- Niacin 1 mg
- Folate 1 mcg
- Vitamin K 0 mcg
- Calcium 8 mg
- Magnesium 1 mg
- Phosphorus 4 mg
- Sodium 9 mg
19 Amazing Health Benefits of Watercress
1. Prevents Breast Cancer
Watercress has very active cancer preventive phytonutrients that even consuming just one salad has shown to increase particles into the body’s cardiovascular system that may in turn stop and prevent the return of breast cancer.
Another study on the anti-carcinogenic capabilities of watercress confirmed that it was extremely beneficial when added to the diet as a cancer preventive for lung, breast, as well as stomach cancer.
2. Offers a Rich Supply of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the main nutrients required by the body to function optimally since it reduces the risk of having blood cell damage, repairs brain tissue, and protects the body against various diseases.
3. Boosts Immunity
The high vitamin C content is perfect for protecting your body against diseases caused by bacteria, virus, and fungi. The plentiful supply of the vitamin releases antioxidants, which help eliminate free radicals and any symptoms of inflammation from your body, thereby improving your immunity.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
High levels of zeaxanthin and lutein have been linked with aiding those people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases. As per a study, higher levels of zeaxanthin and lutein were linked with less atherosclerosis, also known as artery hardening, as compared to those with lower carotenoid levels. Moreover, participants with higher levels of carotenoid blood were also less susceptible to experience heart attacks.
5. Improves Thyroid Gland Function
Watercress may work by reducing the production of thyroid hormone when eaten raw. If there is an uncontrolled production of thyroid hormone, you will most probably suffer from diseases like hypothyroidism or goiter, which have their symptoms, such as depression, constipation and weight gain.
6. Prevents Iron Deficiency (anemia)
Watercress is a rich source of iron, which is required to provide hemoglobin to the body. Hemoglobin certainly increases red blood cells, which is very beneficial for people who tend are genetically iron deficient or have lost a lot of blood (because of injury, during pregnancy or menstrual period, etc.)
7. Prevents Hangover
Consuming watercress juice is ideal for curing a hangover since the vegetable works to stimulate the cleansing enzymes in order to detoxify your liver, thus preventing you from feeling the vicious aftermath of excess drinking.
8. Promotes Weight Loss
Watercress has a pretty low-calorie content (around 18 calories per serving), making this plant beneficial for anyone looking to lose weight. Plus, it contains dietary fiber and amino acids, which keep you feeling full for long periods of time and prevent casual snacking.
9. Has Purifying Effects
Watercress contains cleansing agents that are very important for purifying the body. The plant increases diuresis, which efficiently eliminates toxins from the whole body.
10. Maintains Healthy Bones
Watercress offers an abundant supply of vitamin K, lack of which is linked with a higher risk of bone rupture. Sufficient vitamin K consumption improves health of your bones by acting as a changer of bone matrix proteins, enhancing the absorption of calcium, and reducing urinary discharge of calcium.
11. Treats Diabetes
Watercress packs an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, prevent changes brought on by oxidative stress, and increase insulin sensitivity.
12. Improves Vision
A European study found out that vitamin C might be helpful in minimizing the risk of cataract development. Since watercress is a rich source of vitamin C, it may even be helpful at improving your eyesight.
13. Reduces Damage Caused by Oxidative Stress
A research study suggests that vitamin C, in combination with vitamin E is pretty effective at reducing oxidative damage to red blood cells. Even though the study is based on supplements, it is also suggested that eating foods like watercress with these nutrients may actually be very beneficial to health.
14. Manages Gallbladder Function
Owing to high water content present in watercress, the plant helps eliminate harmful toxins that may be hindering the gallbladder function.
15. Healthier Hair
Minerals like zinc, iron, and various vitamins are crucial for healthy hair, most of which are present in watercress. Zinc helps wash away the bacteria from your scalp, thus acting as an anti-dandruff component.
16. Cures Coughs
Watercress has a compound known as Sulphur glycosides, which is strong enough to treat any disease related to long-term bronchitis, specifically coughs.
17. Strengthens Teeth
Because watercress is an excellent source of calcium, it can be extremely beneficial for your teeth. Consuming the plant will add strength to your teeth, and also cure bleeding gums.
18. Improves Brain Health
Vitamin C consumption may be helpful in preventing cognitive changes associated with aging and Alzheimer’s, and also repairing brain tissues.
19. Prevents Regular Cold
Foods rich in Vitamin C, such as watercress, are known to be an effective solution for common cold. Research suggests that vitamin C-dense foods may minimize the risk of catching cold by 66%.
Watercress is a delicious and incredibly healthy plant that will change your life for good. You can add it to salads, or incorporate it into soups, sauces, casseroles, or even pasta.