Watercress bunch with approx. 600gr
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Watercress is part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Initially regarded as a weed, watercress was first cultivated in the UK in the early 1800s.
Low in calories and high in nutrients, watercress ranks first on the US Centers for Disease Control's Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables list. A serving of 34 grams of watercress contains:
Carbohydrates: 0.4 grams
Protein: 0.8 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Fiber: 0.2 grams
Vitamin A: 22% of the RDA
Vitamin C: 24% of RDA
Vitamin K: 106% of RDA
Calcium: 4% of DDR
As you can confirm, a glass of 34 grams of watercress provides more than 100% of the RDA of vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin needed for blood clotting and for keeping bones healthy.
Watercress also contains vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and copper.
Watercress is full of plant compounds called antioxidants, which protect against cell damage caused by free radicals (damaging molecules that lead to oxidative stress).
Oxidative stress has been linked to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, antioxidant-rich foods such as watercress can help protect against oxidative stress, which can lower the risk of these diseases.
Watercress antioxidants are associated with a lower risk of developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Reduces the risk of cancer
As watercress is rich in phytochemicals, it can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Watercress and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which are activated to compounds called isothiocyanates when cut with a knife or chewed.
Isothiocyanates include chemicals such as sulforaphane and phenothyl isothiocyanate.
These compounds prevent cancer by protecting healthy cells from damage, inactivating carcinogenic chemicals and blocking the growth and spread of tumors.
Good for heart health
Eating watercress can benefit your heart health in several ways.
Watercress contains the antioxidants beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Low levels of these carotenoids are associated with the development of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Watercress also contains na nitrates, which increase blood vessel health by reducing inflammation, stiffness and blood vessel thickness.
Watercress even helps lower cholesterol, which can improve heart health.
Watercress contains many minerals necessary for bone health, including calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
It's good for immunity
Watercress contains 15 mg of vitamin C per serving (34 grams), which represents 20% of the RDI for women and 17% for men.
Assists weight loss
Although not specifically studied, watercress can also have weight control benefits.
If you're trying to lose weight, it's worth trying to add this low-calorie, nutritious vegetable to your diet.
Improves athletic performance
Vegetables in the Brassicaceae family contain high levels of nitrates.
Nitrates are compounds found naturally in foods such as beets, radishes and vegetables such as watercress.
Protects eye health
Watercress contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidant compounds from the carotenoid family.
It's easy to add to the diet
Watercress can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from macrobiotics to vegetarians, through to specific diets and weight loss programs.
However, to get the most benefit from its active antioxidant compounds, it's best to eat it raw or lightly steamed.
Here are some easy ways to add watercress to your diet:
Add to your salad;
Add to soup after cooking;
Use it to replace lettuce;
Make it into pesto by mixing it with garlic and oil;
Juice with ginger and orange;
Average nutritional values per 100 g:
Energy: 67 kj / 16 kcal; lipids: 0.1 g; carbohydrates: 0.2 g, of which sugars: 0.2 g; fibers: 1.9 g; proteins: 3.3 g; salt: 0.75 g; vitamin A: 325 mcg; vitamin C: 77 mg; calcium: 198 mg;
Conditions of Conservation and/or Use
Store between 1ºC and 5ºC.
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