Not many foods can boast the health benefits of the vegetable, watercress. It ranks highest among most vegetables and beats out many fruits for its potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and calcium content – rightfully garnering its status as a super food.
Watercress is one of the oldest green vegetables known to man, but not as popular as it has been in the past. Its health benefits are, therefore, little known but praiseworthy. Below are some of its greatest “super powers.”
Watercress contains lots of vitamin C (more than half the recommended daily amount (RDA)), vitamin A (a fifth of the RDA), vitamin K, iodine, potassium, calcium and water. It also contains vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as small amounts of iron, folate and zinc.
Super Powers of Watercress
Watercress is a member of the cabbage family and has fewer calories than any other vegetable. It has antibiotic, diuretic, expectorant, anti-aging, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant powers, as well as the following amazing abilities:
- Fights Cancer – Antioxidants and phytochemicals in watercress are especially helpful in defending against lung and breast cancers by impeding tumor growth and stopping damage to white blood cells.
- Fights Cold and Flu Symptoms – Watercress loosens up sinus congestion, making it easier for phlegm to be expelled from the body.
- Removes Toxins from the Body – Watercress’s fiber and high antioxidant content makes it a body and blood purifier that eliminates harmful toxins and free radicals that could damage cells or cause disease. Glucosinolates within watercress also help improve liver function, which naturally detoxifies the body.
- Protects Against Heart Disease and Stroke – Fiber also helps to regulate blood pressure and keep cholesterol levels down. Lutein and zeaxanthin also prevent plaque buildup on arterial walls, which greatly lowers heart disease and stroke risk.
- Boosts Energy and Metabolism – Hypothyroidism usually means low iodine levels, which can be corrected by eating more watercress. The thyroid maintains metabolism, so eating watercress can be the jumpstart you need to start losing weight again. Thiamine and magnesium in watercress also help bring out the energy in foods.
- Softens, Smoothes and Clears Skin – Vitamins A and C soften and smooth the skin, and help reduce eczema outbreaks.
- Strengthens Hair and Nails – Vitamin A, iron and zinc are the nutrients in watercress responsible for creating healthy hair and nails.
- Strengthens Teeth and Bones – Six of the nutrients in watercress are healthy bone and teeth builders, including vitamins A, C and K, calcium, manganese and magnesium.
- Improves Digestive System Function – Fiber serves many purposes, but especially regulating the digestive system and bowel functions.
- Improves Mental Faculties and Brain Function – Watercress contains some omega-3 fatty acids, which keep the mind sharp, and fiber which purifies the body and defogs the mind.
- Improves and Protects Vision – The phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin in watercress preserve the eyesight. Vitamin A and zinc also help keep vision strong at night.
- Improves Blood Circulation – Iron and folic acid in watercress increase the production of healthy red blood cells, which fights anemia, strengthens the body, transports oxygen throughout the body, keeps skin looking healthy and keeps the body warm.
- Strengthens Immune System – Watercress is full of antioxidants that eradicate cell-damaging, disease-causing free radicals. The B vitamins in watercress are also instrumental in building antibodies that defend against such attacks.