Yesterday, I was gifted with a whole bag full of yummy, peppery arugula from my friend’s garden. I was so excited to receive such an unexpected tasty present. Arugula, also called rocket greens, is a vegetable from the cruciferous family with many amazing health benefits.
Arugula is loaded with antioxidants to fight against free radical cell damage.
Glucosinolates give arugula its strong smell and bitter taste and help protect against breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Glucosinolates are organic compounds found in some vegetables that act as pest control for the plant but can help detoxify the human body of potential carcinogens.
Arugula is high in both Vitamin K and calcium, two important vitamins for bone health.
Arugula is a natural source of high levels of beneficial nitrates. Studies have shown that consuming nitrates can enhance endurance athletic performance, decrease the amount of oxygen needed while exercising and lower blood pressure.
Eating cruciferous vegetables like arugula could reduce atherosclerosis, the heart disease producing buildup of plaque in the arteries.
One cup of arugula has almost 2 grams of regularity producing fiber, only 25 calories and little fat. Arugula is an easy vegetable to grow and can be added to your diet in a variety of ways.
- Throw some leaves in a smoothie.
- Sauté some arugula with olive oil and add as a side to dinner.
- Many people like to add the peppery bite of arugula to the top of their pizza.
- Add some arugula to a mixed green salad to add some variety to the flavor profile.
- Make it into a non-traditional pesto.
These are just a few ideas of tasty ways to enjoy arugula. What your favorite?
photo from flickr.