Arugula Health Benefits

The Arugula Health Benefits

by: Sharon Carter, staff writer

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Although arugula is often lumped together with other leafy greens, including lettuce and kale, it is actually in the same cruciferous family as broccoli and cauliflower and, as such, it comes with a fair amount of health benefits.

Unlike many forms of salad greens (iceberg lettuce, anyone?), arugula actually packs quite a nutritional punch, especially given it’s incredibly low calorie count. Rich in calcium, vitamin A, C, K, and iron, arugula is not only rich in antioxidants, but also helps to support healthy bone development and maintain a strong immune system.

To top it all off, the spicy, peppery flavor of arugula makes it almost unnecessary to add any type of dressing outside of a little lemon juice, making it a fantastic, nutritional addition to a weight-management or calorie restricted diet, especially since one cup contains only a measly 5 calories.

The high levels of antioxidants in arugula also make up for a lot of its health benefits. It is high in beta carotene as well as four other essential antioxidants, which together can help to protect against various types of cancer, including colon, stomach, breast, and prostate. The beta carotene in arugula, which is a derivative of vitamin A, can help to keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy, as well as enable you to maintain strong eyesight as you age.

Flavorful, nutritional, and incredibly easy on the waistline, the health benefits of arugula are impressive compared to other common salad greens, and it can be a great addition to an otherwise healthy, colorful diet.

Because of the varied benefits of arugula, arugula sometimes is used in vegetable juicing recipes as a way to get some green leafy vegetable nutrition into common recipes.  Arugula mixes well with most vegetable juicing recipes and can be added to fruit juice recipes as well.  Next time you are looking for a way to punch up the nutrition in a juice, reach in your fridge for some arugula.

 

Sources:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/5381-need-health-benefits-arugula/
http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/arugula
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciferous_vegetables







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