Another big hit and definitely a must-have for salad lovers is the arugula. It is among the healthiest green leafy vegetable belonging to the same family as kale and cauliflower. More than the established history of arugula as an aphrodisiac, this vegetable is packed with numerous health benefits.
Arugula is low in calories. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), arugula contains 21 calories only for every 100-gram serving with zero cholesterol. Its calories are derived from protein, carbohydrates, and fat. This means that arugula is a good source of energy for the body. Plus, 100g serving of it produces 1.6g or 4% of its daily recommended intake of fiber. Fiber is important to make you feel full longer just as it improves digestion.
In picking out the right food for you, especially when making salads, choose a fruit or vegetable that is not only low in calories but also provides adequate supply of vitamins and minerals, and arugula is one of them.
Arugula is an excellent source of essential vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K. Among this list, arugula has relatively greater contribution of vitamins A (79% DRI), Folates (24% DRI), C (25% DRI), and K (90% DRI).
Vitamin A and vitamin C function as antioxidants. They prevent harmful free radicals from damaging the cells in the body resulting to certain diseases. Folates basically help in the synthesis and repair of DNA. Vitamin K, on the other hand, is significant for blood clotting.
The benefit of Arugula as an atioxidant is improved by the huge quantity of beta-carotene and lutein zeaxanthin it provides.
The 369 mg of potassium present in every 100g serving of arugula is highly beneficial to maintain the fluid balance in the body. Since arugula has definitely higher quantity of potassium than sodium at 27 mg per 100g serving, then you can rely on this green leafy vegetable to watch over your blood pressure by keeping them normal or healthy.
Aside from potassium, numerous minerals contribute to make arugula a superfood for many. The long list of minerals includes iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Iron (18% DRI) plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells, which carries oxygen to the different parts of the body. Like iron, arugula also consists of high value of calcium (16% DRI), which supports the skeletal system and functions including the bones and teeth.
Manganese (14% DRI), meanwhile, has different functions. It has antioxidant properties and assists in bone development and wound healing. It also interacts with other minerals like calcium and iron. Lastly, magnesium (12% DRI) helps in the production of energy from carbohydrates and fat. It is regarded as highly important for its cellular functions.
The Important Health Benefits of Arugula
Low in Calories
One of the main health benefits of arugula consumption is that they are very low in calories yet very rich in nutrients and minerals. This makes arugula a significant vegetable to consume regularly because it is very nutritious without loading your body with too much calories and fats. This green leafy vegetable provides the body with remarkable amounts of Vitamin A, C, K, and calcium. Associating arugula to your diet will optimize overall health.
Cancer is one of the most feared illnesses up to date. Because of the fact that there is still no cure for this horrible ailment, it has become one of the popular causes of death. Arugula is very rich fiber, called glucosinolates, as well as in powerful and effective antioxidants that significantly reduces risks of various types of cancer specifically in the breast, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. The properties this vegetable contains keep the cells healthy as well as enable their self-repairing ability. In addition, arugula’s chlorophyll protects the DNA from damage. If the DNA is damaged the possibility of cancer is increased.
Hydrates the Body
The water content of arugula is impressive. Studies proved that this vegetable is up to 90% water which makes it a very hydrating and refreshing food. Arugula is already a common ingredient in healthy salads and what the majority of us do not know about is that it will also make a thirst-quenching drink especially on hot summer days. If you want to maintain sufficient fluid levels in your body, regularly consuming arugula is of great effect.
Good for the Bones
This green leafy vegetable is concentrated with Vitamin K that is a very essential element for the body to absorb calcium efficiently. Calcium is what the bones need to be healthy, strong, and well functioning. Insufficient calcium absorption of intake results to brittle bones as well as bone disorders like osteoporosis, bone loss and others more. Arugula is also jam-packed with calcium which makes it the perfect bone boosting vegetable. It contains high amounts of these two compounds that both work together for the optimal health of the bones. A cup of arugula contains up to 25 micrograms of Vitamin K. Studies proved that consuming at least 3 cups of this vegetable every day will fully meet the daily Vitamin K requirement of the body. If you want to be able to move around even as you reach the age of 70, make it a habit to eat a lot of arugula a day.
Serves as a Cleansing and Detoxifying Agent
As mentioned above, this vegetable also has significant amounts of fiber. Fiber is an effective body cleansing and detoxifying property. It assures that digestion and bowel movements are proper thus assuring the colon is healthy and free from harmful substances. Regular consumption of arugula will remove harmful toxins from the body for its optimal functioning.
Boosts Brain Functions
The brain is one of the most vital parts of the body performing very important tasks. It is a must to engage in a diet that will preserve and heighten brain functioning. Experts say that as humans grow old, the brain declines resulting to memory loss, inability to focus, exposure to cognitive decline, and others more. Arugula consumption has shown great effects in fighting brain ageing as well in the declination of an individual’s cognitive and motor ability. This is because of its high folate content that is able to maintain and protect mental health and stability. If you want to be mentally healthy even as you grow old, make sure you add arugula in your diet program.
Promotes Weight Loss
As discussed above, this vegetable contains very low levels of calorie. A cup of arugula only has 40 calories and great news is that it doesn’t make you feel weak all throughout your day because of its nutritional profile. On top of that, it is also rich in fiber which is known to regulate digestion. Proper digestion can result to weight loss because indigestion increases the body’s fat storage causing weight gain. If you have been trying to lose weight, arugula would make a perfect addition to your diet program. It will surely help you yield visible and faster results.
Aids Eye Health
Another health benefit that made arugula popular is the fact that it possesses carotenoids that are very helpful in improving the quality of eyesight. On top of that, carotenoids also protect the eyes from age related eye disorders such as loss of vision and macular degeneration. As we grow old, the tendency is for the eye health to deteriorate thus impairing vision and eyes’ cells condition. Consuming arugula regularly will help in slowing down ageing and fighting its corresponding effects.