Isn’t it time to ditch the iceberg lettuce and try something different? Discover the delicious health benefits of arugula.
Before you reach for a head of iceberg lettuce to make your next salad, get out the arugula instead. This gourmet salad green will give your salad a fresh taste and many more nutritional benefits than you’ll get from that boring head of iceberg lettuce. Arugula is a member of the Brassica family of vegetables – a group that’s well known for such veggie superstars as broccoli, kale, and cabbage. It’s hard to go wrong with a lineage like that. What are the health benefits of arugula?
Vitamin and Minerals
Arugula blasts iceberg right out of the produce stand when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Arugula is a good source of vitamins A and C and an even better source of vitamin K – a vitamin that’s important for healthy blood clotting and bone health. Research has shown that getting more vitamin K may reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium to help control blood pressure and preserve bone health. Plus, it’s a decent source of iron to build healthy red blood cells.
Unlike iceberg lettuce, arugula contains carotenes such as beta-carotene and lutein which help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Add a little arugula and fresh spinach to a salad and you have a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory side dish. A diet high in carotenoids from green, leafy vegetables such as arugula may lower the risk of certain types of cancer – particularly prostate cancer.
Because arugula is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, it has many of the same anti-cancer benefits as broccoli and cabbage. It contains natural phytochemicals called indoles which may help to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. That’s one benefit you won’t get from eating iceberg lettuce.
Health Benefits of Arugula: It’s Low in Calories
Arugula is a completely guilt-free food. How many of those can you find in this world of high calorie foods? An ounce of arugula has only seven calories. You can eat it to your heart’s content.
How to Use Arugula
Use it in salads and in place of lettuce on sandwiches and in wraps. Use it as a healthy pizza topping and you’ll feel less guilty about the generous serving of mozzarella cheese you’re knocking down. Add it to soups or steam it and use it as part of a pasta topping. How about an arugula and goat cheese salad? Use it where you would normally use lettuce. It’ll give you more taste and lots more nutritional value.