Health Benefits of Watercress

Watercress is one of the oldest leaf vegetable consumed by human beings. It is considered as a highly nutritious vegetable. It is the member of cabbage family found everywhere in the world now. Watercress plant grows along the banks of slow-running streams and rivers and is identified by small, round leaves. These leaves have a pungent and peppery flavor. Watercress is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, and carotene. It also contains calcium, fiber, iron and copper. This herb has over 40 medicinal uses.

Watercress was very recently in the news for its cancer fighting properties. The researches at the University of Southampton have come up with exciting news that talks about preventing breast cancer. Only a single portion of watercress is sufficient to increase the anti-cancer molecules in the blood, and the effect is immediate, in under an hour you can see the results. Surely, it is not a cure for cancer, but it can help to prevent cancer from starting and on that same note, it will also help those that are recovering from cancer, by not letting the cancer to regrow.

So, what exactly is Watercress?

watercress

Source – avlxyz

Watercress is a rapid growing, water based plant, which is mainly available in Europe and Central Asia. It is eaten by humans as leafy vegetables, mainly used in salads and sometimes are even cooked. It tastes like peppery, tangy flavor.

Benefits of Watercress

  • Early Romans considered it as a valuable brain food which strengthened the nervous system.
  • It purifies the blood and tones the whole system. It has high revitalizing powers.
  • The leaves of the plant are rich in chlorophyll. These leaves are chewed to absorb breath orders.
  • It also helps in digesting the heavy food and is an effective anti-cancer substance. You can get these benefits only if you eat fresh and uncooked leaves.
  • It contains sulfur which helps in protein absorption, blood purification and cell building.
  • The potassium content of watercress helps in weight loss.
  • Watercress juice when mixed with vinegar helps removes lethargy and drowsiness. The Salernitan School of Medicine has proved the watercress juice as a tonic for promoting hair growth.
  • Watercress is used for treating allergies, watering eyes, sneezing and stuffy head. It is used as a poultice for swollen feet and sprained ankles.
  • It is a source of the germanium which acts as an antiviral, antibiotic, and body detoxifier.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • Because of high calcium content it helps in strengthening of bones and teeth. It contains lutein which helps in preventing arterial damage and heart disease.
  • It is helpful in normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol level.
  • It aids in increasing sexual energy and enhances fertility.
  • Is high on iodine, thus has a strengthening effect on the thyroid gland
  • Improves mental health by acting as a stimulants. Helps fight depression.
  • Has Phytochemicals that are expected to have health benefits.
  • Acts as an expectorant, makes mucus less thick so that it can easily be removed by cough. Thus it helps in respiration.
  • The major use of watercress is in treatment of cancer. It contains nasturin, which is a unique type of phytochemical. These phytochemical get converted into PEITC in the body. This PEITC inhibit the growth of different kinds of cancer namely breast, colon and prostate cancer. It also helps in the production of breast milk.

It has few disadvantages also. The leaves of watercress have a tangy taste which causes a contraction of nasal and mouth muscles. It can also cause bladder problems. People with hyperthyroidism should avoid its intake because of its high iodine content.

Watercress is one of those few herbs which are rich in a large number of vitamins and minerals. We can get the full nutrition value of this herb by eating it before the meal. It can be used in garnishing, omlettes, dips, rice dishes, soups, pestos, salads and sandwiches. Watercress plays a major part in our day to day life. It contains anti cancer properties. We can also make use of it in our day to day life. It can be used in making a beauty lotion by mixing 1 tbsp of honey with 2 tbsp of its juice. Apply this on your skin every morning and evening for a glory skin. Fresh watercress juice applied alone can remove acne, pimples, and blackheads and can fade freckles, spots and blotches.

Category: Nutrition

Tags: cancer, fight cancer, food, health benefits, healthy food, vegitable, watercress