Watercress is an often overlooked leafy green that packs a powerful nutrient punch.
Its small, round leaves and edible stems have a peppery, slightly spicy flavor.
Once considered a weed, it was first cultivated in the UK in the early 1800s but is now grown in watery beds throughout the world.
Watercress boasts many important vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K.
Watercress is extremely high in antioxidants, which may help prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Watercress contains potent anticancer compounds called isothiocyanates that have been shown to ward off several types of cancer.
Watercress has many potential benefits for heart health, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Watercress is a good source of vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system and reduces your risk of infection.
Watercress is a highly nutritious vegetable that can help fill you up for very few calories, which may aid weight loss.
Watercress is a source of dietary nitrates, which have been linked to improved athletic performance.
However, there are currently no studies on watercress that confirm these beneficial effects.
Watercress contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health.
Watercress is also a good source of vitamin C, which may protect against cataracts.
Watercress is a versatile addition to your meal routine. Eat it in a salad, soup or sandwich or use it to garnish any dish.
One cup (34 grams) of watercress contains the following:
- Calories: 4
- Carbs: 0.4 grams
- Protein: 0.8 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0.2 grams
- Vitamin A: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 106% of the RDI
- Calcium: 4% of the RDI
- Manganese: 4% of the RDI