Watercress is a member of the mustard family, which includes cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Watercress is common in Europe, North America, and lower South America, and is believed to have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor Areas.
Health Benefits of Watercress:
- Beneficial for eye health because it contains a high level of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. A single cup of chopped watercress provides 1,600 I.U. of vit. A.
- Helps to normalize cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Increases sexual energy and enhances fertility.
- Powerful cleanser of the body, especially the bloodstream.
- Help increase production of breast milk.
- Help improved memory and mental function.
- Contains more sulphur than any other vegetable. Sulphur is beneficial for hair and skin health.
- Helps improve digestion by regulating the flow of bile.
- Good source of iodine, which is important for the function of the thyroid gland.
- Low in calories and high in potassium which is valued for weight loss, as its diuretic action draws excess fluid out of the body.
- Rich calcium which can strengthen the bones and teeth.
- Chewing raw watercress leaves can cure bleeding gums.
- Acts as a mild antidepressant.
- Help control blood sugar levels and prevent or treat diabetes. It is probably due to its high content of soluble fiber that helps reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine.
- Watercress leaves are used as a poultice for the relief of enlarged prostate gland. The poultice can also treat swollen feet and sprained ankles.
- When used as poultice can help relieve swollen feet and sprained ankles.
Nutrient Content of Watercress: This green leafy vegetable is among the most highly nutritious food, many of the great herbalists wrote of the revitalizing power of watercress. Watercress is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, and carotenes. It also a good source of calcium, fiber, iron and copper. Watercress livens up raw salad and it also makes a valuable juice.
Watercress juice alone tastes bitter; to improve its taste mixed it with carrot, celery and apple juice. For optimal health benefits, eat watercress raw and as fresh as possible.
Watercress Benefits for Skin and Hair:
- Watercress juice when applied directly in a clean scalp can help strengthen and thicken the hair.
- Watercress juice when applied to skin as toner can help improve the complexion; it can also help in removing the freckles. The juice should be applied at night, and washed off in the morning.
Tips when buying Watercress: Buy fresh-looking greens with springy leaves that show no evidence of wilting and yellowing. Store it in large plastic bags in the refrigerator for two or three days.
Tips when cooking Watercress: To preserve the vegetables nutrients and to prevent the leaves from turning brown, it should be cooked rapidly (microwaving works well) and served right away.
“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @22:43”