Watercress is a superfood, make no doubt about it. And in the end, it is enjoyable to eat. Watercress is loaded with fiber and is a low-fat food option. The benefits of watercress are no secret, however, many people forget to include this superfood into their daily or weekly diets. Watercress just isn’t as sexy of a superfood as all the other superfoods, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as powerful.
Discovering the power harnessed by watercress can be a game changer. I honestly love to cook with it, and sometimes, I eat it raw. If you are someone that strives to get as much leafy green nutrition into your life, then you need to read more about the benefits of watercress.
Watercress, also called scientifically, Nasturtium officinale, is a part of the aquatic plant species. We will go ahead and continue to refer to it as “watercress,” mostly because we don’t really know how to pronounce the other botanical name. Watercress can float due to having hollowed out stems, hence, the “aquatic plant” designation. Watercress is considered a perennial plant. It is found in Europe and Asia. And it grows super fast. And of course, watercress is a superfood due to all the vitamin and nutrients it possesses.
The Benefits Of Watercress
- Calcium for bones
- Digestion power
- Beautiful skin and hair
- Say no to cancer
- Stop feeling so puffy
Watercress Is A Calcium Monster
Watercress is loaded with calcium, which of course, is great for your teeth and bones. Clearly, this makes watercress a perfect vegetable to sneak into the kids diet.
Watercress Aids Your Digestion
Digestion is a huge part of a person’s general health profile. All too often, we overlook the importance of healthy digestion. Poor digestion can often be the sign of an unhealthy person. Watercress contains healthy digestive enzymes that will help your intestines deal with the process of digesting your foods. What’s better? These healthy enzymes help the body extract nutrients from food sources. Just because you eat a healthy food doesn’t mean you get all the benefits of that food source’s minerals and vitamins. Those need to be extracted through the digestive process in an efficient manner that allows the body to utilize them. People with unhealthy digestions which lack good enzymes may not be absorbing vitamins and minerals, making them deficient, even though they choose healthy foods.
Watercress Benefits The Skin
Your skin is a large organ that often serves as an indicator for good (or bad) health. People often remark that after giving up unhealthy habits such as alcohol, cigarettes, and processed sugar, that their skin begins to “glow.” Sulfur is a mineral that is often used to help people with eczema, psoriasis and even simple acne. And yes, sulfur is found in watercress. When your skin is healthy, this often means your hair and nails are benefitting as well. It truly is a big win for your appearance when you eat watercress frequently.
Watercress Slays Cancer (kind of)
Cancer is the number one killer in the Western world. Like many degenerative diseases, cancer has no cure. Often times, people utilize preventative measures to hope to stave off the onset of cancer. Exercise, avoiding processed sugars, drinking lots of water, and drinking the best green superfood powder drinks are often a part of these preventative activities.
Watercress contains glucosinolate compounds. These compounds have been shown to decrease the risks of breast cancer, lung cancer, and alimentary tract cancers. Eating watercress as a part of a normal and healthy diet can essentially serve a preventive measure against cancer. That’s reason enough to get your watercress on.
Watercress Helps Your Lymphatic Balance
Watercress is a great source of potassium, which is an electrolyte capable of balancing your fluids. No one wants to have that “puffy face” look, right? I know I don’t. Fortunately, the potassium content in watercress can serve to help keep your fluids balanced by flushing out the stored water. Haven’t you heard people say to eat a banana after eating a salty meal? Well, watercress is similarly capable in such regards, it just isn’t discussed in the same light as the banana. But watercress trumps the banana due to having a much lower sugar count.
How To Cook Watercress
Well, now that we know that watercress benefits are outstanding for us, maybe we should take a look at how to get a little into our diet. Let’s start with cooking it. Watercress is very similar in texture to spinach. Too cook watercress, I recommend sauteeing as the method. Use a little salt and maybe a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. I recommend medium heat. I tend to cover it to start, lifting the cover occasionally to stir it. Then when I can see that the watercress is “broken down,” I remove the cover and stir until it is at a point that looks good to me. The pan’s lid essentially negotiates the amount of moisture the watercress takes on during the cooking process. It cooks a bit faster in the beginning covered because it somewhat steams it. In the end, I allow some of that moisture to evaporate until it hits the texture I enjoy.
You can sautee watercress with ginger or garlic, I often add peppers, onions and other vegetables like mushrooms. I enjoy spicing it up just slightly with cayenne pepper as well, but that may not be your thing.
Can I Eat Watercress Raw?
Yes, you can. Always make sure to wash it first, of course. You can expect to get a bit of a tangy and maybe bitter taste from it. You may or may not enjoy such an experience. Raw foods do tend to provide a better nutritional experience as the nutrients are subjected to intense heat which can sometimes kill them off.
Watercress Benefits: Final Thoughts
Watercress is a true superfood. Including the benefits of watercress into your diet can vastly improve your health, help strengthen bones, stave off cancer and improve your skin. It is also highly attributed to improving digestion.