I find it amusing that things that have been around forever, all the sudden become popular. Like they were just discovered or something.
Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings. Strangely, it seems to be the current “wow look at this” item of discussion. The reason: watercress is one of the five vegetables highest in nutrient content per calorie. It’s believed that getting the most nutrients in the fewest calories, is the recipe for disease prevention, reversal, and permanent weight loss. It seems kind of obvious but maybe not something we think about on a daily basis?
With that, I decided to find out what the deal is with watercress. I learned quite a few things, here is what I found the most interesting:
- The Basics — Watercress can often be found in the wild, in and around streams and cool running water. It is a member of the mustard family, has small, crisp, dark green leaves. Its pungent flavor is slightly bitter and has a peppery snap. Choose crisp leaves with deep, vibrant color. Store it in the frig.
- Yo’ eyes — Watercress contains among other things, Lutien in very high levels. Lutein acts like sunscreen for the eyes (that’s kind of cool, since regular sunscreen burns when you get it in your eyes).
- Energy & Metabolism — A generous dose of iodine is found in watercress. Iodine helps make the thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism.
- Water weight — Watercress is 93% water, and provides some protein (veggies containing protein are a bonus!).
- More than you think — Watercress has more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than an orange and more absorbable iron than spinach (that’s impressive).
- The list goes on — Basically watercress is loaded with everything your body needs to live longer and live better. It’s full of, many nutrients with antioxidant effects, and phytochemicals including different carotenoids. If you’d like the complete nutritional lowdown you’ll find it here.
That should be enough info to get you started. The next time you see watercress in the market, pick up a bunch and give it a try. It’s all the rage!
P.s. The other veggies highest in nutrient to calorie ratio are kale, collard, mustard and turnip greens.
P.s.s. Check here for some pretty yummy sounding watercress recipes.
August 17, 2011 at 9:22 am
there is watercress in the Presidio, kinda near where the bodega area is.
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