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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Watercress

Jul 30, 2010

Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the mustard family. Its leaves and stems have a peppery flavor. This makes it a suitable aid when you have to spice up soups, casseroles and salads. It also makes a great addition to most sandwich fillings. The bright green vegetable can also be consumed in juice form or used as a garnish. It is widely recognized as a super-vegetable due to its rich vitamin and mineral content.

Nutritional Value

This green contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K. The mineral content includes calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. It also contains fiber, folic acid, antioxidants and carotenes. These nutrients occur in higher quantities in watercress than they do in broccoli, tomatoes and apples. The vegetable has several health benefits.

Skin

Vitamins A, C and E help to maintain a healthy, smooth and supple skin. When included in your regular intake of vegetables, the peppery green can help you achieve a clearer complexion.

Hair and Nails

The vegetable is a natural way to enhance the good health and fine appearance of the hair and nails. Vitamins A, C and E support this cause. Minerals such as iron, potassium and zinc also help to maintain strong, healthy hair and nails.

Eyes

Certain antioxidants found in the fresh, green vegetable support the good health of the lens and retina. Vitamin A and zinc enhance night vision. Carotenoids in the green vegetable also help to protect the eyes.

Bones and Teeth

Watercress can help you maintain strong, healthy bones. This is enabled by vitamins A, C and K. Calcium, manganese and magnesium also assist bone health. Watercress is an excellent natural source of calcium which helps prevent osteoporosis. This is a disease caused by inadequate calcium in the diet. The disease is associated with a gradual loss in bone density, which increases the risk of fractures. Adequate intake of calcium also helps to support strong, healthy teeth.

Immune System

Vitamins B1 and E help to boost the immune system. They protect specialist cells in the immune system from the effects of free radicals. Vitamin B6 is used in the production of antibodies which help to fight diseases. Various phytonutrients in the green vegetable have anti-cancer properties. When included as a regular vegetable in your diet, the peppery green can help prevent many diseases and the risk of certain cancers.

Blood

Adequate iron in the diet helps to produce healthy red blood cells. Folic acid and vitamin B6 also assist in the production of red blood cells. Vitamin C facilitates the absorption of iron in the body, especially from non-meat products. The diversified nutritional content in the vegetable helps to normalize blood pressure.

Memory Functions

Various supplements are available on the market today to help with memory capacity. However, some food sources such as watercress can help in this endeavor. It has been found helpful in mental health. The fresh green improves memory and mental functions. It also gives increased clarity in the thought processes.

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