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Health Benefits of Arugula Leaves

Health Benefits of Arugula Leaves

Arugula now known as Eruca sativa is a herbaceous plant based leafy vegetable with a pungent spicy taste commonly used in salads. Commonly used in salads, sandwiches and a variety of other recipes, arugula is not just a creative way to add taste to your food, but a source of numerous health advantages. Here is the list of all the health benefits of consuming arugula leaves:


1. Rich in Nutrients

The nutrient content of this vegetable also puts it as one of the richest foods and it has a lot of vitamins and mineral content’s. Study shows that it is loaded with vitamins A, C and K and also that vitamin A is essential to the health of our eyes and immune systems and plays a role in our skin protection, vitamin C which is an antioxidant is very vital to our skin health and immune systems, Vitamin K on the other hand is important to the health of our bones and assists in blood clotting. Moreover, the established evidence indicates that food contains folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium which play significant roles within the body.


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2. Antioxidant Properties

The fact that this vegetable contains many antioxidants, it keeps the body protected from free radicals which are dangerous molecules that can harm the cells. Other vitamins and phytonutrients include vitamins C and A, and other mainly found antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin assist in neutralizing of these dangerous molecules. This protective mechanism helps minimize the likelihood of developing severe and recurring illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.


3. Supports Bone Health

While all forms of lettuce are good for your health, this vegetable is particularly rich in vitamin K which is an important element in the formation of bones. Namely, Vitamin K plays a role in the activation of osteocalcin, a protein which is needed for the calcification of the bones. Taking more vitamin K helps in increasing the density of bones and is useful in preventing bone fractures. Further, the presence calcium in arugula makes it possible for human to have strong bones and teeth.


4. Enhances Eye Health

This vegetable is packed with carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for the eyes. Among these, the antioxidants are especially beneficial in preventing the occurrence of age related macular degeneration, also known as AMD or cataracts. Research has shown that incorporating arugula into one’s diet can improve good vision and overall eye health.


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5. Boosts Immune System

This vegetable provides a daily dose of vitamin C, which is essential for immunological wellness. The common functions of Vitamin C include enhancement of the production of white blood cells that are vital in the body’s efforts to combat infections. It also plays the role of a shield that provides immunity to cells from colonization of free radicals. By including arugula in your diet plan, there are a number of ways through which your body will be put in a better position to be able to deal with diseases.


6. Aids in Digestion

This vegetable also contains high amounts of fiber that help with digestion and contribute to good digestive health. Fiber creates volume in the stools thereby providing ease in passing them without straining and therefore prevents constipation. Also, fibers assist in feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut as they are considered prebiotic compounds. Gut health refers to the overall health of the intestinal microorganism commonly known as microbiota associated with digestion, nutrient absorption, or gastrointestinal problems.


7. Promotes Heart Health

This vegetable contains compounds such as nitrates and other heart-healthy nutrients that have to be consumed in adequate amount to support heart health. Ingested nitrates cause blood vessels to dilate, increase blood circulation and reduce hypertension. Also, it minimized inflammation, and in this regard, the cholesterol in arugula does not undergo oxidation, and this leads to development of atherosclerosis. It is for this reason that regular consumption of arugula is beneficial for the heart and lowers the chances of developing heart disease.


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8. Supports Weight Management

For individuals who would wish to control their weight, they can consider taking arugula vegetables into their diet. It has low calories and a high density of fiber making the consumers have a full belly hence they will not be able to consume a lot of calories. This is because the fiber content in the food also helps in digestion and by averting over indulgence one is able to shed those extra pounds. Consuming arugula in salads, smoothies and throughout the day can also make one feel full for longer and aids in weight control.


9. Enhances Skin Health

This vegetable contains vitamins essential for the skin and antioxidants that prevent skin problems. Vitamin C also plays a role in building collagen which is vital in skin support and prevents wrinkles. Specifically, through antioxidants, arugula combats oxidation and free radical phenomenon thus eliminating facial lines and wrinkles. Also, Vitamin A maintains healthy skin and assists in cell regeneration and formation hence it aids in the formation of healthy skin complexion.


10. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Arugula can contain bioactive compounds which have an anti-inflammatory property. These compounds have the ability to lessen inflammation not only in joints but throughout the entire body and scientists have established a relationship between inflammation and most diseases including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer among others. Arugula is beneficial in decreasing inflammation because it contains antioxidants that will neutralize free radicals involved in inflammation.


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How to Consume Arugula


1. Salads: Arugula can be used as the foundation for any type of salad. It has a warm and sharp taste similar to a peppery feeling, so it complements sweet fruits like apples, pears, and citrus fruits and nutty and creamy products like cheeses.


2. Smoothies: Include arugula alongside fruits to be blended with a liquid accompaniment for a healthy and fulfilling drink.


3. Pesto: When preparing pesto, try replacing the basil with arugula to give the dish a more exotic feel.


4. Sandwiches and Wraps: Arugula can be added to sandwiches and wraps for more taste and nutrition.


5. Pizza Topping: Put freshly washed arugula on pizzas after baking, adding a kick of pepper to the pizzas.


6. Soups and Stews: It can be added to soups and stews, although this should be done just before the dish is served in order to get the nutritional and taste benefits from the food.


Conclusion

Arugula leaves has a lot of health benefits that nourishes the body and help in improving the health of the bones, digestion, heart and many more. Because of its high antioxidant profile, the leaf plays a key role in preventing chronic diseases, it is also low in calories and enriched with fiber which makes it an ideal vegetable for weighing losses. Also, the vitamins and the minerals which it contains help the body to have a healthy skin, strong bones as well as a strong immune system. From fresh salad, pizza toppings, to blending it in with smoothies, arugula is an ideal vegetable that is healthy and can transform your diet to be healthy in a big way.

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