Arugula Benefits

Arugula, also known as garden rocket, rucola, arugula, or Italian cress, is a lesser-known green cruciferous vegetable with a distinctive tart, spicy, and peppery flavor that gets more bitter with time. The list of arugula benefits is also quite long.

It offers almost the same health benefits as other cruciferous vegetables, including kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Arugula is often eaten raw as a salad green, especially in spring salad mixes but can also be enjoyed cooked in different recipes. Arugula seeds, seed oil, and flowers are also edible.

This vegetable is low in calories and contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a great addition to your diet.

Here are more incredible facts about arugula benefits.

It may protect your heart

Cruciferous vegetables are generally known to offer heart-protective benefits, and arugula is no different.

It’s high in heart-healthy nutrients, including folate, vitamin C, and K. These improve heart health and prevent cardiovascular conditions.

In one meta-analysis, vitamin C supplementation of 500 mg for at least four weeks in patients with high cholesterol showed a reduction in triglyceride and LDL cholesterol. However, there was no significant increase in HDL cholesterol. Low LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are greatly associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.

Folate helps maintain homocysteine levels, which when high can increase the risk for heart disease.

Arugula may improve eye health

Arugula is rich in protective carotenoid antioxidants, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. This help protect against macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in old age.

Studies have also shown that lutein and zeaxanthin may protect your eyes against blue light damage.

Arugula may improve digestion

Like other leafy greens, arugula is high in fiber which helps prevent constipation, clean out the colon, improve bowel movements, and promote the absorption of nutrients.

It’s also an alkaline food that can help restore your body’s optimal function and improve the immune system.

arugula in a silver bucket on a beige background

It may help control blood pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of the adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Only 1 in every 4 of these individuals have their blood pressure under control.

Including leafy greens in your diet, such as arugula, can increase your potassium intake. This eases tension in your blood vessels, making blood pressure drop.

Also, the more potassium you consume in food, then the more sodium you lose. This further aids in reduction of high blood pressure.

It may help prevent diabetes and its complications

According to the National Diabetic Statistics Report, over 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, while 1 in every 3 has pre-diabetes.

With type 2 diabetes being a lifestyle disease, what you eat plays an important role in managing it.

According to research to determine the anti-diabetic activity of arugula, they found that consuming arugula leaf extract improved insulin response and lower hyperglycemia which is key in the treatment and management of diabetes.

Arugula may also play an important role in preventing diabetes complications. The leaves contain glucosinolate compounds, which prevent the chemical reaction leading to AGE formation.

AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) are harmful compounds that form due to high blood glucose levels experienced in diabetes.

These compounds have been linked to kidney disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, and nerve disorders.

It may promotes healthy bones

Arugula is a great source of vitamin K, with a cup providing up to 21.8 micrograms. Vitamin K is essential for the activation of proteins essential for mineralization and bone formation. This helps increase bone density and lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

The high potassium in arugula may also neutralize the acid in your body that can leach calcium out of the bones, predisposing you to brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Arugula is good for your skin

Arugula is high in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals that may cause cell damage. This cell damage can lead to premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Vitamin C also promotes collagen production, improves skin elasticity and stretchiness, reduces wrinkles, and increases blood flow to the skin.

It’s also rich in folate, which may give you a natural glow, reduce acne, and stimulate the formation of new skin cells and tissue growth.

Arugula may enhance athletic performance

Arugula, along with other leafy greens, contains very high levels of nitrates, which have improved athletic performance.

Dietary nitrate lowers oxygen requirements and improves oxygen delivery and utilization during exercise. This may increase endurance and improve performance.

Arugula may reduce inflammation

Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases. Arugula contains indole-3-Carbinol and isothiocyanates, which help fight inflammation by suppressing the production of inflammatory markers, boosting cell function, and preventing disease formation.

arugula on a wooden cutting board on a black background

Arugula may improve cognitive function

High nitrate levels in arugula increase blood flow to the brain by relaxing and dilating the vessels. The more blood supply to the brain, the more oxygen is delivered, and the lower the risk of brain cell death, which is greatly associated with cognitive decline.

In one study, consuming at least one cup of raw or cooked leafy greens was associated with a reduced decline in cognitive function.

Arugula is cancer-fighting cancer.

Arugula and other cruciferous vegetables are high in glucosinolates, which has been shown to lower the risk of breast, colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.

This vegetable is also high in chlorophyll, which may help prevent liver and DNA damage from different carcinogenic substances in the environment.

In Conclusion: Arugula Benefits

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable from the cruciferous family.

Other vegetables in this class include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.

It has a peppery and spicy flavor and may often be eaten cooked or as a salad.

It’s rich in nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and antioxidants.

Arugula health benefits include improved heart health, proper digestion, improved eye health, controlled blood pressure, heart health, better digestion, strong bones, better skin, reduced inflammation, reduced cognitive function, enhanced athletic performance, and reduced risk for certain cancers.

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