Watercress. Said to be the most ancient of vegetables in the known world is celebrated for its fantastic flavoring traits. This organic superfood also contain some amazing therapeutic and aphrodisiac qualities.
Nasturtium officinalis or watercress is a very ancient semi-aquatic and perennial herb that belongs to brassicaceae family. It usually grows along riverbanks with slow running stream. An organic superfood that is distinguished by its small circular leaves that is pungent and peppery in flavor. The plant bears clusters of tiny white flowers called corymbs.
Vitamin content in watercress includes vitamin A, C, vitamin B1 & B2, and vitamin K. It also holds several essential minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, a rich supply of fiber and a healthy amount of iodine as well.
Lets take up some health benefits from this ancient organic superfood.
It houses a very potent compound called thioglycosides, a form of glycosides or a sugar molecule with sulfur containing bond. It is anti-thrombosis that has a mild anti-coagulant capacity.
Like its bigger cousins, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage, this organic superfood is also well known for its extraordinary anti-cancer properties. Watercress possesses a powerful phytochemical glucosinolates that undergo chemical breakdown in the body producing isothiocyanates, a well-researched compound that can counter lung, colorectal, prostate and breast cancers.
Watercress can also be your best source of two most potent carotenoids to help you maintain a healthy heart and eyes, namely zeaxanthin and lutein. Its high content of iron and zinc gives it an aphrodisiac effect that made them popular during the ancient Roman and Persian Empire.
It can improve your thyroid gland function due to its high iodine content. A wonderful purifying agent to help your body get rid of toxins as well as in treating chronic bronchitis.
It also helps keep your skin healthy by providing you with a high level of vitamin A and C. Gives relief to gingivitis by simply chewing on some leaves. A tincture of watercress applied directly to scalp and hair can treat dandruff and even prevent hair loss. And these are just some of the countless benefits from eating watercress. Not bad for a lesser known green organic superfood.
Although safe for most people in food quantity, It is not advisable to use watercress for long term medication as it can cause stomach and kidney problems. It is may cause miscarriage and therefore not safe for pregnant women. This green should also be avoided by individuals with intestinal ulcer or kidney problem.
Food Trivia: Did you know that the great Hippocrates built his first hospital along a stream where watercress grows in abundance to be readily accessible to his patients?
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The article written here is for educational purpose only and is not meant to provide any medical advice. If you have an illness or medical condition, it would be best to consult first with your health care provider or family physician before undertaking any course of treatment.
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