Arugula - Useful Properties And Contraindications

Published on: 24/11/2021 | Last Updated: 24/11/2021
Arugula - Useful Properties And Contraindications

Arugula has a bitter and characteristic taste. Low-calorie plant (25 calories per 100 grams), rich in vitamins and nutrients. Adds a slightly peppery note to salads.

Arugula has a bitter and characteristic taste. It originates from the Mediterranean region. The plant is also known as rocket, eruca and lettuce. He is a member of the Cruciferous family, which includes Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower and broccoli.

Unlike many green salads with a light and not sophisticated taste, arugula has a very distinctive and sharp taste and adds a slightly peppery note to salads and other cold dishes. Like parsley, rocket can be chewed to help with bad breath.

It can be used in addition to or instead of most types of lettuce and herbs. It is also distinguished by the distinctive shape of its leaves. Arugula flowers, seeds and leaves are edible.

Nutritional value of arugula

 

This tasty plant is a food with high nutrient density and high content of fiber and phytochemicals. In addition, arugula is low in calories - calories are only 25 per 100 grams of product. It contains little sugar, carbohydrates and fats. It is a rich source of vitamins and nutrients:

  • Calcium - a mineral that helps normal blood clotting. It is also necessary for the health of bones, teeth, muscle and nerve function.
  • Potassium - a mineral and electrolyte that is vital for the work of the heart and nerves. It also helps the muscles to contract normally, as well as to reduce the negative effects of sodium. It is useful for people with high blood pressure for this reason.
  • Folic acid - a B vitamin that supports the production of DNA and other genetic material. It is especially important for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Folic acid deficiency in pregnant women can lead to spina bifida, a neural tube defect.
  • Vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is important for tissue health and the absorption of iron from food.
  • Vitamin K - helps blood clotting. When taking blood-thinning medications, vitamin K intake should be discussed with your doctor before changing your diet.
  • Vitamin A - a group of fat-soluble retinoids. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function, cell growth, night vision and overall eye health. It also helps maintain the functioning of the kidneys, lungs and heart.

One cup of arugula (about 20 grams) contains:

  • 5 calories
  • 0.5 grams of protein
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • Vitamin K - 27.7% of the recommended daily dose *
  • Calcium - 3.2% *
  • Vitamin C - 2.5% *

It is mainly used in cooking for making salads. The plant is rich in B vitamins. 100 grams of it contains the necessary daily dose of vitamin K for the human body. The composition also includes zinc, magnesium, selenium, sodium, copper, phosphorus, manganese and iron.

Health benefits of arugula consumption

 

Green leaves have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract and digestive processes due to the biologically active substances that are part of the plant. It is also known for its lactogenic, expectorant and diuretic effects.

Arugula fights effectively against pathogenic viruses and bacteria, increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood, strengthens the immune system, lowers blood sugar, regulates water-salt metabolism and is a prophylactic against the development of cancer.

It is recommended for consumption by people suffering from venous disease and high blood pressure. Among other leafy vegetables, arugula contains high levels of beneficial nitrates and polyphenols. A study found that high nitrate intake can lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise and improve athletic performance.

Vitamin K helps wounds heal faster as it increases blood clotting. Arugula is an excellent dietary remedy. In addition to being low in calories, it has a beneficial effect on metabolism, contains many elements that help those who want to lose weight, limited by the products necessary for the body, while they do not lose energy and efficiency. The plant also has a lot of fiber, giving a feeling of satiety.

Eating fruits and vegetables, no matter what kind, reduces the risk of many adverse health conditions due to their high content of antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals.

Studies specifically link arugula and other cruciferous vegetables to the following health benefits:

1. Reduced risk of developing cancer

While a complete, healthy, and vegetable-rich diet reduces the risk of cancer in humans, studies have found that certain groups of vegetables may have specific anti-cancer properties.

Cruciferous vegetables are a source of glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing substances. Glucosinolates may be responsible for the bitter taste of arugula and their fight against cancer. The body breaks down glucosinolates into a number of beneficial compounds, including sulforaphane.

Studies have shown that sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), which is involved in the progression of cancer cells. The ability to stop HDAC enzymes may make sulforaphane-containing foods a potentially significant part of cancer treatment in the future.

The reports link diets high in cruciferous vegetables with a reduced risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and others. However, research is limited and scientists need more qualitative evidence before confirming these benefits.

Easily recognizable cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and turnips. Lesser known species include arugula, bok choy and watercress.

2. Prevents the development of osteoporosis

Arugula is high in calcium and vitamin K - nutrients important for bone health.

Vitamin K is involved in bone metabolism and that its deficiency may increase the risk of bone fractures. Leafy vegetables are one of the main dietary sources of the vitamin.

One cup of arugula provides 21.8 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K, which is included in the daily recommended value for adults (80 micrograms (mcg)).

3. Reduces the risk of developing diabetes

Studies have found that eating vegetables reduces a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and leafy green vegetables have been reported to be particularly beneficial.

Arugula and other cruciferous vegetables are a good source of fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and can reduce insulin resistance. Foods high in fiber make people feel full for longer, which means they can help deal with overeating.

4. Improves heart health

Intake of vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, has protective effects on the heart.

A 2017 meta-analysis reported that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, salads and green leafy vegetables were associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported that following a diet high in cruciferous vegetables may reduce the chance of developing atherosclerosis in older women. Atherosclerosis is a common condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

The protective effects on the heart when consuming these vegetables may be due to their high concentration of beneficial plant compounds, including polyphenols and organosulfur compounds (organic compounds that contain sulfur).

Useful properties of arugula

The healing and beneficial properties of arugula are not limited to those listed above, because it is indispensable in gastric ulcers or gastritis, as it protects the stomach walls and strengthens them.

Arugula oil is used in cooking to flavor salads, but it is also extremely useful for hair because it strengthens it and has a beneficial effect on the hair structure, preventing hair loss.

It is useful for problems with potency (it is enough to take 3 teaspoons of it regularly).

How to add and consume arugula in the diet?

 

People usually add fresh arugula to salads or side dishes, but it also goes well with pasta, stews, sauces, sandwiches and tacos, like other leafy vegetables. You can prepare a protein and low-calorie arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken and walnuts. The leaves and taste of arugula also make it an interesting addition to fruit salads.

Saute faster than kale and collar greens. When the arugula is cooked, it loses some of its peppery taste and becomes softer in taste. You can add the beautiful green plant to pasta with pumpkin and goat cheese. Due to its tenderness, it gives more flavor to dishes than spinach or chard.

Because of its bitter taste, people often mix raw arugula with other vegetables with a milder taste, such as kale and collar greens. In Italy, it is common to garnish pizzas with arugula after baking.

It can be used as an alternative to basil to make hot or cold pesto. To prepare it you only need arugula leaves, parmesan and pine nuts.

The plant is easy to grow. Fresh arugula should be purchased, stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days of purchase.

Here are some recipes for including arugula in everyday life:

  • Add a handful of fresh arugula to an omelet or scrambled eggs.
  • Blend a handful of arugula with fresh juice or make a puree.
  • Saute arugula in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan. Serve as a side dish or on baked potatoes.
  • Add arugula leaves to tacos, sandwiches or baguettes.

Contraindications

When choosing foods to prevent disease and achieve good health, it is important to remember that overall diet and eating patterns are the most important factors. It is better to eat a diet rich in a variety of nutrients than to concentrate on individual foods.

People taking blood-thinning medications should avoid abruptly increasing or decreasing foods containing vitamin K, as this vitamin plays a vital role in blood clotting.

If properly stored, freshly squeezed arugula juice containing nitrates can accumulate bacteria, which can convert nitrates into nitrites and contaminate the juice. Ingestion of very high levels of nitrites can cause damage to the body.

Keep in mind that consuming large amounts of foods rich in nitrates can interact with certain medications, such as organic nitrate, nitroglycerin, or nitrite medications that treat angina.

 


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