Arugula is a green leafy vegetable, mostly referred to as Salad leaf or rocket leaves. It is a species of Eruca which is native to the Mediterranean region.
This vegetable comes in the most refreshing shade of green and grows anywhere from 20-100 centimeters.
Along with the leaves, the flower and seeds of Rocket are also edible. It is popularly used in raw form as a salad and makes an excellent accompaniment with meats and Pasta.
Arugula has strong peppery flavor and goes beautifully as a topping of your pizzas. It is definitely one awesome way to add health to otherwise unhealthy cheesy pizza.
It is a supremely healthy vegetable and can be easily incorporated in your diet as it does not have strong earthy nuances like other leafy vegetables of the same category.
As we progress, we will introduce our readers to the goodness of Arugula and give them compelling reasons to grab a bunch when they step out for some veggie shopping next time.
Scientific name: Eruca Sativa
Arugula is a supremely healthy Vegetable which easily scores a 90% in the area of nutrition completeness.
The greens of Arugula do a world of good with 53% carbohydrates, 22% fats and 25% proteins composition.
The following chart gives a fair idea as to why Arugula is what the experts claim it to be!
Arugula has a high content of Vitamin K which is about 136% of our daily requirement. It fulfills 47% of Vitamin A, 25% of Vitamin C and approximately 24% of folate needed by our body for a day.
Apart from the vitamins it has an impressive composition of minerals and trace metals as well. You can derive 16% of Calcium, 8% Iron, 12% Magnesium and 16% of Manganese from 100 grams of Arugula.
The best characteristic of Arugula is that it has moderate to low content of trace metals which makes it a very safe vegetable.
Arugula can prove to be an important inclusion in your diet as it has numerous health benefits owing to a great nutritional composition.
In fact high vitamin A and C make it a must for young children.
These vitamins also make it a great antioxidant. The minerals in Arugula prove to be beneficial for an overall health in individuals.
1. Arugula is Effective For Diabetes Management
100 grams of Arugula leaves make for hardly any glycemic load at 2 on 250 where 250 is the maximum glucose target for the day.
It means that consuming this vegetable along with meals or right before meals can help in preventing blood sugar spikes experienced in people suffering from type II diabetes.
It can also prove beneficial for those who are vulnerable to this disorder owing to heredity factors or are borderline cases of Diabetes.
Eating it before meals can have an effect of pills that Sugar patients are usually recommended.
2. Weight Loss Management
We have all heard salads are best friends to those who are struggling with unhealthy weight and are desperate to lose some of it.
Salad containing Arugula can prove to be a good choice if you are on the weight loss quest. The chlorophyll in this vegetable which gives it the vibrant green color is known to reduce hunger naturally in humans.
Apart from this compound, Rocket leaves if taken in raw form contain a lot of dietary fibers as well.
Fiber makes you full with the low amount of food and keeps you full for longer making it a hunger suppressant. But this is not all, Arugula has a healthy composition of minerals like potassium, Magnesium.
Manganese which ensures that you do not suffer from electrolyte imbalance in the body after sweating it out in the gym.
3. Say Goodbye to Body Odor
Body odor and bad breath top the list of major “turn offs” and we could not agree more.
If you suffer from this problem and have been resorting to cosmetics and artificial methods then read on to find a natural solution for this embarrassing issue.
Arugula is known to kill odor which means no masking the bad breath or body odor with mint lozenges and deodorants.
Again it is the chlorophyll which gives rocket leaves the property that deodorizes naturally. In earlier times, the juice of these leaves was used to control the foul smell from open wounds.
Studies have shown that intake of 15-200 mg of chlorophyll can reduce and even eliminate the bad body odor or stale breath for up to 36 hours.
4. Hello to Strong bones
Apart from keeping bad breath away, Arugula promises to keep your teeth strong and bones in a fit shape. It has high calcium content which is the major building block of our body.
But it is not only the Calcium in Arugula which makes your bones strong but also the important vitamin K.
Vitamin K acts as a glue that deposits and binds calcium together. This process also reduces bone loss and deterioration.
This way it helps in preventing Osteoporosis and Arthritis. For patients already suffering from these debilitating ailments, regular consumption of raw Arugula can bring down the rate at which these conditions worsen. By controlling bone loss,
Vitamin K also maintains healthy kidney and bladder which can get impaired by clogging on excessive calcium in the blood, owing to bone loss.
5. Improves Cognitive function
Our cognitive abilities are basically the set of all mental abilities related to knowledge viz. attention, memory, judgment, evaluation, reasoning etc.
With age, many of these abilities begin to blunt just the way it is in growing infants and babies.
A steady and limited decline in our cognitive abilities is natural and expected as we grow really old, say beyond 65 years of age.
Studies show that 800 mcg of folate taken every day can slow the rate of this cognitive decline especially amongst people with high homocysteine, a protein which increases the risk of damage to other cells.
100 grams of Arugula has 97 mcg of Folate which you can easily increase a little more to make up a good percentage of 800 mcg required in older people.
6. Protect your Eyes
Vitamin A is rightly called retinol because it is an elixir for eyes and their development. The health of our eyes depends mainly on the kind of diet we consume and a Vitamin A rich diet is what your eyes need.
Consumption of Vitamin A rich foods like Arugula from a young age can delay various age-related vision problems.
Most of the people today fall prey to deteriorating vision at a very young age. This can definitely be fought with a healthy diet laden with Vitamin A.
It helps in managing and slowing down the common eye ailment- Macular degeneration. This condition can worsen and cause complete blindness in some people.
Arugula is also a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids and contains 170 mg of it per 100 grams. Omega 3 acts as an antioxidant and protects from cataract and protects the eye.
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7. Boosts your libido
Move over the commercial products that promise to increase your libido and, in turn, do more harm than good.
Arugula is considered to be a very potent aphrodisiac. Its prowess in this area was famous even during the ancient Roman civilization as is evident by the fact that Virgil, the greatest Roman poet mentioned this fact in his poem.
Studies have shown that it boosts testosterone levels and sperm activity in mice.
This makes Arugula a promising ingredient even in cases of male fertility were low, sperm count and activity might be a hindering factor.
Arugula not only increases but also keeps your libido steady by blocking the absorption of environmental contaminants that are considered responsible for low libido.
8. Detoxifies for great results
Detoxification is the process by which our body flushes out the toxins. These toxins are the result of oxidative stress, environmental contaminants and similar compounds that enter or are produced in the body as we communicate with our environment.
Arugula is a very effective antioxidant as it has two vitamins- Vitamin A and Vitamin C that are considered the best anti-oxidants in the group of Vitamins.
They scavenge on the free radicals, clean the layers of skin and strengthen your immune system.
Detoxification makes you sturdy and resistant to common infections and diseases owing to an improved immune function.
Arugula reduces the incidence of acne and gives a uniform complexion. The anti-oxidants in Arugula further slow down the symptoms of aging delaying the appearance of facial wrinkles and lines.
9. Controls Inflammation
Inflammation is our body’s defensive response to tissue damage which results in swelling and pain. Though inflammation is required and biologically important but it is also equally important to contain it. Omega 3 fatty acids and Indole 3 Carbinol in Arugula arrest inflammation and also act as natural painkillers.
Omega 3 fatty acids are known for speeding up the process of healing and reducing the signals of pain being sent to brain naturally. This makes it as good as an allopathic painkiller minus the side effects.
Studies have also shown that Indole 3 Carbinol has potent anti-inflammatory effects that are therapeutic in nature.
Both of these compounds are present abundantly in Arugula and can prove to be beneficial in cases of injuries and painful conditions.
10. Aids Blood Clotting
A sizable people suffer from bleeding related condition wherein blood does not clot on exposure and, therefore, it increases the risk of heavy blood loss even with smallest of injuries. In cases of accidents and extensive injuries also, the body may find itself unable to stop the bleeding out.
For avoiding both of these situations, ensure that your diet has recommended Vitamin K doses which are a natural blood coagulant.
Vitamin K in Arugula transports calcium to the area of injury so that it clots and stops the bleeding. This vitamin is also effective in controlling internal bleeding and jaundice.
11. Keeps Cancer at Bay
Mainly owing to its anti-oxidant properties, Arugula manages to fight cancerous cells. Free radicals produced in the body cause cancerous growths by damaging the DNA of cells.
These damaged cells tend to divide fast and have no stopping mechanism. Over a period of time, they invade the space of healthy cells and form tumors.
Anti-oxidants clean and eat up free radicals before they can cause considerable damage to any of the healthy cells in the body.
A vegetarian diet including healthy Arugula leaves can help in managing and slowing down the cancerous growth when taken with the conventional treatment.
12. Cures Indigestion
If chronic and acute indigestion is a persistent problem for you then consuming a salad of Arugula may be one of the best and natural solution for your problem.
Eating this Salad before having the actual meal will release the digestive enzymes which will help in digesting your meal afterward.
Raw Arugula is a rich source of fiber which in itself aids healthy digestion and keeps your gastrointestinal tract clean and healthy.
High fiber adds bulk to your stools and softens it for an easy excretion from the body.
A few words of Caution
How can Arugula be harmful to you?
Most of the leafy vegetables like Arugula are rich in Oxalic acid. This acid has been conclusively associated with the formation of Kidney stones.
So, though by controlling calcium release in the blood Arugula favors the Kidney function; but people who suffer from Kidney stones actually elevate their risk of developing them significantly with regular consumption of Arugula.
To such people, a simple advice is that do not eliminate it entirely from your diet but eat it sparingly.
We mentioned that Arugula has a strong peppery flavor in the earlier sections of this article. Well, the compounds responsible for this distinct flavor can cause mild irritation in the throat.
Some people may also experience tongue swelling, stomach cramping, and diarrhea by over eating Arugula in Raw form.
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