What is Arugula?
Historical research has shown that arugula has been used as a herb, a medicinal plant and as a nutritious vegetable. In early times, arugula was used in plaster, to draw out the poison. Its oil was used for the treatment of hair loss as well as burns. Research has also found that arugula seeds were used in the treatment and management of diabetes mellitus.
Furthermore, arugula is loaded with various vitamins, minerals and health-promoting bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, coumarines, essential oil and terpenes.
Arugula is responsible for various medicinal properties such as:
Health Benefits of ArugulaNutrient Dense Vegetable
Arugula is low in calories and contains high levels of Benefits of Dietary Fibre, which makes it suitable for weight loss. Such a composition makes one feel full after eating arugula and delays hunger pangs.
It contains nutritionally important minerals such as magnesium, iron and potassium. Arugula seeds are a good source of sodium and phosphorus. Besides this, arugula contains vitamin C, vitamin K, carotenoids and flavonoids.
Arugula contains high level of dietary nitrate, which plays a vital role in enhancing athletic performance and in lowering blood pressure.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial:
Studies have found that arugula kills the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, blood infections, diarrhea and dysentery.
Bioactive compounds present in arugula such as flavonoids, essential oil, alkaloids, terpenes and saponin prevent the multiplication and spread of bacteria in the body. Research has also found that both arugula seed as well as oil stop the growth of bacteria and fungi and protect the body against infections.
Protects Against Gastric Ulcer:
It is believed that arugula possesses anti-ulcer properties. It protects the inner-lining of the stomach against ulceration.
Free radicals attack the inner lining of the stomach and lead to the development of gastric ulcer. Arugula is a great source of antioxidants that fight against free radicals and protect against.
It further increases the production of mucus, a slimy layer that coats the inner lining of the stomach. Such a layer protects against the formation of ulcer. Arugula further reduces the secretion of acid in the stomach and works similar to drugs which are used in the treatment of gastric ulcer. Thus, it accelerates the healing process of the ulcer.
Research found that arugula . It increases the level of testosterone (male sex hormone), improves sperm count and reduces sperm death. Two active compounds named saponin and alkaloids present in arugula increase sperm activity.
Improves Eye Health:
Research has found that arugula is a great source of carotenoids. Among carotenoids, β-carotene and lutein are most predominant.
These carotenoids offer protection against cataracts and protect macula (central part of the retina of eye). They improve visual acuity and prevent loss of sight. Lutein and β-carotene protect the eye tissue against damage. β-carotene gets converted to vitamin A that protects your eyes against infections. Thus, making arugula a part of your regular diet can protect your vision.
Protects Against Osteoporosis:
Arugula is a good source of vitamin K (100 grams of arugula contains 130 micrograms of vitamin K).
Studies have revealed that low dietary intake of vitamin K is associated with fracture and low bone mineral density. Vitamin K produces a protein that strengthens the bone and keeps osteoporosis at bay.
Note: People who consume blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin should avoid intake of arugula because of its high vitamin K content.
Research has found that regular intake of arugula helps in maintaining blood pressure within normal range.
Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction. Arugula blocks the entry of calcium in blood vessel and thus helps in widening of blood vessels. This further ensures smooth blood flow throughout the body.
Furthermore, arugula contains "nitrate" that prevents constriction of arteries and dilates them. Thus, blood flows smoothly all throughout the body without an increase in the pressure.
Lowers High Cholesterol Levels:
Studies have revealed that arugula helps in lowering total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It blocks the deposition of fat in the liver and prevents the transport of fat in the bloodstream.
In addition to this, it increases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol which protects the heart.
Studies have observed that arugula slows down the release of glucose from carbohydrate into the bloodstream during digestion. Such an action blunts the rise of blood glucose levels post meal.
Free radicals increase the blood glucose levels. As arugula is a strong source of antioxidants, it scavenges the free radicals and helps in maintaining the blood glucose levels within normal range.
Furthermore, arugula is a good source of dietary fiber, which prevents a spike in the blood glucose level.
Different Ways to Incorporate Arugula in the Daily DietHere are some easy and quick ways to enjoy arugula-
- In the form of salad- Arugula alone tastes amazing but it can also be combined with other green leafy vegetables and some feta cheese to prepare a healthy "green salad."
- Toss a handful of fresh arugula leaves into your pasta.
- Add some arugula to your favorite soup. Remember to add it after you take the soup off the flame.
- You can add arugula to your homemade pizza.
- Make your sandwiches more interesting by substituting arugula for lettuce.
- Make your own arugula pesto or arugula chutney at home.
- You can even add arugula to stir-fried vegetables or chicken.
- Enhance the taste of herbed potatoes by adding some minced arugula to it.
Recipe Using ArugulaArugula and Broccoli Soup
- Onion- 1/2, diced
- Broccoli- 1 head
- Arugula- 3/4th cup
- Garlic- 1 clove, finely chopped
- Thyme- 1/4th teaspoon
- Black pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Water- 2 cups
- Olive oil- 1 tablespoon
- Salt- as per taste
- Heat olive oil in a large vessel. Add diced onions and finely chopped garlic and sauté it for 1-2 minutes.
- Add broccoli (cut in small florets) to it and cook it for 3-4 minutes.
- To the above mixture add salt, black pepper powder, thyme and water. Allow it to cook for about 8-10 minutes or till broccoli is tender.
- Add arugula and the above broccoli mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Squeeze some lemon juice to your bowl of soup and serve hot.
Nutrition Facts for Arugula
|Calcium, Ca||160 mg||16 %|
|Copper, Cu||0.08 mg||3.8 %|
|Iron, Fe||1.46 mg||8.11 %|
|Magnesium, Mg||47 mg||11.75 %|
|Manganese, Mn||0.32 mg||16.05 %|
|Phosphorus, P||52 mg||5.2 %|
|Potassium, K||369 mg||10.54 %|
|Selenium, Se||0.3 mcg||0.43 %|
|Sodium, Na||27 mg||1.12 %|
|Zinc, Zn||0.47 mg||3.13 %|
|Vitamin A||2373 IU||47.46 %|
|Vitamin C||15 mg||25 %|
|Vitamin B6||0.07 mg||3.65 %|
|Vitamin E||0.43 mg||1.43 %|
|Vitamin K||108.6 mcg||135.75 %|
|Riboflavin||0.09 mg||5.06 %|
|Thiamin||0.04 mg||2.93 %|
|Folate, DFE||97 mcg||24.25 %|
|Niacin||0.3 mg||1.52 %|
|Fiber||1.6 g||6.4 %|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 %|
|Carotene, alpha||0 mcg|
|Carotene, beta||1424 mcg|
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