Health Benefits of Arugula

Health Benefits of Arugula

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What is Arugula?

Arugula is a part of Brassicaceae family which is produced widely in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey and Italy. It is a dark green leafy vegetable with a spicy-pungent taste.

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.

The scientific name of arugula is "Eruca sativa". It has various other common names such as jarjeer or jarjir in Arabic, tarmira in Urdu, roquette in French, roka in Turkey, indau in Russian, rucola or ruchetta in Italian, rocket, rocket salad, and arugula in English.

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:
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-tumor
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Analgesic

Health Benefits of Arugula

Nutrient 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.

Arugula Protects 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.

Improves Fertility:

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.

Arugula Improves Visual Acuity And Prevents Loss of Sight

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.

Lowers High Blood Pressure:

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.

Helps in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus:

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.

Arugula Helps In The Management of Diabetes Mellitus

Different Ways to Incorporate Arugula in the Daily Diet

Here 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 Arugula

Arugula 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
Arugula and Broccoli Soup

  • 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

The nutritional values of "Arugula" per 100 grams are:

Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 25
Protein 2.6 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 3.6 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
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 %
Sugars 2.05 g
Fiber 1.6  g 6.4 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 91.71 g
Carotene, alpha 0 mcg
Carotene, beta 1424  mcg
Choline 15.3 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

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Arugula helps in weight loss and prevents cancer. Arugula is a good source of carotenoids and contains a substance called glucosinolates which breaks down active compounds that have antitumor activity, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects. Arugula is low in calories and is a nutrient dense green leafy vegetable. It is a very good source to lose weight.

Okra acts as detoxifying agent.It controls the pH level. It strengthens the good bacteria which is in the body thus strengthening our immune system.

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