The benefits of eating this leafy green

By Roni Deluz ND, RN, Ph.D.

Arugula is a leafy green herb, mainly found in salad mixed greens and it belongs to the Brassicaceae family. Don’t mistake arugula for lettuce. Although it looks similar, arugula acts in a way lettuce does not. Arugula is the “green rocket.”

Top 7 Reasons to Eat Arugula

Helps with Weight Loss
Arugula is very low in calories; only 25 calories per 100 grams of salad greens. Due to the amounts of chlorophyll found in arugula, not only does the herb detox the liver and organs, but also suppresses appetite and controls hunger.

Fights Cancer
Arugula contains plentiful amounts of phytochemicals such as indoles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates. Combined, these compounds are known to fight carcinogenic effects of estrogen and offer protection against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, and ovarian cancers. They increase white blood cells and reduce tumours, while at the same time inhibit cancer cell growth and cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.

Is Anti-Viral and Anti-Bacterial
Researchers have found that Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a phytonutrient, which is found in cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cabbage, and kale, has antibacterial and anti-viral benefits, which helps the immune system.

Improved Eyesight
Arugula has vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and flavonoids, all which help to improve eyesight. It has anti-inflammatory benefits, which decreases free radicals from the body, allowing better blood flow to the eyes.

Builds Immunity
Arugula is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C not only can fight colds and the flu, but also can prevent the body from infections. People tend to get their vitamin C from fruit, which full of sugar. Skip the sugar and eat arugula.

Acts as a Natural Aphrodisiac
Arugula was once known by the Roman and Egyptians as a potent aphrodisiac during the first century. Due to the potency of trace minerals and antioxidants that it contains, it allows for detoxification to the organs, increasing libido, which is also important for the reproductive organs.

Heals the Gut
According to a study published by the World Journal of Gastroenterology, arugula oils has been shown to reduce stomach acid, reduce gastrointestinal ulcers, and protect the lining of the colon to prevent cancer.

100 g is equal to 2/3 cup

100 g is equal to 2/3 cup

How to Choose the Best Arugula

When you buy arugula at the market look for crispy, green, young leaves. Avoid flowered harvest, the leaves that are flowered will taste bitter and are tough.

You can find arugula in your local market or farmers market all year long. In addition, you can grow arugula easily in an indoor micro garden, or a warm climate. Arugula grows just like other leafy herbs, so it can be grown in a container garden as well. Buy seeds or starter plants that are organic and non-GMO.

How to Serve Arugula

You can eat arugula fresh and cold as a delicious salad, or you can cook it by gently steaming or sautéing it, like you would kale or spinach. You can also make arugula pesto by replacing the basil with arugula, and add it to pasta, sandwiches, and wraps. Arugula goes well with oil and vinaigrette, garlic, and seasonings, and can be blended with dips and spreads as well. Remember not to overcook the leaves or you will reduce the nutritional value.

Warm Arugula Salad
Serves 2
5 cups of loosely packed arugula greens
½ cup walnuts
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 medium red beet, shredded
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
6 oz. grilled, broiled, or baked salmon
1-2 TBSP shaved Romano cheese for taste
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper to taste

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add walnuts. Toast for 4 minutes, stirring frequently (be careful not to let them burn or they taste bitter) remove the walnuts and set aside.

Turn the heat up to medium high and add the coconut oil to the skillet. Add shredded beet and sauté the beet for five minutes. Stir while cooking.

Turn the heat up to high and add balsamic vinegar. Add the greens to the pan and stir often for 2 minutes. Serve and top with walnuts, salmon, Romano cheese and cayenne pepper to taste.

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