Arugula, the peppery, aromatic companion of salads, has now become the favorite of many health experts. There is a ton of scientific evidence that suggests that this salad green can offer way more to the human body than a delicious tangy taste.
Also known as ‘rocket’ lettuce, it was once infamously rumored to be an aphrodisiac, especially in ancient Rome. Love potions were made out of it during ancient times. Ancient Romans even ate it for good luck. Whether it worked as a potent aphrodisiac or not, we cannot say with certainty.
However, what is certain about arugula today is its many health benefits to the body. It is now known to help with digestion, blood pressure, provide vitamin K and calcium to our bones, and also, act as a good detoxifier.
Let’s go in-depth and learn how exactly this legendary green leafy vegetable helps the human body.
Arugula – Health Benefits
- Good for Bones
Arugula is packed with Vitamin K and calcium that are both essential nutrients needed for strong bones. Vitamin K, in particular, is needed for better absorption of calcium into the bones and teeth. Today, many suffer from a significant deficiency of vitamin K. Thankfully, even half a cup of it contains about 10.9 micrograms of vitamin K, which means that 10 cups of arugula daily can supply you with 100% of your daily recommended rate of Vitamin K. Plus; it also contains 8 times more calcium than iceberg lettuce.
2. Help Control Body Weight
Arugula is a low-calorie plant, containing only 25 g calories per 100 grams of serving. As such, people who do have arugula daily are more likely to keep their weight in check than those who don’t.
Additionally, it is also high in fiber and good carbohydrates. Both of which help in keeping you from craving unhealthy food. Arugula ranks 8th in the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index among dark leafy green vegetables.
3. Good for the Heart
Arugula contains heart-friendly nutrients like Vitamin C, K, and folate. Vitamin C helps the body by dropping CRP plasma levels by 24%. Vitamin K, on the other hand, helps boost heart health by helping bones absorb calcium rather than flushing it into the arteries and block circulation.
Folate is essential in maintaining homocysteine levels in the body. High levels of homocysteine can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
4. Good for the Skin
Arugula is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Arugula leaves can help defend the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. Its high vitamin C content can boost collagen production. This, in turn, helps overcome other skin issues like acne, eczema, dry skin, etc.
5. Helps with Digestion
According to USDA, 100g arugula contains 91.71 g fluid and 1.6g fiber. Its high fiber and fluid are beneficial, especially for those of you who are suffering from digestion issues. High fiber is good for your colon, intestines, gut lining, and other digestive organs.
Being alkaline in nature, arugula returns the body to optimal pH, which is great for digestion.
6. Controls Blood Pressure
Arugula contains a substantial amount of both calcium and magnesium. Both of which dilate blood vessels and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Arugula can significantly reduce blood pressure levels, thus reducing the chances of heart-related issues.
Arugula is also rich in potassium, which can work phenomenally against hypertension.
7. Great Detoxifier
Arugula works as a great natural detoxifier. Arugula’s vitamin C, chlorophyll, and antioxidant content can help flush out harmful toxins from the body. Chlorophyll, in particular, can help prevent DNA damage from aflatoxins. It helps neutralize heavy metals, pesticides, and harmful chemicals that enter your system via diet.
8. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Studies have shown that arugula seed oil can decrease insulin levels and hyperglycemia. Further studies also showed a reduction in lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Arugula is a great food option for people with the risk of diabetes due to its low sugar content.
The Bottom Line
Apart from the above benefits, arugula is being studied to test its merit against cancer, improving cognitive function, and promoting longevity. Arugula is a delicious green leafy vegetable option that compliments your meal perfectly.
They can make worthy additions to your salad and smoothies. We recommend consuming arugula raw or lightly steamed to preserve all of its phytochemicals.
Dr Elena Villanueva is an international speaker, health influencer, and co-author of The Longevity Code, she teaches evidence based approaches for finding and addressing the underlying causes of chronic illness and brain related conditions using the most advanced evidence based approaches available today.