You cant hardly get through any healthy websites without hearing about Arugula. I personally love it, but my husband hopes I forget to buy it!
Maybe you could learn to like it because it is an amazing vegetable. Where did this little leaf come from?
Arugula has long history, experiencing many peaks and valleys in popularity throughout the centuries and several appearances in famous literature prior to arriving at its current prevalence in modern cuisine. Arugula has been around for quite a while. It was even mentioned in the Old Testament Book of Kings (II Kings 4:39, to be exact). So, we know that arugula’s history is a long one and that it was harvested as early as the 6th century B.C.
Throughout the history of arugula, its standing as a salad green fluctuated between countries, with its popularity waning in countries like England but soaring in Germany. In Italy, however, arugula was a constant presence in everyday meals, with Italians growing and eating arugula throughout its decline in universal popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Then along came the foodie culture, and arugula was no longer history. In The United States of Arugula1, David Kamp documents the fairly recent rise of this culture in the United States. Throughout the book, arugula shares the stage with free-range chickens, artisanal cheeses, heirloom tomatoes, and other food that has elevated American cooking to “cuisine” in the past 20-odd years.
But why should be try to like this bitter tiny green? Here is what healthdiaries.com has to say about it:
Health Benefits of Arugula
Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables are associated with reduced risk of cancer in many studies. Arugula is rich with valuable antioxidants, considered essential in preventing free radical activity in the body. Studies show that vitamin A and flavonoid compounds in arugula may help protect the body from skin cancer, lung cancer and oral cancer. Arugula is also a rich source of phytochemicals like sulforaphane, which has excellent chemo-protective effects and helps to fight carcinogens.
High In Antioxidants
Arugula is dense with the natural antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. In addition to fighting free radical activity, these vitamins offer great immune system support.
High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well known as a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cancer, boosts the immune system and fights the common cold.
High In Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, boosts immunity and is great for the eyes, skin, bones and teeth.
High In Vitamin K
Three cups of arugula provide over 100% of your daily vitamin K needs. Vitamin K is known to promote bone health and brain function while acting as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Arugula is a good source of carotenoids, fat-soluble pigments that are known to help prevent macular degeneration. The vitamin C in arugula may help in the prevention of cataracts.
Arugula is also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, manganese and phosphorous, all essential minerals that offer their own unique health benefits.
Low in Oxalate
Oxalates inhibit mineral absorption in the body. Other healthy leafy greens, such as spinach, have high levels of oxalate. However, arugula appears to offer relatively low levels of oxalate, making it a healthier alternative for people seeking foods high in calcium and other essential minerals.
Low levels of oxalates combined with a great variety of vitamins and minerals found in arugula make it great for bone health. One study of Vitamin K found that daily consumption of the vitamin led to decreased risk of bone fractures. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamin C are all considered good contributors to positive bone health.
Though arugula has no proven ability to help aid in weight loss in and of itself, it remains a low calorie, nutrient rich food, and thus a great addition to any healthy diet.
Maybe- just maybe you can develop a love for this amazing leaf if you haven’t already!
Happy Healthy Eating! Dana