Arugula is a leafy green vegetable used in salads, sandwiches, and other cold recipes, as well as pastas and pizzas (particularly in Italy).
It has been cultivated as an edible plant since ancient times, and was used as an aphrodisiac in ancient Greece – but today, we know a bit more about the real health benefits of arugula, and they are many.
Here are just a handful of very good reasons to add arugula to your next salad.
1. Arugula Reduces Inflammation
Cruciferous vegetables like arugula can suppress inflammatory mediators in the body(1). If you’re one of many individuals who lives with a chronic illness, especially a chronic pain condition, you understand the importance of keeping systemic inflammation under control. Veggies likes arugula are an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
2. Arugula May Help Prevent Cancer
Studies have shown that one of the major compounds in arugula, erucin, has an important role to play in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells(2). Cruciferous veggies like arugula have been linked to cancer prevention before(3).
3. Arugula Is Rich In Vitamins And Minerals
Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and manganese, arugula is a great source of vital nutrients, which can help boost your immune system and other important bodily functions.
4. Arugula Is Great For Your Bones
We know that calcium, iron and potassium are all good for overall bone health, but did you know that vitamin K can help reduce the frequency of bone fractures, especially among individuals with osteoporosis? It’s true – regular doses of vitamin K, which is found in arugula, can increase bone density and help keep your bones from breaking under stress(4).
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5. Arugula Is Good For Your Eyesight
It’s common knowledge that carotenoids are good for your eyesight, but most people don’t realize that carotenoids are found in more vegetables than just carrots. Arugula is a great source of these fat-soluble pigments, which prevent macular degeneration. Regularly eating arugula can help prevent vision loss.
Making Arugula Part Of Your Diet
With a strong, peppery flavor, arugula is particularly popular in the United States when it comes to salads. In Italy and other parts of Europe, it’s more frequently cooked and served with dishes like pasta, potatoes, and pizza.
Try substituting arugula for iceberg lettuce in your next salad or sandwich – arugula not only packs more flavor, but contains significantly more vitamins and minerals: 8 times the calcium, 5 times the vitamin A, C and K, and 4 times the iron! That’s a lot of nutritional benefit.
Try an arugula salad made with tomatoes and sardines, topped with a simple vinaigrette of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice – it’s a quick and easy meal, and gives you all the health benefits of arugula for little effort. There’s really no reason not to enjoy the positive effects of this common veggie.
How To Make Arugula Salad