Watercress Nutrition Facts
*"Watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas. Each phytonutrient is where the health benefits of watercress are contained. These phytonutrients and their benefits will now be discussed. Watercress contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus which are all required for a healthy body.
Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Although studies have shown mixed results, many have concluded that the dietary intake of folate as part of a daily diet may act as a preventive against colorectal cancer.7 This benefit was seen more often when folate was taken for 15 years or more.
Rich in Calcium Content
Many researchers agree that calcium through dietary intake is necessary and perhaps most beneficial in the prevention of many diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension.
Calcium through food sources such as watercress is also shown to be safe against adverse cardiac effects which is a concern for some that take high dose supplements.6 If supplemental calcium of 500 mg is added to the daily diet, it is enough for most women to boost their daily food intake.6 Though amounts up to 1000 mg daily are taken by some, risks of calcium deposits and resulting health problems may occur.6 Overall food sources remain the best way to maintain healthy levels of calcium in the body.6
Many other studies have shown that the benefit of regular consumption of watercress may be from secondary metabolites and other phyto nutrients which repair cellular damage and work effectively as a preventive against certain cancers, cardiovascular, and thyroid disease.6
Rich in Folate Content
Watercress is also a good source of folate which plays a direct role as an interactive nutrient in maintaining bone density.6 Post-menopausal women may also benefit from folate in their diet as a preventive against osteoporosis.
Folate is an essential nutrient that plays a role in preventing birth defects and in daily health maintenance. Folate levels are affected by alcohol consumption.1 A diet rich in folate containing food such as watercress and other cruciferous vegetables may work as a preventive and even resolve certain health conditions.
Intake of folate containing food such as watercress may help in reducing the risk of depression, stroke, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and neural tube deficiency in babies.
Rich in Vitamin C Content
Watercress contains vitamin C which works as an antioxidant and helps in reducing heart tissue damage caused by oxidative stress.2 Vitamin C is active in the process of embryonic cells developing into cardiac myocytes and improving heart health.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which indicates that it is excreted through urinary excretion on a daily basis.2Studies have shown both, dietary and supplemental daily intake may have benefits in preventing diseases and treating many physiological systems, when vitamin C is found in high concentration in the blood.2 Water cress contains higher amount of vitamin C than an orange and is beneficial to providing and maintaining blood levels of vitamin C necessary for the body.
Intake of vitamin C rich food such as watercress is beneficial in reducing the risk of blood cell damage and a common cold."
(According to: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/watercress.html)
Improve Functioning of Thyroid Gland
Watercress is a member of the brassica family of cruciferous vegetable which has shown beneficial effect in thyroid health.8 Watercress like other brassica’s may work by reducing thyroid hormone production and are most beneficial when eaten raw.8 Watercress may also be lightly steamed so it doesn’t lose any of its nutritional value.8
Improve Cardiovascular Health
In addition to the nutrient content of watercress, it also has many secondary metabolites that may help lower risk of various chronic diseases.6 Cruciferous plants like watercress are shown to be beneficial in lowering LDL-Cholesterol which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis and other chronic heart diseases.
Improve Bone Health
Studies show that inclusion of calcium rich food such as watercress works in reducing risk of osteoporosis.5 Calcium works in repairing and building the bones by causing an increase in the production of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for this beneficial activity. This benefit of calcium is essential for the aging population, though the youthful population may also benefit if their lifestyle is sedentary, which promotes bone density loss.
A cross sectional study of 662 adults showed beneficial results of foods fortified with folate in preventing stroke.2 If not eating fortified foods, large amounts of folate containing foods such as watercress would need to be consumed in order to reach the same level of beneficial nutrient status and health benefit.
Helps in Pregnancy
Folate is important to the development of a healthy embryo as it plays an important role in a normal cellular division.5Additionally, consumption of at least 400mcg of folate daily by pregnant women is shown to reduce the incidence of neural tube deficiency.5 Watercress with its high content of folate may help in reducing the risk of these ailments.
Act as Antidepressant
Low folate levels may be caused by a lack of dietary intake or excessive alcohol intake.1 A meta-analysis of 19 studies, inclusive of 15,315 participants, showed that low folate level increases the risk of depression. Folate works with the neurotransmitters, pathways of the central nervous system, affecting production of neurochemicals such as serotonin.1 With depression affecting a significant percentage of the world population, the addition of food with high folate content such as watercress is an important dietary supplement in reducing the risk of this chronic disease.
Prevent Cognitive Disorders
Folate may act as a preventive against cognitive decline. Results of a study, of males aged 50 -70 years of age, showed that participants given 800 mcg of folate daily were shown to have a beneficial effect on cognition and verbal fluency.
An inclusion of watercress which has a high folate content may protect against the cognitive decline."
*For informational purposes only. Nothing on this website is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always talk to your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.