Arugula can reduce cancer risk
Arugula is considered a cruciferous vegetable, a class of vegetable that includes broccoli, kale, bok choy, and Brussel sprouts (3, 4). Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that have been linked to reduction in cancer risk. As a group, cruciferous veggies are high in vitamins A, C, K, folic acid, and fiber (5).
The vitamin K content of cruciferous vegetables in general, and arugula in particular, is of special significance. Vitamin K works in the body as an anti-inflammatory, and has been tentatively linked to reductions in incidences of cancer in many preliminary scientific studies (5). Furthermore, vitamin C and manganese, two notable nutrients in arugula, have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants fight cell damage, which in turn can also slow the growth or even prevent the occurrence of cancer (6).
Arugula improves bone and brain health
One of the other benefits of the high levels of vitamin K found in arugula is its osteotrophic properties (7). This means that vitamin K helps support bone density and strength, which directly fights against osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a debilitating and irreversible disease in which the body makes too little bone or begins to lose bone tissue (or both). Approximately 54 million Americans are at risk for osteoporosis, and proper nutrition is the key to fighting this disease. Once osteoporosis sets in, patients are at increased risk for bone breakage (even during normal activities) and may experience loss of movement or rage of motion (8).
Increasing intake of foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K can reduce (or even elminate!) a person’s risk for osteoporosis. Arugula can be a key food in a diet rich in these essential nutrients.
Additionally, arugula boosts brain health and helps protect its consumers against diseases like Alzheimer’s (7). Alzheimer’s is one of many neurological illnesses resulting from a degradation in neural pathways. Vitamin K can slow – or even halt – such deterioration, easing neurological symptoms and enhancing patients’ quality of life and longevity.
Arugula eases symptoms of diabetes
Using all parts of the arugula plant – including its seeds – can help you get the most out of this amazing plant! Some research shows that the oil made from arugula seeds can help stabilize fluctuating blood sugar levels, which is of particular concern to people suffering from diabetes (9). Using the oil from arugula seeds, a person can effectively prevent and treat insulin response and reduce hyperglycemia.
But even if you are not interested in extracting the seed oil, just eating the leafy greens can also be a boon to your overall blood sugar levels. It is sugar-free and carb-free, yet full of fiber and low in calories, meaning it will fill you up without causing a resultant sugar crash as it is digested. Low carb and low sugar diets are key for diabetes patients, and arugula is a delicious way to follow this type of diet without sacrificing personal satisfaction.
Arugula fortifies the immune system
The plentiful and amazing nutrients in arugula can also boost your overall immune system, protecting you from common ailments such as the cold and flu. Vitamin C is one of the best defenses for helping your body ward off germs and pathogens, and arugula is replete with this amazing supernutrient! Vitamin C helps your body seek out and eliminate germs and free radicals before they can cause cell damage and illness (10). Furthermore, the copper found in arugula stimulates your body to produce more white blood cells. White blood cells are the army of the human immune system. They circulate through the body, targeting and destroying viruses and bacteria that threaten to afflict the human host (11). Eating arugula, therefore, promotes the production of white blood cells, which will prevent you from falling ill.
Arugula improves pre-natal health
One of the most important things a pregnant woman can take is folic acid (12). Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as folate. Folic acid helps reduce the likelihood of fetal neural tube defects by up to 70%. Neural tube defects include malformations of the spinal cord and brain. Serious birth defects like anencephaly and spina bifida can be prevented through proper intake of folic acid.
Arugula, fortunately is a delicious and effective way to increase your vitamin B9 (folate) intake! While most pregnant women rely in some part on prenatal vitamins to provide folic acid, vitamins are always best absorbed by the body when they are from a whole food source. Arugula, therefore, is an effective, flexible, and tasty way to incorporate this essential nutritional element.
Arugula promotes metabolism
As we age, the state of our metabolism becomes of increasing concern. We eat the same things, but our bodies simply don’t process them the same way. This is not only important for weight loss (a metabolic function called catabolism – the breakdown of food into energy) but also so that our cells receive all the nutrients they need from our food (through a second metabolic process called anabolism) (13). That’s why B complex vitamins are so important (10)!
B complex vitamins are a group of 8 distinct B vitamins that work together to help the body in many essential functions, including energy production, fat synthesis, blood cell production, and overall metabolic functioning. Arugula, again, is chock-full of B vitamins – just one more benefit of this amazing superfood!
Arugula strengthens eyesight
One of the most precious assets of a healthy body is good eyesight. But eyesight is also a delicate gift – there is so much that can go wrong, from near- or far-sightedness, to cataracts and macular degeneration, or even blindness. Fortunately, a healthy diet can provide essential nutrients to combat eyesight loss and bolster the fragile, precious functioning of your eyes.
Arugula is a well-known source of a nutrient called carotenoids. Carotenoids can be converted by the body into A vitamins, which are essential for strong eye functioning (14). Eating carotenoid-containing vegetables like arugula is essential because animals – including humans – cannot produce carotenoids on their own, and rely on food sources to provide this essential nutrient. Arugula eaters may be able to slow down loss of eyesight with their increased consumption of carotenoids.
Arugula encourages weight loss
Because arugula fulfills so many nutritional needs in such a low-calorie package, it is an important element of a weight loss plan. Its fiber makes it filling, and its calorie count (approximately 5 calories per one cup of arugula) means you can eat large quantities of it to sate your hunger. The arugula helps keep your body balanced during weight loss.
Arugula is packed with antioxidants
Arugula is replete with many different types of antioxidants. As previously mentioned, antioxidants can prevent or delay cell damage or mutations. This means that antioxidants can protect consumers from a variety of illnesses and diseases. And while consuming antioxidants are so important, consuming high doses of antioxidant vitamins has actually been associated with many health risks (15).
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.