Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Eat More Arugula Because........

Arugula is a dark leafy green in the cruciferous family of vegetables. It is closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and brussel sprouts, some of the most potent anti-cancer foods around. It has a peppery, mustardy flavor with a slight bitterness. Younger leaves, known as baby arugula, are more tender and less pungent than the more mature greens. Arugula leaves are shaped like oak leaves or dandelion greens.

There are a number of nutrients in arugula, although most are found in small quantities. A serving size of five cups provides a hefty portion of vitamins and minerals; one cup only offers a fraction. Still, arugula greens provide a readily absorbable source of calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and potassium. They are also a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid. All the nutrients in arugula come with a mere handful of calories per serving.
The primary benefits of arugula leaves are due to their phytochemical content. Like all cruciferous vegetables, this green should be eaten on a regular basis to prevent most types of cancer. Research has linked a diet high in cruciferous vegetables with disease prevention time and time again. They are pound for pound the most potent anti-cancer foods. Some of the phytochemicals, such as glucosinolates and sulforaphanes, are responsible for stimulating enzymes which help the body cleanse itself of toxins and potential carcinogens. Others are powerful antioxidants. Carotenes for example can protect against sun damage, heart disease, and cancer. They also improve communication between cells, something that may play a large role in the well-being of cellular function.

Arugula is also a wonderful source of chlorophyll, a compound that the body can always benefit from. Chlorophyll cleanses and energizes the blood. It helps bring large amounts of oxygen to all parts of the body, creating an environment undesirable to viruses and harmful bacteria. Chlorophyll also supports healthy skin, and limits the potential of carcinogens.

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