Arugula is a "natural bitter", and is also known as garden rocket, rucola, roquette, and colewort. Arugula grows all over the world, although it is mostly used in Europe, the United States and North Africa.
Arugula contains many vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Arugula, horseradish, radish, wasabi and watercress are all cruciferous vegetables. Like other vegetables, cruciferous vegetables contain a number of nutrients and phytochemicals with cancer chemopreventive properties.
Health benefits of arugula:
- Aids in energy production
- Alleviates symptoms of osteoporosis
- Supports the nervous system
- Helps to improve eyesight
- Improves digestion
- Alleviates liver diseases
- Reduces risk of breast, prostate, colon and ovarian cancer
- Helps in weight management
Note: Arugula has a much lower level of oxalates when compared to other known leafy vegetables. Oxalates may inhibit the absorption of minerals by the body’s systems.
Arugula is most commonly consumed fresh in salads but can also be incorporated into pizzas, pastas, casseroles, and sauces just like other leafy greens. You can add Arugula into a fresh juice or smoothie.
- How to choose: Fresh arugula has long, firm, bright green leaves. Larger leaves are more peppery in flavor than small ones. Holes, tears, and yellowing edges are signs the greens are past their prime. If you can, buy arugula in bunches with the roots intact; this helps retain freshness.
- How to store: If you buy arugula with roots, wrap the stems in a moistened paper towel and place the arugula in a plastic bag in the most humid area of the refrigerator (usually the vegetable drawer). Keep loose leaves in a plastic bag. Packaged arugula can remain in its clamshell container or bag.
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