2021 – The Year of Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know that 2021 has been officially declared The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables by The United Nations? As we head into this produce-packed way of living, here are five facts you may not have realized about fresh, crunchy, feel-good watercress.

Healthwise, it’s No. 1

Watercress is considered the healthiest leafy vegetable on the planet. It’s so rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, calcium and iron that it earns a perfect score on the ANDI nutrient density scale, an objective ranking of the nutritive value of foods relative to their calories. Happily, watercress also contains useful amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, potassium and iodine while remaining low in sodium.

It’s a hit with chefs and foodies

Food experts and Regular Joes alike appreciate the unique flavor of watercress leaves, which offer a peppery goodness when raw and a milder vegetable-like taste when cooked. That versatility makes them an excellent addition to a variety of foods, from soups and salads to sandwiches, entrées, appetizers and dips. Think watercress omelets, watercress white pizza, miso watercress pasta or any number of other flavorsome possibilities.

It looks great on the plate

Chefs, foodies and others with an appreciation for well-presented food choose the small, round, dark green leaves to add visual appeal to soups, salads, stir fries, cheese boards and hors d’oeuvre trays. And watercress is typically easy to locate when you need a fresh and appealing garnish since it’s available in grocery stores year-round.

It’s been around since ancient times

On a global basis, the water-grown veggie is a widely recognized food. The British—creators of the famous watercress tea sandwich—puree it into watercress soup, the French add it to white sauces, herbal concoctions and flavored vinegars, and Asian cultures use it liberally in soups, hot pot and stir fry, often cooking it up with soy sauce, chili pepper, miso paste and an abundance of garlic.

It boosts your immunity

Watercress is the superhero of leafy greens and should be incorporated into daily diets to help boost immunity. This leaf, rich with Vitamin C, helps strengthen immunity while reducing risk for infection. Not only does watercress protect the body against free radicals, but it also supports the function of blood vessels, healing of wounds, iron absorption, and neurological function.

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