Discover the #1 Superfood
The popularity of leafy greens has been on the rise for the last few years, but especially now more than ever as the importance of health and wellness has been brought to the forefront of how we live our lives. Watercress is not only a natural immunity booster, but it tastes great and brings a dynamic flavor to a variety of dishes. Believe it or not, watercress was originally used for medicinal purposes before becoming a popular leaf that is now used in cuisine throughout the world. Red watercress is also one of Mother Nature’s most nutrient-dense foods.
Measured as the most nutrient-dense food by both the CDC and the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, and the only food to receive a perfect score on both index’s, watercress is a true powerhouse that delivers a potent potion of health benefits perfect for anyone looking to strengthen their immune system and overall health.
Reasons you should incorporate watercress into your diet:
It’s a naturally low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and very low-sodium food.1
Watercress is a good source of Vitamin A, an essential vitamin necessary for normal vision, skin health, and maintaining immune function.2
Watercress is also high in the antioxidant Vitamin C, which protects the body against free radicals. The green, which has more Vitamin C than an orange, also supports the normal function of blood vessels, healing of wounds, iron absorption, and neurological function.3
Watercress is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which forms and strengthens the bones and limits neuronal damage in the brain.4 Plus, a growing body of evidence suggests that watercress earns its “super leaf” title in large part because it may help prevent the spread of cancer cells.
Studies have shown that athletes who consume watercress 2 hours before exhaustive exercise develop lower levels of DNA damage and lipid peroxidation, which can lead to cell damage, compared to those who did not eat watercress before a workout.
Watercress is loaded with essential B Vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B4, B6, and B9.
Watercress, unlike many other vegetables, contains highly absorbable Iron.
Frequent consumption of watercress is also associated with a reduction in DNA cell damage and an increase in antioxidant activity in the body, both of which may help fight cancer.
Aggregate Nutrient Density of Foods (ANDI)
Watercress blows other foods out of the water when it comes to taste and nutrition. See how watercress stacks up against the top 10 items on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, which was developed by Joel Fuhrman, MD.
To determine the ANDI scores, Dr. Fuhrman ranks the nutrient value of many common foods based on how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed. The ANDI scores are based on thirty-four important nutritional parameters and foods are ranked on a scale of 1 to 1000.
Sample Nutrient/Calorie Density Scores
Click here for more information about the ANDI scale and to see the complete list.
Watercress Research Resources
Evidence shows watercress has a multitude of potential health benefits, including antimicrobial properties, may aid some chemotherapy treatments to prevent the growth of and induce the death of cancer cells, may help reduce inflammation, and have cardio-protective effects through its high antioxidant content. Browse some of the publications supporting the status of watercress as a superfood.
- Phytochemicals: The Cancer Fighters in the Foods We Eat
- In vivo modulation of 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) phosphorylation by watercress: a pilot study.
- Inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor by phenethyl isothiocyanate.
- Watercress… in diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage
- Evidence of Cancer-Fighting Benefits
1 US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Version Current: September 2015, slightly revised May 2016. Internet: /nea/bhnrc/ndl. USDA 11591; Watercress, raw.
2 “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin A.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
3 “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
4 “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin K.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.