In addition to its delicious and peppery taste, the lettuce leaf known as Arugula has many great benefits for our overall health. My favourite way to eat it is raw (it loses some of the strong taste with cooking) in a salad with just thin pear slices and my favourite vegan cheese, drizzled with olive oil and a bit of salt. Arugula is a great way to spice up the salad portion of your meal, though it can be added into so many other meals; like pasta and rice dishes as a garnish after cooking.
Arugula boasts the following vitamins and nutrients that make it a healthy addition to your meals;
Vitamin K: required for blood coagulation and plays a role in healthy bone formation
Calcium: required for healthy bones, teeth, and nerve and muscle function, as well as blood clotting
Antioxidants: for binding those free radicals! They are anti-aging and provide overall better physiological function of the body (Vit A and C are antioxidants)
Folate: important for DNA production in cells, a B vitamin, very important in pregnant moms
Vitamin C: assists in Iron absorption and with tissue formation in the body, as well as immune system support
Vitamin A: supports immune function, important in eye health
Provides a source of fiber: keeps the bowels moving, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
A word of caution though, for those with diagnosed hypothyroidism; Arugula is part of the Brassica family – cruciferous vegetables. This plant family is known to interfere mildly with thyroid hormone production (called goitrogens) and is therefore not recommended raw for those with any type of hypothyroid condition. Other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, along with arugula, should be consumed only after cooking -for those with hypothyroid concerns.
I suggest patients choose to eat arugula instead of buying vitamin K supplements, whenever possible!