[Extracted from the webpage of http://guide2herbalremedies.com/watercress-health-benefits/ and http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Watercress]
Watercress is a leaf vegetable which we can find in our markets and grocery stores, but it grabs our attention quite rarely. Unfortunately, this is one of the most underestimated veggies, which has very high nutritional value. Like his healthy, nutritious and commonly used relatives, broccoli and cabbage, it has numerous health benefits and known as one of the oldest green vegetables used since the times of Egyptian Pharaohs.
Watercress has a wide variety of culinary applications and can be added to soups and salads, used for sandwiches and so on.
Watercress livens up raw salad and it also makes a valuable juice. Watercress juice is a green juice and must not be consumed alone. It also tastes bitter and is much easier to swallow if mixed with carrot, potato, and a little parsley or carrot, spinach, and turnip leaves. For optimal health benefits, eat watercress raw and as fresh as possible.
This herb is very low in calorie and rich in iron, iodine, sulfur, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamins C and A, folic acid and other phytonutrients. It can improve the function of your thyroid gland and can be used for its expectorant and diuretic properties. Researches showed that watercress health benefits include also its anti-cancer powers as this herb has a high content of antioxidants. The specialists say that regular consumption of this herbal remedy is linked to lower risks of lung and breast cancer.
Watercress has very strong antibiotic powers and can be called a natural antibiotic. Remember that in order to enjoy these health benefits of watercress, it is important to consume freshly harvested herb as the majority of the elements can be found in watercress juice. The juice of this plant is also very effective toxin removal remedy, and it is recommended for treatment of such ailments as asthma, cold and bronchitis. For this purpose, watercress juice should be taken in the amount of 2-3 tablespoons a day.
One of the most important health benefits of watercress is the one of preventing various heart problems, as heart disease or coronary artery disease. This property is attributed to a high content of leutin and zeaxanthin, natural carotenoids that prevent arterial plague formation. In addition, these two carotenoids help preserving our vision and preventing the occurrence of such diseases as cataract and macular vision degeneration.
It is hardly possible to mention all watercress health benefits on this only webpage. This herbal remedy can normalize blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels in your blood, slow down aging, improve your mental function and memory. It is very rich in calcium and is useful for our dental health and bone strength. As an excellent source of fiber, watercress can fix the function of your digestive system and regulate bile flow. Please, give it a good thought when you see this miraculous veggie in the market, and do not miss your chance to improve and strengthen your health.
Health Benefits :
- it contains anticancer properties.
- it helps protect the eyes because it contains a high level of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- it helps to normalize cholesterol and blood pressure.
- it increases sexual energy and enhances fertility.
- it can help improved memory, mental function and to retard ageing.
- it is a powerful cleanser of the body, especially the bloodstream.
- it can help increase production of breast milk.
- it is low in calories and high in potassium which is valued for weight loss, as its diuretic action draws excess fluid down and out of the body.
- it helps improve digestion by regulating the flow of bile.
- it is valued for clearing and improving the complexion.
- its chlorophyll-rich leaves are chewed to absorb breath odors.
- Chewing raw watercress leaves can cure bleeding gums.
- its leaves are used as a poultice for the relief of enlarged prostate gland. The poultice can also treat swollen feet and sprained ankles.
- it is a good source of iodine, which is important to the function of the thyroid gland.
- it is rich calcium which can strengthen the bones and teeth.
Watercress is a spicy, peppery salad green that is often a refreshing alternative to lettuce in salads and a popular addition to sandwiches. High in vitamins, Watercress is also a favorite in soups, stir-fry dishes and as a garnish. Watercress is a member of the mustard family and has small, dark green, rounded leaves. Available year-round, choose crisp, deep-colored sprigs, free of brown spots and yellowed leaves. To store, rinse with cold water and shake dry. Refrigerate Watercress in a plastic bag (or stems down in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag) for up to five days. Remove any tough stems and use only the leaves and tender stems when preparing.