Also known as the salad rocket, arugula is leafy green that is usually eaten raw in salads or used as a fresh garnish on dishes such as pizza. Not typical of most leafy greens, arugula has a peppery mustard flavor that is pungent and rich. Arugula has many vital phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.

Disease/ Ailments:

Skin disorders
Lung disorders
Infection
Osteoporosis/ Bone disorders
Cancer

Health benefits:

Antioxidant: Arugula contains beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all compounds studied for their role as antioxidants. They have been shown to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases such as macular degeneration.

Skin & eye health: High levels of vitamin A and flavanoids help protect eyes and skin from degradation and can treat some eye and skin diseases.

Good source of:

Vitamin A, C, K, folate

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: When purchasing arugula, look for crisp, bright green leaves that are not wilted or have a slime-like film. Arugula can be purchased year-round but is the most readily available in the fall and spring.

Storing: Arugula has a shorter shelf life than other salad greens so it should be consumed as soon as possible. With time arugula loses its peppery flavor. Sprinkle with a little water, wrap unwashed leaves in a paper towel, and store in an airtight plastic bag where it will keep fresh for a few days.

Enjoying: Arugula can be the most beneficial when eaten in a number of different ways. In the raw form, arugula is the highest in isothiocyanate content. However, cooking arugula makes certain nutrients and carotenoids more readily available for absorption in the body. Therefore, both cooked and uncooked arugula should be incorporated into the diet to gain the maximum health benefits.

Resources & recipes:

Easy pear and arugula salad: http://www.ellentv.com/recipes/2013/04/03/fabio-vivianis-pear-and-arugula-salad/

Arugula soup: http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/arugula-soup-recipe

Oil-free arugula pesto: http://veganyackattack.com/2012/02/09/oil-free-arugula-pesto-over-spaghetti-squash/

Lemony bulgur with arugula: http://veganyackattack.com/2012/02/09/oil-free-arugula-pesto-over-spaghetti-squash/

 

References:

http://www.infiniteherbs.com/product_detail.asp?code=8
http://www.producepete.com/shows/arugula.html


About the Author

Ashley Kim

"Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners." – William Shakespeare

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