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Watercress Health Benefits


The small, crisp, and vibrant green leaves of watercress are valued for their mild peppery taste and freshness; you may use them in soups, stews, or salads. These herbaceous plants provide quite the nutrient punch, despite its tiny size and the meager amount used in cooking. Watercress health benefits arise from its potent mix of essential nutrients such as proteins, folates, panthothenic acid, and minerals such as copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Additionally, watercress provides ample traces of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, along with vitamin B complex such as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and so on. Health benefits of watercress greens to individuals on a weight loss diet become even more important when you consider that this is a low sodium, low fat option.

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With low cholesterol and no saturated fats, you may reap the health benefits of watercress soup or salad by adding these to your weight maintenance diet. However, the health benefits of watercress go beyond mere weight loss or maintenance plans. This super food is highly prized for its antioxidant properties. With essential nutrients such as vitamin and minerals in ample supply, watercress is known to fight the signs of aging and boost the immune system. Chemical compounds in watercress fight cancer-causing free radicals, and therefore, one of the main watercress health benefits include reduced risk of cancer and DNA damage. The natural properties of fresh watercress were used in the past to heal battle wounds. Even today, many herbalists find that watercress provides relief from inflammation and even to detoxify or cleanse the digestive system. As individuals begin to enjoy the health benefits of watercress, this miracle plant is once again seeing resurgence in its popularity as medical food.

Watercress Nutrition


Watercress nutrition facts point to a super food that is low in sodium, low in cholesterol, and low in saturated fats. With approximately only 18 calories per cup/serving, watercress should certainly form a part of weight loss diets. However, nutrients in watercress range from ample supply of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K to minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, and so on, making it a health food in every way. Watercress nutritional information also includes vitamin B complex such as riboflavin, thiamine, and essential folates. Additionally, watercress is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Since it grows along flowing streams or water sources, watercress acts as a hydrating food with almost 32 grams of water per cup/per serving. The antioxidant properties of watercress from sources such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C enable it to fight free radical damage, repair DNA, reduce the risk of cancer, and fight early signs of aging. With its high water content, watercress is refreshing and revitalizing; hence, it finds itself in garnishes and in salads. Herbalists use it to treat ailments arising from toxin build-up in the body. It cleanses the blood stream and flushes out toxic elements from the digestive system. While ancient watercress uses included treating wounds and blisters, modern science is exploring watercress benefits in fighting cancer.

Watercress For Skin, Hair, Diarrhea, Diabetics, Weight Loss, Cancer, Gallbladder & Thyroid


Skin Problems

Many skin problems such as pimples and acne find their roots in impure blood, inflamed skin, and bacterial infections. Watercress for acne works whether you decide to take it internally as part of your diet or you plan to apply it topically to direct its healing properties. Diet intake of watercress for acne helps aid better digestion. The plant contains ample amounts of dietary fiber. Moreover, watercress with its high water content helps to flush out toxic build-up in the digestive system. It acts as a cleansing agent and helps in the purification of blood. Vital nutrients such as vitamins A and C help to maintain skin health and fight inflammation of the skin. Watercress for eczema provides a cooling or soothing effect when applied topically to the inflamed area. It also takes care of itching or burning sensation in the case of eczema patients. Consuming watercress in the form of salads or soups and as a garnish on main courses may help to keep eczema and similar skin conditions at bay. As an antioxidant, watercress for acne and eczema helps to promote better skin health, and it may even help reduce the risk of certain types of skin cancer.

Hair

Vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in watercress help to promote scalp and hair health. Regular intake of watercress in your diet may help purify your blood and boost your immune system. Watercress for hair loss works since it promotes a healthy, dandruff-free scalp, which, in turn, promotes better hair. Watercress’ sulfur and zinc content helps to keep infections at bay, while vitamin A provides the nutrients for luxurious hair growth. Watercress for hair maybe applied directly as a conditioner or as a hydrating hair spa. Applying watercress juice may also aid hair growth. Watercress also improves hormonal balance and function, which, in turn, promotes the growth of hair and is necessary for healthy skin.

Diarrhea

Watercress with its ample water content acts as an excellent diuretic. In the case of diarrhea, individuals must be careful that consuming watercress does not exacerbate the problem. However, diarrhea caused by indigestion, bad bacteria action, or poor digestive function may be corrected through the use of watercress. Watercress for diarrhea works fast as a cleansing agent. With dietary fiber and antibacterial properties, watercress can aid better digestion, balance gut flora, and revitalize our metabolism. Watercress may also cure other digestion related symptoms such as gas, bloating, cramping, and foul odor. Diarrhea may often turn out to be a symptom of a larger problem. If consuming watercress does not stop the problem, you must seek immediate medical attention. Also, ensure that when eating raw leafy plants or herbs such as watercress, you wash your produce thoroughly and take precautions if you are consuming it raw.

Diabetics

This low fat, low sodium, low cholesterol food has plenty of benefits even for patients suffering from diabetes. Watercress for diabetics works because it has a positive effect on the pancreas, helping to augment blood sugar levels and maintaining insulin production. Since obesity is the number one cause of diabetes, watercress for diabetics helps to maintain weight loss. Plenty of essential vitamins and minerals and meager calories makes watercress an ideal choice of food for diabetics. Its culinary versatility and flavor make it a cooking favorite. It has replaced traditional herbs and now appears alongside main course dishes. Watercress contains complex carbohydrates, which considerably reduce the amount of insulin needed and regulates the blood sugar levels, which may spike after mealtimes. Experts suggest including at least 3 to 4 portions of watercress in your diet per week to extract maximum benefits.

Weight Loss

Watercress for weight loss works because per serving/cup contains less than eighteen calories. Yet, it supports digestive health due to the ample supply of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Many individuals follow the watercress soup diet for weight loss, since it provides both quantity and nutrients without the added calories. Talk to your doctor about a watercress diet and ask questions about the suitability of such a diet specific t your conditions. Even for individuals suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or hypertension, watercress diet may help lose weight, maintain ideal weight, and help individuals feel satiated for longer. With dietary fiber and essential amino acids, watercress for weight loss may help individuals stay full longer.

Cancer

Since ancient times, medical practitioners have utilized watercress health benefits. In recent studies, the benefits of watercress for cancer treatment have come into the forefront. Antioxidants in watercress may help fight damage caused by free radical action. Cell damage usually precedes cancer or malignant tumors. Stopping this damage may help reduce the risk of cancer. Watercress for lung cancer treatment maybe considered, as studies showed that certain chemical compounds in the plant had a positive effect on lung lesions caused by smoking. Similarly, watercress for breast cancer treatment has shown that certain antioxidants in the plant may help reduction of malignant tumors. Even studies on watercress for prostrate cancer showed significant reduction of cancer cells. Additionally, medical experts believe that chemical compounds in watercress may actually switch off signals that trigger cancerous growth.

Gallbladder

Diets that can help regulate gallbladder function and reduce the risk of gallstones include drinking watercress soup. With its high water content, watercress for gallbladder may help flush out toxins that obstruct gallbladder function or even excess stomach acids that may cause inflammation. Although watercress soup or juice is prescribed to flush gallstones, it is best to take on this diet under the supervision of your doctor. While smaller gallstones may benefit from watercress for gallbladder, severe cases may require medical attention or surgery.

Thyroid

The iodine content in watercress may help regulate thyroid function. You may use watercress for thyroid and other hormones, to promote hormonal balance. Watercress for thyroid may also help reduce the risk of conditions such as goitre or hypothyroidism.

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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