5 health-changing reasons to eat arugula

When it comes to healthy eating, you can’t beat a good salad.

There are plenty of choices when it comes to salad greens. As a rule of thumb, the darker your greens, the more nutritious they are. So, rather than iceberg lettuce, choose one of these six crunchy, nutritious greens I’ve previously written about as the base for your salad.

On that list is kale, a hearty, slightly bitter green that’s been the darling of the superfood world for quite some time now. It’s the basis for this superfood detox salad. But kale also has some issues…

Too much of it can block the iodine your thyroid needs to function. Recently we’ve discovered, with the help of the Environmental Working Group, that kale is also one of the most pesticide-ridden vegetables out there. So, unless you’re getting it from an organic source, it could do you more harm than good.

But don’t be discouraged! I’d like to introduce you to an alternative. This veggie has a personality all its own, and the unique nutritional benefits it offers are something you’ll want to include in your diet.

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Arugula: the unknown superfood

 While raw kale is dark, thick and even difficult to chew, arugula is light, lacy and may appear insubstantial by comparison.

But looks can be deceiving.

Two cups of arugula pack a nutritional punch:

  • 1 gram of protein
  • 1,476 mg of potassium — twice as much as 2 cups of kale, and the same amount you’d get from 3.5 bananas
  • 284 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 64 milligrams of calcium
  • 44 micrograms of vitamin K

5 super health benefits of arugula

Arugula can help you meet a multitude of your health goals. Just take a look…

Helps with weight loss. That’s because it’s mostly water — 90 percent, to be exact. It takes up lots of space in your belly for very, very few calories (10 calories in 2 cups). Adding arugula to your meal means it will require fewer calories to leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Promotes healthy blood pressure. The potassium content of arugula relaxes blood vessels while causing the body to eliminate more sodium through the urine, which together can help keep blood pressure in check.

Keeps vision sharp. Arugula is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are known to protect the eyes, slowing the progression of damage from blue-light exposure (like from your computer and TV screens) and protecting against macular degeneration.

Helps build strong bones. Calcium isn’t the only mineral you need for strong bones. Arugula is rich in vitamin K, which can decrease your risk of fractures by 25 percent. That’s because vitamin K2 helps direct calcium in the body to places it’s needed most, and away from places it can cause harm (like your arteries).

Can you eat too much arugula?

It is possible, though unusual, to be allergic to arugula.

The only way you’d know you had an arugula allergy is if you ate some. Symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue and face. Some people who are allergic may even have trouble breathing or feel like they’re choking as the throat swells.

If you’ve never tried it, start with a bite or two and be sure there’s no allergic reaction.

For a refreshing summer salad, start here

You can use arugula just as you would any salad green. It’s even good wilted in warm salad recipes.

If you’re ready to dive into a crunchy arugula salad this summer, here’s one of my favorite recipes using this super leafy green:

Arugula salad with grapes and sunflower seeds

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  1. Why arugula deserves a much bigger place on your plate — greatist.com
  2. Allergic reactions to arugula with mouth swelling — healthfully.com
Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.