If there was ever a true super food, it would be watercress! This green leafy plant is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
It also is a good source of iron. An did you know, iron absorption is optimized when taken with vitamin C? Watercress has got us covered thanks to it’s content of both iron and vitamin C!
Watercress is also full of phytonutrients, amino acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, folate, choline, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, omega-3’s and alpha-linoleic acid. Yes, you may tend to think of salmon when you think of omega-3’s- but watercress, parsley, and mint are all great plant sources of omega-3’s! Perfect for vegans and people who don’t eat fish.
Watercress has a deep history of being used for health.
In 400 BC the Greeks believed watercress wold clean your blood. This continued into the 17th century when doctors gave it to their patients to clean their blood.
In the 16th century, sailors would eat watercress to combat scurvy.
In the 1800’s it was known as “the poor man’s sandwich”. It grew abundantly by rivers and creeks- commoners would pick it in bunches and then roll it up to eat as a snack throughout the day.
To this day watercress continues to enjoyed around the world. In Britian it is often served on sandwhiches in place of lettuce. Many people make salads out of it. I enjoy it in soups! Watercress has a little peppery kick to it when eaten raw. Cooking it, even a minute, makes it much milder in flavor.
Current research has shown that watercress has the ability to fight off breast cancer cells, repair DNA, protect cells, and help decrease risks of cataracts.
Why not add some of this super food in to you diet today. Here is one of my favorite recipes.
- 2 C. water
- 1-2 green onions, chopped
- 1 C. coursely chopped watercress
- 1 vegetable or chcicen bouillon cube
- Bring water, bouillon, and green onions to a simmer or light boil.
- Add watercress. Allow to simmer for 2-5 minutes.
- Martha suggests serving this with Parmesan croutons (bread toasted with Parmesan cheese cut into cubes).
- You can also add a splash fresh squeezed lemon juice.