If you want to talk about a super-food – you need to talk about watercress! This unassuming leafy green is a nutritional superstar. It’s also one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Maybe I need to add it to my ever expanding list of 10 Super Healthy Super Foods. That would bring my list of my top 10 favorites up to 15. Let me know if after learning about watercress, if you think deserves a place in my top 10 super healthy super foods list.
Watercress even earned a perfect score on the ANDI nutrient density scale. Once reserved for the wealthy and royal born, this super green deserves a place of honor in your meals.Not only is watercress is a very low in calories and carbohydrates, it’s packed with nutrients. Watercress has more iron in it than spinach. It has more calcium than milk. It has more folic acid than broccoli. It is packed with vitamins A and C – PLUS it is a significant source of lysine, arginine, potassium and beta-carotene.
Watercress, sometimes referred to as True Nasturtium, Indian Cress, or simply Cress. It is a member of the mustard family. It gets its name because it naturally grows in wet areas, such as around springs and along riverbanks. Watercress is among the earliest green vegetables cultivated by man, first by then Persians, then soon after by the Greeks and Romans. Watercress was a staple for Greek and Persian soldiers, who noticed that it improved their health and conditioning.
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So what can watercress do for you? Well, for starters the vitamins and minerals in watercress have been shown to reduce the risks of cataracts, coronary artery disease, lung, breast and hormone-related cancers.
If that’s not enought, watercress is also a natural antibiotic that is especially effective against respiratory and urinary infections. For more information on watercress, just go to www.watercress.com.
Watercress is an aquatic plant best known for its vivid green color and unique flavor. However, a newly cultivated variety of red watercress has quickly established a strong following due to its stunning color and bold peppery taste.
This new variety of watercress with natural purplish-red hues is shaking things up and is an instant hit with chefs around the country. With the same high levels of vitamins and antioxidants as green watercress, it’s also one of Mother Nature’s most nutrient-dense foods. Exclusive to B&W, wild red watercress is available from November through April.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just eating watercress, you can drink it too. Watercress makes a delicious tea.
My challenge for you this month is to eat a “bunch” of watercress at least once a week. It’s most delicious when it’s fresh. You can’t get any fresher than when you grow it yourself. Even in Michigan, all it takes is a window garden kits and watercress seeds to enjoy fresh watercress year round.
If your invitation from the Queen for tea with watercress finger sandwiches hasn’t arrived, try it with quinoa!
Toasted Quinoa with Watercress
1 cup quinoa
1 red pepper, diced
2 green onions, thinly slice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
1/2 cup watercress
- Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the coating of a bitter substance called saponins.
- Sauté quinoa in olive oil, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until quinoa is lightly toasted.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Stir in quinoa, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, add red pepper and green onion to the oil, and sauté just a few minutes more.
- Combine quinoa, red peppers and green onions.
- Allow quinoa mixture to cool.
- Tear the watercress into bite-sized pieces and gently fold into quinoa mixture.
Nutrition facts: 114 calories: 15g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 5g fat