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Fresh and Flavorful: Watercress Salad

Updated: Jan 26


Watercress is a leafy green vegetable known as a nutrient-rich, antioxidant-packed food option. Despite being low in calories, it is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and phosphorus. The essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in watercress can provide numerous health benefits. For instance, vitamin C helps to support the immune system, promotes collagen production, and aids in injury recovery. On the other hand, vitamin A is vital for maintaining healthy retinas and good vision. Watercress contains a powerful compound called isothiocyanates, which is responsible for the bitter taste of cruciferous vegetables and is known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Furthermore, they can protect cells from oxidative damage and may help to protect the heart and blood vessels.





Why add Watercress to your diet?

Did you know some fruits and veggies are considered "powerhouses" because they contain nutrients? A group of researchers from William Paterson University created a list of 41 superfoods, published in a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal in 2014. These foods are especially rich in fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Guess what? Watercress is at the top of the list as the number 1 powerhouse food! (1)(7)


  • Supports Immune system (3)

  • Lowers blood glucose (10)(11)

  • Boosts healthy collagen production (4)

  • Helps heal injury/exercise-induced DNA damage (2) (4) (8)

  • Prevents chronic diseases (2)

  • Minimizes risk of specific cancer (2) (8) (9)

  • Protects heart and blood vessels (4) (8)

  • Promotes Healthy Vision (5)


Watercress Nutrition (100gm) (13)

Carbohydrate 1.29g

Protein 2.30 gm

Total fat 0.10g

Dietary fiber 0.5g

Vitamin A 3191IU (106%)

Vitamin C 43mg (72%)

Vitamin E 1mg (7%)

Vitamin K 250 µg ( 208%)

Vitamin B6 0.129mg (10%)

Calcium 120mg (12%)

Potassium 330 mg (7%)


Caution:

Consuming all types of healthy food in moderation, including this veggie (or any other healthy vegetable), is essential. Paracelsus wisely stated in 1538, "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dosage makes a thing not poison."

It is not recommended for individuals who take blood thinners to consume excessive amounts of vitamin K.


Here's a simple recipe for my watercress salad. I've included thinly sliced apples, pears, grated carrots, and a handful of pomegranates for added flavor. I've also roasted some walnuts to give the salad a satisfying crunch and an extra dose of nutrition. I've made a delicious honey mustard dressing with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard powder. This dressing pairs perfectly with the peppery watercress. Feel free to add salt to the dressing, but I chose to leave it out.


Serves 2-3

Preparation Time- 15 mins

Cooking time- 3 mins

Total time- 18 mins


Ingredients



Watercress- 4 oz

Apple- 1(preferably granny smith)

Pear- 1

Carrot- 1

Pomegranate- ½ cup

Walnut – 1/3 cup

For Dressing

Olive oil- 1 tbsp

Honey- 1 Tbsp

Black mustard seeds- 1tsp

Lemon juice- 1 tbsp ( you can add more for a tangy taste)

Salt - optional


Directions

  1. To get started, slice the apple, pear, and carrot into delicate, Julienne-style pieces.



2. Dry roast walnuts in a small pan. Slice the walnuts into slivers.




3. Prepare your dressing by adding olive oil, honey, ground mustard seeds, and lemon juice in a small mason jar.



4. Mix all the slices of fruits and vegetables, watercress, walnuts, and the dressing in a big mixing bowl.



5. Enjoy the delicious salad.


( Tip - You can find the best tasteful watercress in spring, early summer, and fall; in the off-season, it tastes bitter)


References

  1. https://www.arcjournals.org/pdfs/ijmpnp/v5-i3/2.pdf

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