Health Benefits of watercress

Watercress botanical name: Nasturtium officinale

I remember when I was little my mom always tell us to eat certain kind of vegetables. All vegetables are good but sometimes she has specific one. Now whenever I see those I will buy out of habit. During our last trip to the supermarket we saw some watercress. My husband grabbed a bunch. He told me let’s cook this, it supposed to be good for YOU (he meant for my pimples). He told me to eat bitter melon also. Just one meal and it will make your pimples disappear he said. Hah! I tried that once when I was little and never again! I’ll save that for next time lol. I know watercress is good for us but I want to know what kind of nutrients that contain. So that led me to this post…

The good stuff:

  • Watercress is full of antioxidant that help reduce the stress that we put on our body during exercise. It’s a cooling ingredient (according to Chinese medicine)…that’s why it will help with pimples…
  • Research has shown that watercress contain the compound (called phenylethyl isothiocyanate, PEITC) that can limit the development of cancer tumor.
    “As tumours develop they rapidly outgrow their existing blood supply so they send out signals which make surrounding normal tissues grow new blood vessels into the tumour which feed them oxygen and nutrients. The research, led by Professor Graham Packham of the University of Southampton, shows that the plant compound (called phenylethyl isothiocyanate) found in watercress can block this process, by interfering with and ‘turning off’ in the function of a protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF).”
    Eating watercress daily will can help reduce DNA damage caused by free radical.
  • Watercress is high in Vitamin C, K, A, minerals, and phytonutrients that help strengthen bones, limit neuronal damage.

Storage and handling
It’s best to eat it fresh. Otherwise I like to wash it thoroughly then submerged it in a bowl of water in the fridge and use within 2-3 days. Water cress is an aquatic plant (it grows in water) therefore it need to be wash thoroughly before consume. I normally submerge it in salt water for about 30 min and then rinse over and over again at least 3x under running water. This will help remove any parasite and impurities. I’ve heard hydrogen peroxide is really good to use for washing fruits and vegetable also. I’ll have to give it a try the next time.


Serving ideas
Water cress has a tangy and peppery taste.
Can be use in salad, soup, to be add to your green juice, or I like to stir fry with fresh garlic.


The next time you see this leafy green in the supermarket, give it a try!

Have you ever had watercress? How do you cook it?


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  1. January 5, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    I don’t recall having watercress — does taste like arugula?

    • PUG
      January 6, 2016 / 8:10 am

      Julie, Yes! their tastes are very similar…kind of peppery. Personally, I prefer watercress since it’s a little mild for me 🙂

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