Health Benefits – The Importance of Eating Your Greens
If you haven’t tried arugula yet, you need to add it to your shopping list right now! The leaves are delicate but the nutrition zap is far from it. The slight peppery flavor makes it a great compliment to many different types of meals. It isn’t as rigid as kale or as broad as spinach leaves so there is less chopping and prep work involved with arugula.
It is so delicious, refreshing, and versatile that you almost don’t even care about the incredible health benefits arugula provides. Those are just a bonus!
Part of the brassicaceae family, the arugula’s cousins are kale, cabbage, and greens. It’s a whole family of hard-working leafy greens. Adopt them into your life…you really want to.
Arugula is incredibly nutrient dense. It offers a lot of vitamin bang for every calorie buck. Two cups of the leafy green contain only 10 calories! There is so much to love about this veggie.
Outstanding Benefits of Arugula
- It’s the perfect food if you’re working on controlling your body weight.
- The sulforaphane, glucosinolates, and chlorophyll makes it a cancer-fighting food.
- Boosts energy and improves exercise tolerance naturally.
- Brain and bone fuel provided by the vitamin K content (50% of your RDV).
- Ramps up your sex drive.
- Adds in calcium absorption.
- Helps to control body temperature on hot summer days.
- Naturally anti-inflammatory thanks to indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates.
- An excellent plant source of both iron and copper.
- Naturally hydrating all day long.
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, making it a great heart-healthy option.
- A decent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and folate.
- Alpha-lipoic acid in arugula is excellent for controlling diabetic glucose levels.
Like other leafy greens, arugula can be added to soups, egg dishes, smoothies, pastas, sandwiches, and casseroles without increasing the caloric content. It’s also easy to grow if you love to have fresh produce available year-round with a kitchen garden. There are so many incredible dishes featuring arugula.
Just reading the following recipe makes my mouth water!
Linguine with Avocado and Arugula Pesto (Courtesy of Food Network)
- 1 pound linguine pasta
- 2 medium avocados, halved, peeled, and seeded
- 3 cups baby arugula leaves
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated 350° Fahrenheit oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Cool completely before using.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place in a serving bowl.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a food processor.
- Add the arugula, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss together.
- Add the cheese and almonds and toss together until coated, adding the pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce.
For hot summer days when you really don’t want to cook, this salad is going to be a hit. Serve it for parties inside or outside. It looks far more decadent than the simple ingredients and directions would imply!
Arugula and Pear Salad (Courtesy of Food Network)
- ½ cup walnut halves, toasted
- 5 to 6 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
- 1 Bosc or Anjou pear, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
- Toast nuts in small pan over medium heat until fragrant.
- Combine arugula and pear in a salad bowl, add nuts then dress the salad with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Top salad with cheese crumbles.
Inexpensive, readily available, incredibly nutritious, and delicious…it’s time to add the benefits of arugula to your life!