Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable that gives us many of the benefits of vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family, such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. The arugula has tender leaves and a strong, spicy flavor.
Like other green leafy vegetables, the arugula contains very high levels of nitrates (more than 250 mg per 100 grams). The high consumption of nitrate in the diet helps us to reduce the blood pressure and the amount of oxygen needed during the exercise; it also helps us to improve sports performance.
In the content of this article we will see:
- Nutritional breakdown of arugula
- Properties and benefits of arugula
- How to add more arugula to your diet
- Contraindications to consume arugula.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF THE ARUGULA
Two cups of arugula (about 40 grams) contain approximately 10 calories.
Arugula also contains 1 gram of protein, 0.3 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of carbohydrates (of which 0.6 are fiber and 0.8 sugars)
In these 2 cups of arugula we also get 20% of the vitamin A, more than 50% of the vitamin K and 8% of the needs of vitamin C, folic acid and calcium for the day.
Arugula is among the top 20 foods in terms of ANDI score (Nutrient density index)
The ANDI classification measures the vitamin, minerals and phytonutrients in relation to the caloric content of a food.
ROPERTIES AND BENEFITS OF ARUGULA
As you know, consuming fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of suffering from different diseases. Many studies have confirmed that consuming foods of vegetable origin, helps us to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and mortality in general, also helps us improve our skin, increase energy and control our weight.
In the last 30 years, eating large amounts of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer, such as lung or colon cancer. In recent years, it has also been found that sulfur-containing compounds, which give cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste, are the key to being good at fighting cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables also include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnip and cabbage.
Arugula also contains chlorophyll, which has been shown to be effective in blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines generated when we cook food at high temperatures.
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PREVENTION OF OSTEOPOROSIS
The low intake of vitamin K is associated with an increased risk of bone fracture. The adequate consumption of vitamin K helps us to improve bone health by acting as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improving the absorption of calcium and reducing urinary calcium excretion. The arugula also contributes to the daily needs of calcium, since it gives us 64 milligrams in 2 cups.
Green leafy vegetables contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoid acid that has been shown to reduce glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent stress-induced oxidation in patients with diabetes.
EXERCISE AND SPORTS PERFORMANCE
It has been demonstrated that the administration of dietary nitrate supplements in the form of beet juice helps us to improve oxygenation during exercise, which suggests that the increase in the intake of nitrates in the diet has the potential to improve exercise tolerance, to help us in long-lasting exercises and possibly improve the quality of life of people suffering from cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases, which are faced with physically weak day-to-day activities due to lack of oxygenation.
Beet juice helps us improve performance by 2.8% (11 seconds) in a 4 km bicycle time trial and by 2.7% in a 16.1 km time trial. Beet is one of the many vehicles that are high in nitrates. One of the main sources of nitrates is green leafy vegetables such as arugula.
HOW TO ADD MORE RUBLES TO YOUR FOOD
Normally the arugula is used in salads, but it can also be added to pasta, stews and sauces. Arugula is very easy to grow and only requires 3 hours of sunlight per day.
Due to its spicy flavor, the arugula is combined with other vegetables, such as watercress and romaine lettuce. The arugula should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days of purchase.
Here are some tips to add more arugula to your meals:
- Add fresh arugula into a tortilla
- Add arugula in a fresh juice or smoothie
- Sauté arugula in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Use it as a garnish.
- Add arugula to your sandwich or bread.
One of the best ways to start the day is with a green shake, if you’ve never done it, I recommend it. On the one hand it gives you a lot of satiety, which is very good for weight loss and to control weight, on the other hand it gives us a lot of nutrients, which improves our health and prevents possible nutritional deficiencies, which today in day they are very habitual.
Personally, for example, I combine spinach, arugula, kale, some fruit, such as lemon, orange, kiwis, bananas, and without a doubt you have a delicious drink. What green shakes do you do?
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR THE HEALTH OF RUCCUS CONSUMPTION
If you are taking anticoagulants it is important that suddenly you do not start eating more or less food with vitamin K, since it plays an important role in the blood coagulation.
If stored incorrectly, vegetable juices containing nitrates can accumulate bacteria that convert nitrate into nitrite and contaminate the juice. High levels of nitrite can be potentially very harmful.
Consult your doctor before starting a diet rich in nitrate if they have cardiovascular disease or associated risk factors. A diet rich in nitrate can interact with certain medications.