The Original Superfood
Rich in Health-Promoting Nutrients
No single food can maintain and promote good health. That comes from the overall benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. But some foods have been classed as ‘superfoods’ because they are especially rich in health-promoting nutrients, antioxidants or phytochemicals (bioactive plant compounds) and therefore pack more of a nutritional punch than others.
Watercress is surely the best of the bunch! Brimming over with an amazing 15 vital nutrients and minerals, gram for gram watercress can boast more vitamin C than oranges, more vitamin E than broccoli, more calcium than whole milk and more iron than spinach! Watercress also has exceptionally high levels of Beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body and needed for growth and development, immunity, and healthy vision, hair, skin, nails, bones and teeth.
Numerous scientific studies have also proven that watercress is an important player in the field of cancer prevention:
A pioneering study in America in 1995 showed eating watercress neutralised a cancer-causing chemical found in the blood of smokers.
Research undertaken at the University of Ulster in 2007 demonstrated that eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer.
The most recent research, published in 2010 by Southampton University, revealed that a plant compound in watercress – PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate) – may have the ability to suppress breast cancer cell development by ‘turning off’ a signal in the body and thereby starving the growing tumour of essential blood and oxygen.
Today work continues around the world to unearth more of the hidden power of watercress in the field of cancer prevention.
For Health Professionals
This report provides science-based information for health professionals and focuses on: the nutritional composition of watercress; the potential health benefits of watercress; a summary of research studies relating to watercress.