What are the Benefits of eating Arugula?

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Arugula is a nutritious leafy vegetable popular as salad green. It belongs to Eruca sativa species. It is also called garden rocket, roquette, eruca, and rocket salad. Arugula is extremly popular in Italian cuisine. It is native to the Mediterranean region, specifically Morocco, Portugal and Lebanon. The leaves are aromatic, with distinct rich peppery taste. Arugula seeds are used for flavoring cooking oilsArugula is mostly cultivated in the temperate regions including Northern Europe and North America. It is also cultivated in Italy and Veneto. Arugula leaves can be easily stored in refrigerator or preserved in a glass of water. The leaves are delicate and needs to be handled softly. According to ancient belief, eating Arugula brings good luck.



What are the characteristics of Arugula Plant?

It is an annual herb and reaches a height of  8–39 inches. Th plant bears pinnately lobed 4-10  small leaves with large terminal lobes. The flowers have creamish white in color with purple veins. Their stamens  are yellow. Arugula plant yields long pod (0.5–1.4 inches ) with an apical beak. Each pod bears several seeds. Arugula cannot tolerate direct sunlight and freezing temperature. 



What is the History behind Arugula?

Food historians assume that Arugula was first grown in ancient Rome.  Some people argue that Arugula and  garden vegetable named Oroth(mentioned in the Bible) are same. During the 1st century AD, Arugula was used as a key ingredient in aphrodisiac concoctions. For many ages, it remained restricted to Italy and France. Later, during the colonial era, European explorers introduced Arugula in the United States and Great Britain.  



What are the uses of Arugula?

  • Arugula is commonly used in green salads, soups, risotto, pasta, and spaghetti sauces.
  • Arugula is served with cheese burek.
  • Arugula flowers are deep-fried.
  • Cooked Arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar and butter is served as a delicious side-dish.
  • Arugula pesto is often cooked with garbanzo beans.



What are nutrients in Arugula? 

  • Arugula is an excellent source of copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. These essential minerals maintain the proper pH of the blood.
  • Vital antioxidants, minerals and vitamins present in Rocket salad immensely benefit health.
  • Being rich in vitamin C, Arugula protects from scurvy disease; boosts immunity and eliminate harmful free radicals from the body.
  • Arugula is a rich source of di-indolyl-methane, an immune modulator. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Di-indolyl-methane reduces the occurrence of respiratory papillomatosis caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • Arugula contains wide array of polyphenol antioxidants such as beta carotene, glucoerucin, lutein, flavonoids, and zeaxanthin which prevent macular degeneration and premature ageing.
  • Folic acid in Arugula prevents neural tube defects in the newborns.
  • Certain phytochemicals such as thiocyanates, indoles, and sulforaphane prevents ovarian, breast, prostate, breast, and cervical cancers. These potent compounds inhibit malignant cellular growth and have cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.
  • Vitamin-A in Arugula protects from lung, skin, and oral cancers.
  • Vitamin-K promotes bone formation and strengthening activity. This essential nutrient prevents neuronal damage in the brain. Regular intake of Arugula reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  •  Arugula contain isothiocynates which is regarded as natural aphrodisiac. It boosts male and female potencies and cures infertility.
  • It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber,  Vitamin C,  Folate, Magnesium.



Are there any side-effects with Arugula?

People suffering from kidney stones should avoid Arugula. Some individuals may be allergic to Arugula. Mild symptoms include sore lips, throat irritation, facial swelling (angioedema), tongue swelling, stomach cramps, diarrhea or skin rash. In severe cases,  swelling in throat leads to uncomfortable breathing (dyspnea) which can be fatal if left untreated.

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