Arugula is an immunity boosting green leafy vegetable. Also known by names like “salad rocket” and “Italian cress,” this green veggie belongs to the family of broccoli, kale, and cabbage. The tender, bite-sized leaves of the plant make it an ideal salad ingredient that adds a pungent, earthy flavor. Regularly consuming arugula provides an array of health benefits, the most important of which is its role in heart health and regulating blood pressure.
Why Arugula Helps With High Blood Pressure
Several factors contribute to high blood pressure. Too much salt in food, stress, genetics, alcoholism, insufficient physical activity, obesity, and age are the most common culprits. Over time, the condition can cause your arteries to harden and lead to stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure.1 Changes in your diet with an improved exercise routine can help keep your blood pressure under control. Adding arugula, which is particularly beneficial for high blood pressure, could be of great help too. Here are 3 reasons why this nutritious veggie is good for high blood pressure.
1. Rich In Folate
If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is important that you take care of your heart. And what better way to do this than consume arugula, which is rich in folate. Folate is the natural form of folic acid, an essential nutrient that reduces the thickening of arterial walls, allowing blood to flow more smoothly.2
2. Source Of Essential Minerals
In order to prevent high blood pressure, three minerals need to be present in your body at sufficient levels. Arugula can supply all three adequately.
- Potassium: Sufficient potassium intake is crucial because it helps your kidneys discharge excess sodium through urine, preventing blood pressure from spiking.3 Consuming 100 g of arugula provides as much as 369 mg of potassium.4 So, eating this green vegetable regularly can help lower your blood pressure if you suffer from hypertension.
- Calcium: Calcium helps your blood vessels contract and expand when necessary, which means that lower levels of calcium can cause the walls of your arteries to tighten and hence increase blood pressure. A regular intake of green leafy vegetables like arugula helps maintain a healthy calcium level in your body.5
- Magnesium: Magnesium helps your blood vessels stay relaxed, keeping high blood pressure at bay. It also regulates your blood sugar and muscle function.6 Arugula is one of the best sources of this mineral, so its regular consumption can keep your blood pressure under control.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Nature
Arugula possesses anti-inflammatory properties because of which it lowers the cholesterol in your system. This prevents the build-up of the fatty substance in your arteries, allowing blood to flow smoothly and maintain blood pressure at optimum levels.7
Other Benefits Of Arugula
- Improves bone health: Arugula is a great source of calcium and vitamin K, both of which are necessary for strong bones and the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures.8
- Promotes healthy digestion: Research suggests that arugula has ample amounts of protective antioxidants that help in curbing high acidity.9 Its anti-secretory properties also reduce the production of excess stomach acids, thereby reducing the risk of stomach ulcers. Being rich in fiber, arugula also prevents constipation.
- Helps in weight management: Arugula is abundant in nutrients and extremely low in calories, making it an ideal food for those looking to lose weight.
- Prevents cancer: The presence of antioxidants like ascorbic acid and carotenoids in arugula makes it great against cancer cells. Arugula also contains ample amount of compounds called glucosinolates, which upon chewing neutralize carcinogens in the body.10
- Enhances eye health: The carotenoids in arugula are said to work effectively against preventing eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataract.
Incorporating Arugula Into Your Diet
Arugula can form a great raw salad base as much as it can be enjoyed cooked. You can saute the vegetable for taste, add it to soups, stuff it into sandwiches or omelets, or chop it up as a healthy garnish for all kinds of meals. Arugula can also be served with cheese and potatoes as a delicious and wholesome side dish.
Although there are usually no adverse effects of eating arugula, you should get any digestive discomfort or allergic symptoms examined by your physician.
|↑1||Effects of High Blood Pressure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑2||Folate. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.|
|↑3||Potassium lowers blood pressure. Harvard Medical School.|
|↑4||Basic Report: 11959, Arugula, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑5, ↑6||Key minerals to help control blood pressure. Harvard Medical School.|
|↑7||Fuentes, Eduardo, Marcelo Alarcón, Manuel Fuentes, Gilda Carrasco, and Iván Palomo. “A Novel Role of Eruca sativa Mill.(rocket) extract: Antiplatelet (NF-κB Inhibition) and antithrombotic activities.” Nutrients 6, no. 12 (2014): 5839-5852.|
|↑8||Nordin, BE Christopher. “Calcium and osteoporosis.” Nutrition 13, no. 7-8 (1997): 664-686.|
|↑9||Barillari, Jessica, Donatella Canistro, Moreno Paolini, Fiammetta Ferroni, Gian Franco Pedulli, Renato Iori, and Luca Valgimigli. “Direct antioxidant activity of purified glucoerucin, the dietary secondary metabolite contained in rocket (Eruca sativa Mill.) seeds and sprouts.” Journal of Agricultural and food chemistry 53, no. 7 (2005): 2475-2482.|
|↑10||Azarenko, Olga, Mary Ann Jordan, and Leslie Wilson. “Erucin, the major isothiocyanate in arugula (Eruca sativa), inhibits proliferation of MCF7 tumor cells by suppressing microtubule dynamics.” PloS one 9, no. 6 (2014): e100599.|