Yes, Arugula is Paleo!
A “Popular” in Salads…
Also recognized as salad rocket, arugula is a green leafy vegetable that comes from the family of Brassica along with turnips, mustards, kale, and collard greens. It is a famous salad vegetable that is native to the Mediterranean region specifically in Morocco, Portugal, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.
Arugula is a small annual growing herb with elongated lobular leaves with green veins and has a typical mild flavor. The Larger leaf varieties of arugula can have a more peppery taste that the smaller ones.
While arugula has a pungent smell and distinct taste, it is a favorite in most Italian dishes. Arugula is a zesty addition to salads, pesto, soup and pizza. It is more palatable when paired with lemon juice and vinaigrettes with strong acid contents.
Arugula Nutritional Profile
Arugula is a nutritious green leafy vegetable that provides numerous health benefits due to its high nutrient density. It is an excellent source of folate, an important vitamin B that helps with brain function and vitamin C and K. Arugula also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. It also provides high levels of protein, zinc and copper and vital phytonutrients and antioxidants such as indoles, thiocyanates, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates that may hugely benefit health.
Like most leafy vegetables, arugula is fairly low in carbohydrates and contains significant amounts of fiber. And another good thing about arugula is that it contains relatively low oxalate content than spinach, mustard greens and other green leafy vegetables in the Brassica family.
Significant Health Benefits of Arugula
Aside from the micronutrient content of arugula there are other benefits that one can get from eating it.
The B vitamins in arugula are good for raising levels of good cholesterol and lowering the bad ones. The flavanoids found in arugula can prevent cholesterol from sticking to the arteries, lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow and blood vessel function.
According to one study, arugula can be associated with lowering risks of gastrointestinal ulcers because of the many antioxidants it contains.
Vegetables from the Brassica family including arugula are rich sources of phytochemicals including indoles which have found to counter the carcinogenic effects of estrogen and may protect against certain cancers.
Like kale, arugula is also an excellent source of beta carotene which is converted by the body to become vitamin A. Getting enough vitamin A promotes good eye sight especially at night. The substantial amounts of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin can protect against macular degeneration which is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults.
Vitamin C together with other phytochemicals present in arugula can help protect the body from inflammation, diseases and free radicals and can boost the body’s immune system.
And because arugula is a rich source of vitamin K, frequent consumption of arugula can help protect and strengthen the bones.
Other Names for Arugula
Salad rocket, rucola, rugula, colewort, roquette, eruca
What Experts Say About Arugula
“A fixture of many-a-bistro salad, arugula is an excellent source of folate and vitamin C as well as a good source of calcium”. – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Arugula and Paleo
Mark’s Daily Apple. Top 10 Summer Vegetables.
Mark’s Daily Apple. Why You Should Eat Leafy Greens
Paleo Porn. Is Arugula Paleo?
Food Facts. Mercola. What is Arugula Good For.
Nutrition and You. Arugula Nutrition Facts
Livestrong. 5 Things You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Arugula
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photo credit: greens from the garden