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Eat Watercress

Eat Watercress

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Eat Watercress infographic
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Description

Watercress is often an underrated plant that contains the highest level of nutrients. According to the Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables list, watercress contains the highest density of nutrients.

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Possible Benefits

  • May improve the immune system
  • May improve bone health
  • May decrease cholesterol levels 
  • May improve cardiovascular health 
  • May improve digestion
  • May help generate red blood cells
  • May improve skin appearance
  • May boost cognitive function 
  • May support wound healing
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Required Equipment

Fresh watercress

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How to Do It

Watercress can be eaten like any other vegetable, in salads, creams, or dressing. We recommend adding it to your green smoothie!

A common recipe is to create a cream of watercress and add it to bread with some protein such as chicken.

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Why it works

  • Watercress has a very high concentration of vitamin C, which is essential for the immune system. 
  • The high content of vitamin B6 helps improve cognitive function, especially memory. 
  • The high content of calcium, potassium, and manganese makes them helpful in strengthening bones and making them stronger. 
  • It acts as a diuretic, which may improve digestion in some cases.
  • It contains a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve heart health and produce red blood cells. 
  • Due to its high content of riboflavin, it helps the regeneration of tissues.
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Time Commitment

5-10 minutes 

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Suggested Frequency

3 times per week

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Time of Day

Any

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Possible Side Effects

It contains a high quantity of vitamin K, which may interfere with blood-thinning medications.

Upset stomach

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Tips

  • Consume fresh watercress to get the best benefits. 
  • It is a plant that dehydrates quickly.
  • Look for it your nearest organic market.
  • Its high content of nutrients makes it the best vegetable to consume.
  • It has more vitamin C than an orange!
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm 
  2. Vegetable of the month: Leafy greens. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/vegetable-of-the-month-leafy-greens 
  3. Effects of Watercress (Nasturtium nasturtium) extract on selected immunological parameters of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655775/ 
  4. Dietary Cold Pressed Watercress and Coconut Oil Mixture Enhances Growth Performance, Intestinal Microbiota, Antioxidant Status, and Immunity of Growing Rabbits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6262618/ 
  5. Characterization of the watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.; Brassicaceae) transcriptome using RNASeq and identification of candidate genes for important phytonutrient traits linked to human health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4875719/ 
  6. Diversity in global gene expression and morphology across a watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.) germplasm collection: first steps to breeding. https://www.nature.com/articles/hortres201529 
  7. Phenolic profile and antioxidant potential of wild watercress (Nasturtium officinale L.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4656250/ 
  8. Watercress supplementation in diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17284750/ 
  9. Healthy Roots and Leaves: Comparative Genome Structure of Horseradish and Watercress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6324231/
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