We know that greens are good for us, but choosing the best one for liver health is no simple feat. Although it’s hard to go wrong when choosing naturally green produce, those with liver concerns will find arugula to be especially valuable.
Known also as rocket or roquette in Europe and Australia, arugula is native to the Mediterranean region. Documents indicate that arugula has been consumed in parts of Italy and around the Middle East since the first century A.D. Packed with flavor, arugula is shaped like an oak leaf and has a peppery taste.
5 Reasons that Arugula Is a Nutritional Powerhouse that Favors Liver Wellness
- Cruciferous – Arugula is a member of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, the same group that includes vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. Cruciferous veggies are known to be ‘carcinogen killers’ because their phytochemicals neutralize free radical damage. The American Cancer Society includes a recommendation to include Brassica cruciferous vegetables in your diet on a regular basis for cancer prevention. Neutralizing free radicals is essential to those with a chronic liver issue to help minimize liver cell damage – and prevent against the development of liver cancer.
- Weight Management – Arugula is an extremely nutrient-dense food, considering it has only five calories per cup despite being loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. People tend to eat more than one cup of leafy greens at a time, making arugula a great choice for filling up with a nutritionally exceptional food. For the estimated 30% of American adults who have excess fat accumulation in their liver, arugula is an ideal low-calorie choice for getting your liver lean.
- Fiber – One cup of raw arugula contains about one gram of fiber. Your liver needs a high fiber diet to function optimally. Diets low in fiber typically lead to a buildup of toxins and fats in the liver. A major contributor to detoxification, fiber helps your liver remove waste from your bloodstream. Maintaining a high fiber diet is much easier when a simple two-cup serving size (and thus, two grams of fiber) of arugula salad is consumed.
- Vitamins and Minerals – Arugula is loaded with vitamins and minerals. One cup of raw arugula has about 22 milligrams of Vitamin K, 475 milligrams of Vitamin A, 19 milligrams of folate, 6 milligrams of Vitamin C and 32 milligrams of calcium. Similar to spinach in calcium quantity, arugula actually has fewer mineral-blocking oxalates (the reason spinach can sometimes leave your mouth feeling chalky). This means that less calcium is inhibited, and your body can absorb and use more. This abundance in vitamins and minerals has two benefits to your liver. First, liver cell inflammation is reduced. Second, the repair and regrowth of healthy new liver cells is supported.
- Chlorophyll – Like most leafy greens, arugula is very high in chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll helps prevent DNA and liver damage from aflatoxins and environmental toxins via its ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides in your blood. This aspect makes arugula consumption a potent ally for protecting your liver from harm.
Arugula seems to have the best of liver-health desirable traits. Cruciferous vegetables are known to be good for liver health and cancer protection. Leafy greens are known to be valuable for weight management and inflammation reduction. However, arugula is one delicious veggie that can boast all of these characteristics. When planning a liver-friendly menu, place arugula on your shopping list so you can benefit off of the almighty rocket.
Editor’s Note: UltraNourish, a superfood protein shake, focuses on your liver and supercharges every cell in your body. One way it does this is with its 1,450 mg Green Food/Spirulina Blend, which contains many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Learn more.
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