What is watercress?
Watercress is an aquatic vegetable known for its zesty flavour. In some regions, watercress is regarded as a weed in other regions as an aquatic vegetable or herb. Watercress has been grown in many locations around the world. It is considered an invasive species which means that eating it is not only good for your health, it’s good for the environment.
It is a rapidly growing, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia and is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. Watercress leaves, stems, and fruit can be eaten raw.
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in watercress provide various health benefits. Ancient Romans thought eating it would cure mental illness. In the 12th century, people thought eating it steamed and drinking the water would cure jaundice or fever. It was also eaten by Native Americans and they used it to treat kidney illnesses and constipation. It was thought by some to be an aphrodisiac. Early African Americans used the plant as an abortifacient; it was believed to cause sterility as well.
Watercress is 95% water and has low contents of carbohydrates, protein, fats and dietary fibre. A 100-gram serving of raw watercress provides 11 calories, is particularly rich in Vitamin K and contains significant amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, calcium, and manganese.
A small plant that packs a big health punch, Watercress has been renowned for its healing powers for a long time.
Benefits of watercress for hair
- Vitamin E: Watercress is packed with Vitamin E which helps with hair growth by increasing oxygen and circulation to the scalp to make sure cells stay healthy.
- Zinc and sulphur: The presence of zinc and sulphur helps by keeping bacterial infections affecting the scalp and hair away. It is used to boost hair growth and thickness, thanks to its high content of zinc and sulfur.
- Healthy scalp: It contains Vitamins C, K, and A which are also good for promoting a healthy scalp and can lead to hair growth and healthy hair.
- Minerals and antioxidants: Watercress is mineral- and antioxidant-rich packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, Iron, calcium and iodine that are great for the scalp.
- Revitalizing property: It revitalizes oily hair, by removing oil and soap residue, and gets hair clean. It’s nature’s detoxifier and buildup buster.
- Physical protection: It works to protect the skin, scalp, and hair from the damage of the sun’s rays, as well as pollution, and other environmental factors that can damage our strands.
Benefits of watercress for skin
- Ageing: Helps stop and slow skin ageing. A compound called Isothiocyanate (ITC) and vitamin C which are found in watercress can help stop and prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin and lead to more production of collagen leading to younger, healthier and more elastic skin. This will therefore reduce cellulite and wrinkles.
- Nitrates: Watercress is packed with dietary nitrates, which have been shown to lower inflammation and stiffness in blood vessels and can help with skin problems like acne, warts, psoriasis, and eczema.
- Vitamin packed: This leafy green superfood is high in vitamins A and C and includes over 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. Vitamins shield the skin from oxidative damage and photoaging.
- Vitamin C: Watercress provides 72% of the daily requirement for vitamin C that protects your skin from wrinkles and fine lines.
- Vitamin K & A: It contains Vitamin K which keeps dark circles under your eyes away and vitamin A which promotes elasticity.
- Immunity: Watercress also helps in improving the immune system. It helps fight acne-causing bacteria and prevents future outbreaks.
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