Betcha didn't know watercress is the Cadillac of cancer fighting foods. Studies reveal watercress may reduce breast cancer risk along with many other nutritional claims to fame. With boat loads of protection at just 4 calories a cup—what a steal!
Watercress is quickly taking the spotlight. Many of us consider it a garnish, but it's way more than just a simple decoration.
New scientific research from the University of Southampton (Sept. 14, 2010) suggests a strong link between consuming watercress and preventing breast cancer. The study revealed that a plant compound (phenylethyl isothiocyanate) in watercress can potentially retard tumor growth, by switching off the function of a protein (Hypoxia Inducible Factor) that promotes the growth and development of breast cancer cells.
But it doesn't stop there! Although it maybe old news to some that watercress is a member of the super star cancer-fighting vegetable group (cruciferous), what you may not know is that watercress is uniquely superior. It has what researchers refer to as a "dynamic duo" of both PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate) AND sulforaphanes which can promote the death of cancer cells, while stopping potential carcinogens from becoming active.
Sold yet? Get ready to drool over even more of watercress' superpowers. As a natural diuretic, watercress is a fantastic de-bloater which comes handy before those special "red-carpet" events. It's also packed with beta-carotene, which helps ward off heart disease. And ready for more beauty bonus points? Beta-carotene in your blood reduces the formation of wrinkles, so go ahead and replace those expensive creams with a voluminous and protective bouquet of tasty watercress.
Pit this champion against other "good for you" foods and here's what you get: one cup of watercress has 4x the calcium and 6x the magnesium of milk, as much vitamin C as oranges, and more iron than spinach. As if that's not enough, calorie conscious people rejoice: watercress is practically calorie-free! One cup has just 4 calories— that's less than half a stick of gum! So you can really pile the stuff on to add major protection to your meals. Just remember to eat it raw because when cooked it loses its ability to release the winning compounds that will keep you beautiful inside and out.
To max out on benefits, a handful (6 oz.) is the ideal serving. At Beller Nutrition, watercress is one of our favorite add-ons to ensure that our signature "get skinny" meals come with a dose of protection, totally "Rachel style". I know what you're thinking, ‘If watercress is this good for me, why didn't I hear about all this before?!' Our thoughts exactly.
1. Sharifah S. Syed Alwi, Breeze E. Cavell, Urvi Telang, Marilyn E. Morris, Barbara M. Parry, Graham Packham. In vivo modulation of 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) phosphorylation by watercress: a pilot study. British Journal of Nutrition, 2010; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114510002217
2. Xiu-Hong Wang, Breeze E. Cavell, Sharifah S. Syed Alwi, Graham Packham. Inhibition of hypoxia inducible factor by phenethyl isothiocyanate. Biochemical Pharmacology, 2009; 78 (3): 261 DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2009.04.010
rachel's demo reel!