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Arugula

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Arugula Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 91.7 g
Calories: 25 kcal
Protein: 2.6 g
Carbohydrate: 3.7 g
Dietary fiber: 1.6 g
Sugars: 2.1 g
Fat: 0.7 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3 g
Vitamin C: 15 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 97 μg
Vitamin A: 119 μg
Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
Vitamin K: 108.6 μg
Calcium: 160 mg
Iron: 1.5 mg
Magnesium: 47 mg
Phosphorus: 52 mg
Potassium: 369 mg
Sodium: 27 mg
Zinc: 0.5 mg

Arugula (also known as rocket), is a somewhat unconventional member of the brassica family, or the ‘cruciferous vegetables’.

In addition to being a great in salads & sauces, and boasting a distinct, somewhat peppery flavour, arugula also has a number of health benefits.

Nutritionally, arugula benefits from something a lot of the brassica family can boast: very high vitamin K. According to the USDA database entry, 100g of arugula gives 136% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin K (based on a 2000 calorie per day diet). Vitamin K is important for a number of processes within the body, in particular for blood clotting and bone health.

Arugula is also high in several other important nutrients. 100g contains 47% of your DV of vitamin A, a vitamin important in eye health (vitamin A deficiency is the largest preventable cause of blindness worldwide), 16% DV of calcium, a micronutrient vital for bone health, and 11% DV of magnesium, a mineral with important cardiovascular benefits (like reducing high blood pressure).

Finally, possibly the greatest benefit of arugula lies in its potent cancer-fighting properties. The brassicas as a family are reputed to have great cancer-fighting potential, (this review focusing on the benefits of the brassica family is a good example). A lot of that reputation is based on their high levels of compounds called glucosinalates.

But whereas most brassicas have high levels of a compound called sulforaphane, arugula is a little special, as its major cancer-fighting compound is in fact something called erucin. This study demonstrates the potential of this compound in fighting tumours.

What’s great about the fact that arugula has a rarer cancer fighting compound is that if you eat say, broccoli and Brussel sprouts in large amounts you can only get so many benefits from that sulforaphane.

Eat broccoli and arugula, however, and get twice the anti-cancer benefit! Nutritious, cancer-fighting, and delicious (especially in Italian cuisine) arugula is a distinctive food with distinct benefits for your health.