Some people liken arugula’s flavor to that of mustard. It has a spicy bite, and the fully grown leaves can also be slightly bitter.
Arugula has a host of health benefits because of nutrients like:
- Vitamins: Arugula is similar to other members of the Brassicaceae family like cabbage and kale in that it is a good source of multiple vitamins. Arugula contains vitamins A and K.
- Carotenoids: Arugula provides a significant amount of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Isothiocyanates: Like horseradish (another member of its family), arugula contains chemicals referred to as isothiocyanates and which account for some of its most important health benefits.
The addition of arugula to your diet can improve your health in various ways including by treating or preventing the following:
- Eye problems: The high carotenoid content from arugula can help you to avoid problems of the eye like age-related macular degeneration.
- Cancer: The isothiocyanates contained in arugula are useful for fighting cancer.
- Heart disease: Arugula’s anti-inflammatory properties enable it to improve blood vessel health and at the same time lower your cholesterol levels, thus reducing your risk of mortality from cardiovascular illness.
Most people who are familiar with arugula see it as an upscale and somewhat exotic salad green. It is excellent in winter salads. Like other members of its botanical family, arugula is edible cooked as well as raw. Combine it with pasta or add it to sauces. It is a common component of mesclun mixes and works well as the green element in sandwiches.