Purebun.com – Arugula may still sound foreign to Indonesian people. In fact, the benefits of arugula for health are not small. This vegetable contains a variety of nutrients that are good for strengthening the immune system and smoothing the digestive system.
Although not very popular, arugula leaves have long been known by salad fans. Not only eaten directly as fresh vegetables or as a complementary ingredient to salads, arugula leaves can also be processed into toppings for pizza. Currently, arugula leaves have also begun to be cultivated in Indonesia.
Nutrients Contained in Arugula
Before moving on to the benefits of arugula, it’s good if you know the variety of nutrients contained in the leaves which have a slightly bitter and spicy taste.
In a serving or about 10 grams of arugula leaves, it contains 2.5 calories and the following various nutrients:
- 0.3 gram carbohydrates
- 0.2 grams of protein
- 0.2 grams of fiber
- 15 milligrams of calcium
- 0.14 milligrams of iron
- 35 milligrams of potassium
- 5 milligrams of phosphorus
- 5 milligrams of magnesium
- 1.5 milligrams of vitamin C
- 12 micrograms or the equivalent of 240 IU of vitamin A
- 11 micrograms of vitamin K
- 10 micrograms of folate
In addition to the various nutritional contents above, arugula also contains water, B vitamins, and antioxidants that are good for body health, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Various Benefits of Arugula for Health
Thanks to its diverse nutritional content, there are many benefits of arugula that can be obtained if you consume it regularly, including:
1. Maintain bone strength and health
Regular consumption of arugula is good for maintaining bone strength and health. This is because arugula contains calcium, protein, antioxidants and vitamin K which function to increase bone strength. With adequate intake of these nutrients, your risk for osteoporosis can be reduced.
2. Maintain heart health and function
Leafy greens, including arugula leaves, are high in fiber and antioxidants. The content is good for preventing the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis) which can cause heart disease.
In addition, the potassium content in arugula is also good for controlling blood pressure so that it can prevent hypertension. This is why arugula can be used as a heart-healthy food option.
3. Strengthen the body’s immune system
A strong immune system plays an important role in fighting viral and bacterial infections that cause infectious diseases, including COVID-19. In times of a pandemic like today, you need to always keep your immune system strong.
To strengthen the body’s immune system, you need to have adequate intake of nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, iron, zinc, and antioxidants. You can get these nutrients from a variety of healthy foods and one of them is arugula.
In addition to eating healthy foods, you also need to reduce stress, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly, so that your immune system is maintained.
4. Maintain the health of pregnant women and fetuses
For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, arugula is also good for consumption. This is because arugula contains folate, choline, as well as protein and iron which are good for fetal growth and health.
Choline and folate intake is known to play an important role in supporting the growth and development of the fetal brain and nerves, as well as preventing the occurrence of neural tube defects in the fetus (spina bifida). In addition, the iron content in arugula is also useful for preventing anemia during pregnancy.
5. Smooth digestion
Arugula is one type of vegetable that contains a lot of water and dietary fiber. This content is good for keeping digestion smooth and preventing constipation.
To be healthier, you are also advised to supplement your fiber intake by eating other types of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.
6. Control blood sugar
Arugula contains antioxidants, fiber, and complex carbohydrates that are good for keeping blood sugar levels stable. Not only that, arugula is also a food group with a low glycemic index. This means that arugula does not cause a drastic increase in blood sugar.
High and uncontrolled blood sugar, over time can increase the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, to reduce this risk, you are advised to start eating healthy foods such as arugula.
7. Maintain weight
For those of you who are on a diet, try consuming more arugula. This vegetable contains very low calories, so it is good for preventing weight gain. Although low in calories, these vegetables are nutrient dense so it is important to meet nutritional needs when dieting.
Things to Know Before Consuming Arugula Leaves
Arugula can be processed into a variety of foods, including salads and sandwiches. In addition, you can also use this leaf as a mixture for soup or stir-fry.
If you want to eat arugula, choose arugula leaves that are still green and fresh, then wash the leaves thoroughly with running water before eating them. This is important to prevent bacterial contamination that causes food poisoning.
Arugula is indeed a healthy and nutritious food. However, you need to remember that to get a healthy and prime body, of course it is not enough just to consume arugula leaves. You still have to live a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and don’t smoke.
If you still have questions about the nutritional content or benefits of arugula for your health, you can consult a doctor.