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Health Benefits of Arugula And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 07, 2020

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Arugula provides a host of health benefits. Arugula reduces risk of cancer, improves eyesight and provides you with healthy bones. Other major benfits of consuming arugula includes strengthening the brain, improving metabolic functions, helping absorption of minerals in the body and boosting the immune system.

What is Arugula?

Arugula belonging to the genus Eruca and the family Brassicaceae is a leafy green plant that is closely related to radishes, kale and cauliflower. Arugula is basically a spicy little leaf that appears bitter to some, while for others, it has a peppery-mustardy flavor. It is often mixed with other milder vegetables to get a balanced salad.

Arugula is known by a host of different names in different parts of the world. Some of them are garden rocket, rucola, roquette, and colewort. Arugula has a host of health benefits like it helps in reducing weight, lowers any risk of cancer, helps to keep your bones healthy, and improves your eyesight. Growing to a height of 20-100 cms, Arugula can be easily recognized by its small, white flowers.

It is grown on a large scale for commercial purposes but wild varieties of the plant can be found in different parts of the world. Arugula is predominantly consumed in the Americas, Europe, and North Africa.

Nutritional Value of Arugula

Arugula has immense nutritional value and optimum consumption of this leafy vegetable will provide you with a healthy body and a clear mind. It contains high levels of folic acid and anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.

These help you fight the free radicals in your body. In addition to all these, it is rich in carotenoids and also contains important minerals like potassium, manganese, calcium and others. These minerals are good for your body and help you lead a healthy life.

Arugula is low in calories and rich in nutrients; so you can opt for this vegetable without worrying about putting on too much weight. The phytochemicals present in Aragula help in preventing cancer. Arugula has lesser quantities of oxalates compared to other leafy vegetables and this enables easy absorption of minerals by your body.

Nutritional facts Per 2 Grams in Arugula

1 mg

Vitamins and Minerals in Arugula

1 %
Vitamin A

Health Benefits of Arugula

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Arugula. Arugula good for brain health and improve memory. It is also used as detoxify agent and good for liver health. You can also consume arugula juice for skin care use for different purposes. If you are facing hair loss problem then you can cosume arugula for hair growth also.

Arugula used for detoxification of body

Anti-oxidants present in arugula regulate the enzyme reactions within our cells and also help to destroy the free radicals within our body which are harmful and can cause diseases. Arugula contains a substantial amount of anti-oxidants and, therefore, can help you lead a healthy life.

In addition to this, antioxidants present in Arugula protect your body from various illnesses like the common cold and even safeguards your system against cancer, premature aging and heart diseases.

Arugula fights cancer

It has been observed over the course of the last three decades that consuming a considerable quantity of cruciferous vegetables like Arugula can lower the risk of cancer, mainly lung and colon cancer. Cruciferous vegetables have a bitter taste due to the sulfur-containing compounds (sulforaphane). But it is these compounds only which also give cancer-fighting properties to Arugula.

Researchers are trying to find out the beneficial effects Arugula of sulforaphane in fighting melanoma, esophageal, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. It has been detected by researchers that sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase, which is involved in the progression of cancer.

Arugula For Eye Health Protection

Arugula For Eye protection contains good quantities of the anti-oxidant Vitamin A. This is very good for your eyes. Arugula even improves the health of your bones and teeth. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye i.e. cornea and thus it is essential for good vision.

Arugula good for bones health

Arugula contains Vitamin K which is essential for strong and healthy bones and delays the onset of osteoporosis. Vitamin K catalyzes osteotrophic activity in cells which means that it promotes the formation of bones. With the onset of certain diseases like Alzheimer’s, Vitamin K works to slow down the degradation of neural pathways. Arugula, being a good source of Vitamin K, can help guard oneself against these diseases.

Arugula Strengthens the Immune System

Arugula contains a host of vitamins and minerals that is sure to boost your immunity system and guard against a variety of diseases. In addition to various immunity enhancing properties, arugula contains copper which helps to create more white blood cells. The white blood cells are the primary defense agents of your body and protect you against a whole lot of disease-causing agents.

In addition, arugula contains Vitamin C which is one of the best defenses for your body as it acts against the disease-causing inflammatory free radicals and eliminate them from the body.

Arugula good for expecting mothers

Arugula contains folates, a classification that contains folic acid, which decrease occurrences of mental defects in newborn babies. Folates primarily help the body to manufacture new cells and, therefore, help guard against any anomaly that might plague a newborn child. So arugula is an excellent choice for would-be-mothers.

Arugula good for diabetes patients

Arugula contains an anti-oxidant called alpha-lipoic acid that has proved to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.

Arugula also helps to decrease peripheral and autonomic neuropathy in diabetes. So it would be good to include arugula in the diet of a diabetic.

Arugula enhances metabolism

An important health benefit of arugula is that it helps to enhance metabolism. Arugula has Vitamin B-complex that aids the metabolism process in your body. Eight B-complex vitamins take part and facilitate different cell activities like energy production, fat synthesis, the production of red blood cells and also aid other many other vital processes for cell and metabolic health.

Arugula helps absorption of minerals

Arugula helps in the absorption of minerals by our body. This is because arugula has a very low level of oxalates when compared to other leafy vegetables. The absorption of minerals in the body system is prevented by oxalates.

So arugula, with its low oxalate content, helps to absorb the essential minerals like copper and iron which are so beneficial for your health.

Arugula enhances athletic performance

Arugula is rich in nitrate which helps to improve muscle oxygenation during exercise. Regular dietary intake of nitrate facilitates exercise tolerance during endurance workouts.

Nitrate consumption helps improve the quality of life for people who find it difficult to execute the activities of daily life. So arugula can help people with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases.

Arugula benefits for weight loss

Regular intake of arugula helps in losing weight in addition to the other benefits that it provides. Arugula is low in calories and rich in vitamin or nutrients and thus will provide the necessary nourishment to your body without adding to your body weight.

Uses of Arugula

Arugula has a number of uses and regular intake of this leafy vegetable can have good effects on your body. Arugula contains Vitamin K which keeps your bone and health in good condition. It has Vitamin A which helps to keep your eyes in good condition and also regulates the neurological functions of your body.

Furthermore, Vitamin A also furnishes you with good, healthy skin. The folates in arugula help your body to manufacture new cells. The beta-carotine help maintain eye health. Arugula also contains isothiocyanates which are chemical compounds which help in fighting cancer and also have anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties.


Arugula Side-Effects & Allergies

Although consuming arugula in optimum quantities may have quite a few beneficial effects, over consumption of anything can take a toll on your health. Some of the short-term side effects of arugula include flatulence and abdominal cramping and discomfort.

These bad effects are caused due to the presence of sulforaphane in arugula. Again it is dangerous for people with certain blood disorders or people who take medications for blood thinning.

Arugula contains Vitamin K which can cause blood clots when it counter reacts with certain blood thinners. Arugula contains nitrate and improper storage may result in bacteria converting the nitrate to nitrite which is harmful for your health.

Cultivation of Arugula

Eruca Sativa or arugula typically grows on dry, disturbed ground and it uses larvae of certain moth species. The arugula plant has been consumed for centuries in the Mediterranean region. Since the 1st century A.D., Arugula salad had also been widely consumed in parts of Italy and the Middle East.

People knew the benefits of arugula seeds and raw leaves for many centuries and ate those for their nutritional benefits. The seeds were traditionally used as flavoring oils and had widespread usage in traditional medicinal practices in the Mediterranean, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

It was a natural infertility treatment and also to improve skin problems and digestion. In India, the leaves were pressed to produce oil and taramira, a medicinal and cosmetic tincture blend was produced. Arugula is even mentioned in the Bible and in Jewish religious texts.

Arugula is best cultivated in spring or fall as it is a cool season annual plant. It requires full sun and fertile, well-drained soil to flourish. It will benefit from compost or fertilizer as it grows green leaves. It requires adequate water to flourish when the soil gets dry.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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