With a nutrient profile similar to kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, arugula is an excellent leafy alternative to these other cruciferous vegetables. When you want a distinctive, almost peppery flavor, arugula is the green to grab.
Arugula is high in the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C, A, and K: these antioxidants play a role in protecting cells from free radical damage (oxidation). Vitamins A and C also support a healthy immune system. Vitamin K is involved in the body’s blood clotting process and plays a role in bone health, which helps prevent osteoporosis.
- Folate (a B vitamin): supports the production of DNA and is very important in a healthy pregnancy and fetal development.
- Calcium and potassium: minerals that have many functions in the body. Both are involved in producing strong muscle contraction. Calcium is important to bone and tooth health. Potassium, an electrolyte, is essential for healthy heart and nerve function and it helps maintain healthy sodium levels in the body.
If you’ve tried arugula before and found its “bite” too strong, I suggest trying it again; you may have gotten a bunch that had grown too bitter while waiting to be purchased from the produce section. Look for arugula that has a deep green hue, and avoid bunches that have yellowed or wilted.
Add arugula to a salad, rice and other grains, or use in your main meal in lieu of parsley or other herbs. Dressed simply in olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, and good salt and pepper, it makes a perfect palate warm-up to richer pasta and meat dishes. With its lovely leaf shape, flavor and edible flowers, arugula can add pizzazz to many meals, including my Grilled Portobello Mushroom Barley Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Arugula.