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    You Ask, I Answer: Arugula

    arugula1219364897There are few things I love more than arugula salads.

    Is arugula as healthy as other leafy green vegetables?

    — Dan Christom
    (Location withheld)

    I, too, love arugula’s peppery flavor.

    Something else worthy of affection?  Its stellar nutritional profile!

    A cup and a half (the amount typically used as a salad base) offers 15% of the Daily Value of vitamin A and almost half a day’s worth of vitamin K.

    Arugula also delivers decent amounts of folate and vitamin C.

    Remember, however, that vitamins and minerals are only half the tale.

    Arugula is a very good source of many phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin (two powerhouses that fight macular degeneration).

    Another bonus?  Arugula belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family (where it counts broccoli, kale, and mustard greens as relatives).  High intakes of these vegetables (five to six times a week) are associated with reduced risk of cervical, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

    PS: I often like to add a small amount of arugula to pesto for a unique flavor boost!



    1. Graziella said on November 28th, 2009

      YES! So glad to hear this good news about Arugula–it is one of my most favorite salad additions! Speaking of vitamin-packed foods, I have a question about absorption and coffee. There’s nothing that can satisfy me quite like a cup of joe, but I am at risk for osteoporosis and worried about calcium absorption. I’ve head caffeine can interfere? Should I back away from Starbucks? Or does supplementing my cup with milk counteract negative effects–if there are any? What about decaf?

      Thanks Andy!

    2. Andy Bellatti said on November 28th, 2009

      Hi Graziella,

      Take a look at this post on caffeine, calcium & osteoporosis from earlier this year: http://smallbites.andybellatti.com/?p=1173

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

    3. Val said on November 28th, 2009

      Yay, I’m growing 2 pots of arugula here in SW FL! And I’ve added dandelion now too, which I’ve read is also a bitter green powerhouse to add to a salad. Yep, arugula’s unusual peppery taste really livens up my romaine salad and now that I can add dandelion greens each day, it’s even better.

    4. Erica Sara said on February 19th, 2010

      Arugula, Grape Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Raisins & Lemon Juice = one of my fav simple & quick salads. Thanks for the great info as always Andy!

    5. Andy Bellatti said on February 19th, 2010

      Never tried the pine nut and raisin combo — sounds delicious!

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