Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a hardy short-lived perennial with a creeping root system.
This herb is preferably picked before it blooms. The reason is the watercress tastes bitterer after the flowers have bloomed in summer.
This herb is also grown in pots. It does not necessarily need flowing water, but this plant needs to be kept constantly wet.
Watercress has become increasingly popular in England and Germany, as well as the United States. In grows in most European countries, also in Australia.
In New Zealand watercress is very common. It is quite common in America as well. The Chinese have taken advantage of watercress as a medicinal herb for ages.
It is not advised to pick watercress from the wild as it very may well be contaminated.
You can also use the leaves in salads or sandwiches. Use raw leaves, which better maintains all the health benefits.
Some love to mix chopped leaves in their butter and use it as a spread.
Why not try some watercress in a smoothie?
If you love pasta, you should add some watercress to the dish for extra health benefits.
It can also be used in soups and sauces.
There are tons of great watercress recipes. Maybe you should consider growing your own?
Remember to always wash the watercress in running water before using.
Watercress Health Benefits
Watercress is packed with vitamins.
Watercress also has more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk.
It is rich in beta-carotene.
Watercress is very beneficial for the skin.
Studies have shown that by eating about 80 grams (3 ounces) of watercress daily can improve the skin, making it more smooth and healthy.
After only a few weeks of eating a daily portion you should notice skin improvements.
Anyone who is concerned about wrinkles and early aging should definitely include watercress in their daily diet.
Many have noticed an actual decline of wrinkles after consistently consuming watercress.
Watercress has also been called the scurvy plant. It was earlier quite common to chew the leaves as a precaution against scurvy.
Chewing watercress leaves will also help bleeding gums and reduce bad breath.
Watercress is claimed to have anticancer qualities, especially in slowing down lung cancer. Studies are an ongoing process.
This herb is used when suffering from coughs and bronchitis.
Eat the leaves fresh daily also as a precaution for respiratory ailments.
Other reports have shown that watercress is a wonderful herb used to help fight breast cancer.
Watercress does simulate immune activity in your body.
Please always consult your doctor if you suspect any serious disease. Pregnant women and nursing mothers always need to consult their doctor before altering their diet.