It is the start of the British watercress season – so what is watercress? We have teamed up with watercress.co.uk to give you the answers.
Watercress is a versatile leaf packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Most often thought of as a salad leaf, watercress is also really versatile and can be used to pump up the nutrient content and flavour in soups, risottos, smoothies and more. It has a peppery flavour that means it really adds something to a dish rather than just being a leaf to put other things on!
100g of watercress has:
– More Vitamin E than broccoli
– More vitamin C than a clementine
– More calcium than 100ml of whole milk.
Watercress is packed with Vitamin A (from its beta-carotene content) which is an essential fat that helps maintain vision, boosts skin healthy and the immune system.
Several studies have shown that watercress could play a role in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers. Most recently (2010 study by Southampton University showed that the PEITC plant compound in watercress may have the ability to suppress breast cancer cell development by ‘turning off’ a signal in the body, starving the growing tumour of essential blood and oxygen.
Where to find it
Watercress is available in all the major supermarkets as well as in greengrocers.
Did you know?
Eating a bag of watercress is said to be a good cure for a hangover!
Victorians thought the plant was a cure for toothache, hiccups and even freckles!
Romans and Anglo Saxons ate it to prevent baldness.
Cooking with watercress
You can eat watercress on the side of a variety of different meals in place of other salad leaves or green vegetables.