Did you know…that watercress vegetable is a workout superfood that can…boost your energy…speed up recovery time…protect against DNA damage …and fight cancer?
Watercress benefits haven’t traditionally been touted as an “energy food.” But brand-new research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that watercress benefits can supercharge your energy and pump up your workout.
What is Watercress?
Watercress (varieties include Nasturtium officinale, N. microphyllum; formerly Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum, R. microphylla) are fast-growing aquatic or semi-aquatic plants, and it thrives from Europe to central Asia.
Like other plants of the cabbage family such as garden cress, mustard, and radish, watercress is known for its sharp, peppery flavor. Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings. It’s also one of the most nutrient dense vegetables known to man and has been used medicinally since ancient times.
Groundbreaking 2007 research revealed that one of watercress many benefits is as a highly potent cancer fighting plant (I reported earlier on that research here in the Underground Health Reporter.)
Now, brand-new research shows that watercress benefits can also significantly boost energy and athletic performance.
Workout Wonder Food Keeps You Running Faster, Longer
According to the new study conducted by Scottish scientists from Edinburgh Napier University and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, watercress contains nutrients that can help people run faster for longer.
Watercress benefits help to…
- Helps restore energy levels
- Relieve the natural stress on our body brought on by strenuous exercise
“Although we are all aware of how good exercise can be for our bodies, pounding the treadmill, lifting weights, or doing high-levels of training can take its toll,” says Dr. Mark Fogarty. “The increased demand on the body for energy can create a build-up of free radicals which can damage our DNA.”
“What we’ve found is that consuming a relatively small amount of watercress each day can help raise the levels of important antioxidant vitamins which may help protect our bodies, and allow us to enjoy the rewards of keeping fit.”
Watercress Benefits Help Stop Exercise-Related DNA Damage
This same research also revealed that nutrients in the peppery leaves of watercress have the exciting capacity to reduce exercise-related DNA damage. This damage results from the higher-than-usual production of free radicals related to physical exertion.
Free radicals are dangerous oxygen molecules believed to contribute to many negative health conditions…from aging and diabetes to cancer.
For the study, 10 healthy young men were asked to eat a small bag of watercress each day for 8 weeks. The volunteers were also asked to run on a treadmill at a brisk pace with a gradually increasing incline, “like running up a hill that was gradually getting steeper,” said Dr. Fogarty.
The researchers tested blood samples from the volunteers before and after treadmill sessions. In a few weeks time, the researchers repeated an identical set of tests and exercises…except without the watercress.
The results? A clear increase in DNA damage after exercise…unless the men had eaten watercress.
Watercress benefits is extraordinarily rich in antioxidants—which fight off free radicals. That’s why eating watercress before exercising protects you from DNA damage.
Dr. Fogarty explains that watercress actually contains 10 times as many helpful chemicals as any other fruit or vegetable.
How to Enjoy Watercress
You can find watercress at most health food stores and natural foods co-ops. This peppery green can be added to salads…soups…stews…sandwiches…pizzas…stir-fry dishes…wraps…and even omelets, to name a few. You might even try adding it to your green smoothie!
With a little experimentation, you’ll be sure to find a way to incorporate this healthy superstar into your diet in order to reap its incredible health benefits for everything from better workouts to DNA protection to cancer fighting.