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The Many Wonders of Watercress

Watercress for your skin
It’s great in a meal and great for your skin.

Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It’s part of the cabbage family along with bok choy, cauliflower, and kale. You’ll notice it by its small, round leaves and pungent, peppery taste. It contains more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach. Not only that, but it’s rich in antioxidants, fiber, folic acid, vitamins C & E, and beta carotene. It’s really no surprise you can receive amazing health benefits from it. Here’s a closer look at how it benefits your skin and the best ways to consume it.

Along with the beta carotene in watercress, you get carotenoids such as polyphenols and phytochemicals. These carotenoids help combat common skin damage by providing UV protection. When you expose yourself to ultraviolet (UV) radiation through the sun or air pollution, the radiation damages your skin’s DNA which can accelerate skin aging, suppress the immune system, or even cause skin cancer. If you consume watercress, you consume the carotenoids that protect you from further damage.

There’s more than that, though. In addition to combatting skin damage, watercress also contains sulforaphane. This compound has anticancer and antimicrobial properties and is known to give skin a “healthy glow.” The massive amounts of calcium and iron help strengthen your bones, vision, and hair, and the high iodine content helps improve your thyroid and enhances your metabolism.

The best way to enjoy watercress and take full advantage of its benefits it to juice it. You can combine it with apples, beets, and carrots to make a fulfilling and energizing drink to start your day. You can also add it to salads or soup for a fresh and peppery taste or make a lotion with it by mixing 4 tbsp. of watercress juice to 1 tbsp. honey. Store the lotion mix in the fridge and apply it to your face every morning. Soon enough your skin will be radiating.

If, however, you have an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), you should avoid using watercress. Also, those with reoccurring bladder issues, may not experience all the benefits. But for everyone else, especially those who already juice, drink up and enjoy the wonders of watercress.

10-05-14 | 0 comments | in Health, Skin Care, Vegetables

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