Not only is watercress extremely nutritious (nutritional value), it’s about as close as you can get to a calorie-free food. Calorie for calorie, it provides four times the calcium of this staple drink. Ounce for ounce, it offers as much vitamin C as an orange and more iron than another superfood. It’s packed with vitamin A and has lots of vitamin K, along with multiple antioxidant carotenoids and protective phytochemicals.
The nutrients in watercress protect against cancer and macular degeneration, help build the immune system and support bone health. The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your body’s tissues for energy. The phytochemicals in watercress battle cancer in three ways: killing cancer cells, blocking carcinogens and protecting healthy cells from carcinogens.
In Chinese medicine, watercress is thought to help reduce tumors, improve night vision and improve digestion. It’s used as a remedy for jaundice, urinary difficulty, sore throat, mumps and bad breath.
How much: Eat watercress daily if you can. In some regions, it’s more widely available during the spring and summer, when it’s cultivated outdoors. But since it can also be grown hydroponically (what’s that?), you can find it year-round in many grocery stores and at your local farmers market.