Arugula (Eruca sativa) is a Mediterranean plant that originates from central and southern Europe, but it is widespread in North Africa, America and Asia Minor. It is a healing vegetable rich in vitamin C, iron and many minerals. Of other beneficial compounds, the fibers are especially distinguished. Its leaves contain essential oils and antibacterial substances, and therefore it is considered as a natural antibiotic.
It is good as a remedy for colds, coughs, it is a good regulator of the digestive system and freshener of the body and it also possesses aphrodisiac properties. Its fibers help in the reducing of the cholesterol and glucose level.
The components of glucosamine that it possesses, according to the research, can reduce the risk of cancer of the lungs, breasts, pancreas and prostate.
The high level of chlorophyll prevents the damage of the DNA and the liver caused by the aflatoxin, a carcinogen substance formed in the mold, and usually it can be found in the nuts and the corn.
The arugula is rich in vitamin K, which is very important for the good absorption of calcium in the teeth and bones, and plays an important role in the prevention of the heart diseases. Also, this plant will help you to protect the brain from aging and from reducing the cognitive abilities because of the great amounts of vitamin B and folate. In the diet you should use young, juicy leaves and mature dry seeds.
The arugula is common in the Mediterranean cuisine, often in mixed salads, combined with olive oil, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. The salads with arugula are extremely delicious and aromatic, and you can eat them without any seasoning or with oil and apple cider vinegar.
Besides fresh, you can also consume it boiled and blanched, and in some Asian countries, such as India and Pakistan, its seeds can be used in the production of oil and mustard. However, this type of plant, as well as the broccoli and kale, contains goitrogens that block the production of the thyroid hormone, therefore, those who have reduced function of the thyroid gland may want to avoid the raw form of these vegetables.