Watercress is a vegetable in the Brassicaceae family. It possesses a peppery taste and is related to broccoli, cauliflower, and rocket. Watercress is an aquatic plant found near springs and slow-moving streams. As an attractive, succulent plant, watercress bears small, round, slightly scalloped leaves, which, in summer, produce tiny white flowers that become small pods with two rows of edible seeds. Watercress has been cultivated in various countries including Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas for millennia for use as both food and a medicine.
Watercress, a mineral-rich green leafy vegetable, is a cruciferous plant grown for centuries. Its health benefits are obtained from the high content of vitamins and minerals and also due to the antioxidant properties of the phytochemical structure of watercress plant. Watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and more folate than bananas. The phytonutrients are where the health benefits of watercress are contained. Watercress consumption has been associated with various anti-cancer effects. Watercress consumption can also stimulate anti-oxidant enzymes, which is thought to reduce DNA damage. Watercress is also a good source of lutein which can promote healthy vision.
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Beta carotene
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Allic acid derivative
- Gallic acid derivative
- Ferrullic acid derivative
- Proanthocynidin B1
- p-Coumaric acid derivative
- p-Hydroxybenzoic acid
- Sinapic acid
- p-Coumaric acid
- Caftaric acid
- Caﬀeoylmalic acid
Coumaric acid derivative
Possible Health Benefits
1. May Improve Glycemic Control
A recent research study (2015) entitled “Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale) Leaves on Serum Glucose and Lipid Levels in Diabetic Rats” published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology concluded “Our findings demonstrated that a 4-week treatment with watercress extract at a dose of 200 mg/kg has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. This implies that the consumption of watercress leaves can be helpful in reducing the complications of hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia associated with diabetes”.
2. May Act as an Antioxidant
A research study (2009) entitled “Investigation of antioxidant properties of Nasturtium officinale (watercress) leaf extracts” published in Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica summarized:
The ethanolic extract was found as the most active in total antioxidant activity, reducing power, DPPH* radicals and superoxide anion radicals scavenging activities.
Administration of the ethanol extract to rats decreased lipid peroxidation in liver, brain and kidney.
These results lead to the conclusion that N. officinale extracts show relevant antioxidant activity by means of reducing cellular lipid peroxidation and increasing antioxidant activity, reducing power, free radical and superoxide anion radical scavenging activities.
In addition, total phenolic compounds in the aqueous and ethanolic extract of N. officinale were determined as pyrocatechol
A recent research study (2015) entitled “Phenolic profile and antioxidant potential of wild watercress (Nasturtium officinale L.)” published in SpringerPlus summarized:
Phenolic profile, antioxidant potential and pigment contents of wild watercress (Nasturtium officinale L.) were studied to assess the potential for future studies and its applications in neutraceuticals and bioactive functional ingredients.
Different extracts of watercress (roots, stem and leaves) were analysed for pigment composition, total phenolic contents, and radical scavenging activity.
The phenolic profile of the leaves and roots was studied using reversed phase HPLC–DAD.
Results showed that total phenolic compounds in all samples were higher in the methanolic extracts than its corresponding aqueous extracts.
The RSA of methanolic extracts was higher than aqueous extracts.
Fourteen phenolic compounds were identified in the leaves, where coumaric acid and its derivatives, caftaric acid and quercetin derivatives were present in higher amounts.
In roots, a total of 20 compounds was tentatively identified, with coumaric acid and its derivatives, sinapic acid, caftaric acid and quercetin derivatives were the major phenolic compounds.
In conclusion, watercress has significant antioxidant activity and contains important phenolic compounds, which could be of potential biological interest
3. May Boost the Immune System
A research study entitled “Effects of Watercress (Nasturtium nasturtium) extract on selected immunological parameters of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)” published in Open Veterinary Journal concluded “In conclusion, on the basis of these results, oral administration of watercress extract may be useful to improve fish’s immune system”.
4. May Promote Healthy Bone Formation
A research study entitled “Effects of Watercress Containing Rutin and Rutin Alone on the Proliferation and Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Osteoblast-like MG-63 Cells” published in The Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology concluded”
In conclusion, the present results demonstrate that WCR and rutin stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblastic MG-63 cells.
This suggests that watercress is beneficial in stimulating the osteoblastic activity that results in bone formation.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of the use of watercress or rutin as an osteoblast stimulant on human osteoblast-like MG-63 cells. Further studies are required to:
(1) identify other constituents of WCR and their effects on osteoblasts,
(2) investigate their effects on bone resorption by osteoclasts, and
(3) determine the in vivo bioavailability of WCR in animal models to evaluate its potential as a bone health supplement.
These studies are currently underway in our laboratory.
5. May Protect against Cancer
A research study entitled “Assessment of the anti-genotoxic, anti-proliferative, and anti-metastatic potential of crude watercress extract in human colon cancer cells” published in Nutrition and Cancer concluded “In conclusion, the watercress extract proved to be significantly protective against the three stages of the carcinogenesis process investigated”.
6. May Optimize Blood Pressure
A recent research study (2017) entitled “ACE Inhibitory Activity, Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Content of Watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.) Extract” published in Pharmacognosy Journal concluded “The results suggest that Watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.) possess ACE inhibitory activity”.
Fine Health Appetite Booster Gummies
Watercress extract is one of the active ingredients in Fine’s Appetite Booster. This natural supplement is a safe and an effective balanced formula of herbs, vitamins and minerals designed to boost a healthy appetite for kids and achieve an ideal body weight. This product may also:
Boost energetic & mental levels
Normalize bowel movement
Protect & Support vital organs
Normalize blood sugar levels
Support growth of healthy bones
Boost immune system & protect against infections
Prevent various kinds of anemia
Promote healthy hair and skin
- Promote & Support healthy vision