Arugula is a dark leafy green used in salads and cooked preparations. Also known as rocket, arugula has a peppery, bitter flavor that pairs well with salty or sweet elements. Like many dark, leafy greens, arugula contains numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a healthy addition to any diet.
Arugula contains just 4 calories per cup. Adding arugula to your diet, especially in place of higher calorie foods, can help you manage your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce your risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and improves your daily function. Arugula also contains no fat.
Arugula is a source of vitamins A, C and K. One cup contains 474 International Units of vitamin A, which promotes eye health and cellular reproduction. A cup of arugula also contains 3 milligrams of vitamin C, an antioxidant that bolsters immunity and assists your body in repairing and building tissue. You get 22 micrograms of vitamin K in 1 cup as well, which is critical to your blood’s ability to clot and may support bone health. Arugula also offers folate, a B-vitamin that supports cellular health and protects against certain birth defects.
Arugula provides 32 milligrams of calcium per cup. It also provides small amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Adequate amounts of these minerals help support your immune system, muscle and nervous system functioning and cardiovascular health.
Additional Health Benefits
Antioxidants are compounds that support good health by scavenging disease-causing free radicals from your body. Free radicals, that come from sources such as pollution and food, also contribute to aging. Arugula contains the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene. Arugula also contains compounds called glucosinolates, which are linked with decreased incidences of certain types of cancer.