About the positive properties of watercress became known in ancient times. The plant with a spicy taste and pleasant aroma was used not only in the preparation of dishes, but also as a means to care for the skin of the face and hair. Watercress is unpretentious in the care, and it is easy to grow at home. In taste the leaves of the plant resemble horseradish or radish.
Nutritional value and calorie
Watercress has a high nutritional value and low calorie. With a value of 32 kcal, the amount of proteins in 100 grams is 2.6 g, fat is less than 1 g, and carbohydrate is 4.5 g. Almost 90% of water is contained in a fresh watercress plant (photo).
The benefits and harm to the body are determined by its composition. Watercress contains vitamins A, C, E, PP and group B, as well as choline. There are many macro-and micronutrients in it. These include calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, etc. The leaves of the plant contain saturated fatty acids and essential oils.
Watercress is widely used in cooking. It is added to fresh vegetable salads, cold soups, served as a garnish for fish and meat.
Useful properties of watercress
The rich chemical composition and high nutritional value are the determining factors contributing to the health benefits of watercress. The leaves of the plant contain substances that prevent the appearance of cancer cells in the human body. To do this, fresh watercress is recommended to eat daily. In addition, the substances in the plant:
- normalize the work of the intestines and digestive organs,
- help get rid of slagging and toxins
- promote effective weight loss
- increase concentration, improve memory and thinking,
- have a rejuvenating effect on the body's cells inside and slow down the aging process of the skin,
- are prevention of thyroid disease,
- positively affect the functioning of the liver,
- contribute to the improvement of vision and are the prevention of eye diseases,
- have a diuretic effect
- normalize blood pressure
- perform an antibacterial function
- improve sleep and appetite
- Tone the body, improve mood and well-being.
Cress, the harm and benefits of which are always taken into account when eaten, has the qualities of an aphrodisiac. In women, the plant improves reproductive function, and in men it increases the potency and testosterone levels in the blood.
Watercress: harm and benefits while losing weight
As part of watercress there are dietary fibers. They play an important role in cleansing the body from toxins and toxins. This is the first step towards achieving an ideal weight. The digestive organs work stably, the intestines are cleaned, there is no constipation, which means that the extra weight will not linger for a long time.
But not only for this people losing weight like watercress. Its benefits and harms are determined by the low calorie value. With daily use of salad will be a slow but steady weight loss. At the same time, the feeling of hunger also appears quite briefly.
For all its usefulness for weight loss, watercress also helps to remove excess fluid from the body and get rid of edema. In turn, this has a positive effect on body shape and well-being.
Who is recommended watercress: the benefits and harm to health
The use of this green plant is strongly recommended for people with diseases of the lungs and bladder, dysfunction of the thyroid gland, hypertension, anemia, ARVI and skin problems.
Watercress, the harm and benefits of which are directly related to its composition, should be included in a limited amount in the diet of pregnant and lactating women. It is not recommended to give leaves of a plant to children up to three years.
Harm and contraindications to use
It is proved that only fresh watercress has beneficial properties. The dried plant has no nutritional value and even begins to smell unpleasantly. Its use in dry form is useless.
Among the contraindications to the use of salad can be identified several of the most important.
- It is not recommended to eat watercress for people with a tendency to manifest allergic reactions. In this case, skin rashes and irritation may occur.
- Limit consumption of lettuce need to hypotonia, because the substances contained in the plant, contribute to a decrease in pressure.
- Watercress, the harm and benefits of which are obvious to the digestive system, should not be included in the diet of people with gastritis, ulcers and other diseases of the stomach and intestines.
Watercress has the ability to absorb toxins. That is why you should not collect it along the road and railroad tracks. Compliance with the presented recommendations will help to avoid negative health effects and get only the benefits for the body from the salad.
What is watercress
Watercress is an annual edible herb of the Cruciferous or Cabbage family. Very unpretentious in cultivation, easily tolerates a lack of sunlight, resistant to frost. Grows in the wild. It is also cultivated at home, it can easily be grown even in an apartment on the balcony. Below in the photo - cress, grown at home.Appearance (photo) cress salad
The plant reaches a height of 30-60 centimeters. It has small, different in structure leaves. There are several varieties of watercress, which differ from each other in shape and color of the leaves. The plant begins to bloom closer to mid-summer, bears fruit from early July to November. The fruit is formed in the form of an oval pod.
Watercress leaves contain:
- vitamins A, groups B, C, D, E, K, PP,
- mustard essential oil,
- fatty oil.
The individuality of the smell is provided by the glycoside propsin, which is part of mustard essential oil.
Caloric value of the plant is about 30 Kcal per 100 g of product.
Watercress leaves have a sharp, slightly spicy taste. One he reminds horseradish, the other - radish, the third - mustard.
In the CIS countries is not very popular. Therefore, it is logical to ask the question “Watercress - what is it and what is it eaten with?”
Watercress is consumed only fresh, added to salads, hot dishes and gravies. You can add a little green to the paste, it will give it a pleasant taste.
The plant is not prepared for the future, as the grass in the process of drying and freezing loses all its beneficial properties and acquires an unpleasant smell.
It does not tolerate heat treatment, so it is added to hot dishes just before being removed from the fire. Experienced cooks do not recommend cutting the lettuce with a knife, watercress (photo below) should be torn with your hands.cress salad is used only fresh
The plant goes well with:
- fried zucchini,
- fried and stewed meat,
- millet porridge.
Lovers of healthy food add it to the daily diet. Fans of vegetarian food blanch cress with sugar and oil dressings, adding wine to the dish.
Young lettuce leaves resemble radish to taste, so it is used to make sandwiches and sandwiches, complementing bread with butter or cheese. It goes well with cottage cheese, soft cheeses and eggs.
Contraindications and possible harm
Watercress has a number of contraindications:
- gastric or duodenal ulcer,
- kidney disease
- frequent urination,
- children up to 7-9 years.
If you use watercress for the first time, you should not “lean” on it. To begin with, any product should be tried in a small dose in order to determine whether there is any individual intolerance.
Possible negative reactions, which results from excessive consumption of watercress:
- allergic rash, itching,
- lower blood pressure
- loss of sleep
Possible harm is observed only with excessive ingestion. When applied externally, no harmful effects were detected.
Read more about watercress salad in the video:
The beneficial effects of watercress on the human bodyUseful properties of watercress allow using this food product as for prevention, so for treatment of complex diseases of the human body.
For the respiratory system
Watercress is a unique natural remedy recommended for people who want to quit smoking. Due to the content of flavonoids in this plant, nicotine particles are not only quickly eliminated from the body, but the smoker loses the craving for their new preparation. For the same reason, watercress is very useful for residents of cities, who do not often have the opportunity to travel to nature and breathe clean air. This plant is able to cope with the influence of harmful ecology on the human body.
A very useful salad for asthmatics, since fresh juice from this plant is able to organize cleaning for the bronchi and all respiratory tracts, thereby greatly facilitating asthma breathing. With regular use of juice reduces the risk of asthmatic cough, as well as asthmatic attacks with suffocation.
To provide such a beneficial effect on the body, A person suffering from asthma can drink juice three times a day, 2-3 tbsp. l In difficult cases, the dose received such a drug may be increased or replaced by infusion. For this purpose, 2 tsp. fresh or dried plants should be placed in a thermos, pour a glass of boiling water and infuse for at least 2-3 hours. Take as prescribed by your doctor.
For the gastrointestinal tractCress vitamin has a beneficial effect on the digestive process. It is recommended to eat it to those people who suffer from poor and unstable appetite, as well as have poor digestion.
In addition, the regular use of watercress can normalize the work of the stomach and intestines, its components and structure contribute to a very rapid cleansing of the body from toxins and other accumulations. This in turn leads to the normalization of metabolism in the body, allowing a person to lose weight.
However, this does not mean that every day you need to make salads only from watercress. This plant is much more useful to mix with other useful and light vegetables, getting vitamin salads without dressing and using spices. Such a recipe is indispensable for maintaining the functioning of the stomach during the diet and speeding up the desired result regarding body shaping.
For the nervous system
Watercress is an excellent tool for the prevention of diseases of the nervous system, even if they are chronic. Do not forget about the high content of essential oils in cress, which together with vitamins and minerals act as building components for the nervous system, and With the regular inclusion of this plant in the diet contribute to:
- eliminate sleep disorders
- stabilize the functioning of nerve cells,
- normalization of pressure
- out of protracted depression
- the formation of an optimistic attitude to the world.
For the thyroid gland
The use of watercress in food allows you to improve the activity such an important hormonal center of the human body, as thyroid. First of all, this beneficial effect is due to the high content of iodine in it. If you suffer from problems with the thyroid gland, which has ceased to produce the required amount of hormones, the use of this green will help you correct this difficulty.
Also, watercress allows you to prevent such problems as hyperthyroidism and its high content of iodine and other minerals contributes improve brain function and thought processes.
But the masses with watercress will be useful for the skin at any age, due to whichThat plant in recent years has become very common in cosmetology. But besides cosmetic improvement of the epidermis, such masks can have a beneficial therapeutic effect in the presence of purulent formations, acne and inflammatory rashes. In this case, you will need not just masks, but saturated compresses of crushed leaves and stems of the plant. Leave them on the skin for only 10 minutes, so as not to cause the opposite result.
The impact of cress on the skin is a deep cleansing, as well as the removal of infections, which contributes to the rapid recovery. Thanks to these features This plant is used even in the treatment of wounds and burns.
For cosmetic purposes Watercress is used not only fresh:
- To improve the condition of the skin are preparing special decoctions of watercress leaves, which are boiled in a crushed state for 5 minutes, cooled and left on the skin as a mask for 15 minutes. After such a mask should wash with clean cool water.
- For smoothing wrinkles and skin elasticity freshly grated watercress is mixed in equal proportions with yogurt. As a result, there should be no more than 3-4 articles. l mask that is applied to the face for 10-15 minutes. After washing off the face mask, it is also recommended to wipe it with a piece of ice.
Contraindications to the use of watercress
But the features of watercress do not make it a universal remedy for treating and improving the health of the body, since This plant also has its contraindications. In particular, it is not recommended to use watercress to those people who suffer from acute ulcers and gastritis. It will not be useful for colitis, and also in those cases if a person has an individual intolerance to the components that are part of this plant.But if you have no contraindications to the use of watercress, you can grow it on the windowsill throughout the year and always have on hand fresh and healthy herbs. After all from the moment of sowing the seeds to the moment when the watercress becomes suitable for consumption, it takes only 1-1.5 weeks.
Calorie, Vitamins and Minerals
With an insignificant caloric content (about 30 kcal per 100 g), watercress contains many substances needed by a person.
- water (90%),
- complex carbohydrates,
- vitamins - A, C, E, K, PP, D, group B,
- folic acid,
- vitamin C,
- essential oils.
The composition of watercress
Nutritional value of 100 g:
- Calories: 32 kcal
- Protein: 2.6 gr
- Fat: 0.7 gr
- Carbohydrates: 4,4 gr
- Dietary fiber: 1.1 g
- Ash: 1.8 g
- Water: 89.4 g
- Mono - and disaccharides: 4.4 gr
- Saturated fatty acids: 0.023 g
- Beta Carotene: 4.15 mg
- Vitamin A (OM): 346 mcg
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.08 mg
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.26 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Pantothenic): 0.242 mg
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 0.247 mg
- Vitamin B9 (folic): 80 mcg
- Vitamin C: 69 mg
- Vitamin E (TE): 0.7 mg
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone): 541.9 mcg
- Vitamin PP (Niacin equivalent): 1 mg
- Choline: 19.5 mg
- Calcium: 81 mg
- Magnesium: 38 mg
- Sodium: 14 mg
- Potassium: 606 mg
- Phosphorus: 76 mg
- Iron: 1.3 mg
- Zinc: 0.23 mg
- Copper: 170 micrograms
- Manganese: 0.553 mg
- Selenium: 0.9 mcg
The beneficial properties of watercress are very valuable, and explainable by the composition of this herb. It is very rich in vitamins A, E, C, PP, D, B. Minerals are also not deprived. It consists of: iron, magnesium, iodine, calcium, phosphorus, copper and many others. In addition to these substances, watercress also has beneficial glycosides, flavonoids, alkaloids and essential oils.
Cooks believe that watercress, thanks to its excellent taste, can transform any dish into a masterpiece. It is used in the preparation of cold soups, various salads, as a side dish or seasoning for meat, fish dishes, potatoes or scrambled eggs.
Watercress is especially useful for people with the following problems:
- high blood pressure,
- disorders of the genitourinary system
- low blood hemoglobin
- lung diseases
- joint diseases
- skin problems
- disruption of the thyroid gland.
Interesting fact:The ability of watercress to purify blood was known to the great doctor Hippocrates, who recommended using this plant for his patients for this purpose.
Unfortunately, the properties of this miracle plant can cause significant harm to some people. People who are prone to allergies should begin to use salad gently and in small quantities, as it can provoke rashes, skin irritations and other reactions.
Do not eat salad in a very large amount (no more than 85 g per day), as it can provoke insomnia or headache.Wild cress, which grows along railways and near debris, cannot be used in cooking, as the grass tends to absorb toxins.
Important!Considering these features, it becomes clear that young children and pregnant women should not include this plant in their diet.
It is difficult to find another, so rejuvenating agent. The beautiful half of humanity can apply it as part of:
- Masks for moisturizing, whitening and nutrition of the skin. You can use the plant by itself, but the effect will be brighter if you combine it with honey, lemon or oils (olive, sunflower, essential).
- Ice cube frozen with decoction of lettuce. They are used to get rid of small facial wrinkles, acne, for the normalization of the sebaceous glands.
- Dandruff Remedies.
- Dishes of the daily diet: since watercress is rich in water and fiber, it can be eaten in unlimited quantities. It removes excess fluid, slags and toxins from the body, improving well-being and appearance.
For representatives of the stronger sex, watercress will also not be useless. It provides:
- restoration of male power,
- treatment of prostatitis,
- increased sexual attraction.
The plant can be eaten with a salad, in the form of an alcohol tincture or unripe seeds. The latter is recommended with the weakening of sexual desire.
Smokers should also be grateful to this natural remedy, which promotes the removal of thick viscous sputum from the bronchi and the protection of their weakened cardiovascular system.
Contraindications and harm
Like any plant, watercress has a number of contraindications. This spice is contraindicated in people:
- suffering from allergies: this plant is one of the most powerful allergens, so for such people its use should be limited, and even excluded
- having a consistently low pressure - hypotensive, with the enthusiasm for this greenery it is possible to lower the pressure to dangerous limits,
- not having a sense of proportion - with regular and excessive use may cause headaches, insomnia or even a migraine.
What to cook and what to eat
Apart from the fact that watercress is good for health, in cooking the area of its use is more than extensive. With this plant you can cook:
- cream soups,
- seafood, meat and fish,
- stuffed eggs,
- vegetable casseroles,
- grilled vegetables,
- green cocktails.
Video: what to cook and what to eat watercress As a savory additive to various dishes, watercress is used both fresh and dried or stewed.
- It is irreplaceable in sauces, salads, cold soups, like topping on scrambled eggs or scrambled eggs.
- He gently emphasize the taste of cheese, cottage cheese, meat or fish dishes.
- It goes well with fruits and citrus fruits - oranges, apples, pears, apricots.
- It is perfectly compatible with nuts, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes or eggplants.
This useful plant is used to cleanse the body of toxins, which immediately improves the appearance. The masks, which it contains, smooth wrinkles, moisturize the skin and make it matte.
- For oily skin: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of chopped leaves mixed with 1 tsp of honey and one egg white. Apply on face for 15 minutes, then rinse first with warm and then cool water.
- Whitening mask for normal skin: 1 tbsp. mix a spoonful of watercress leaves with 1 teaspoonful of any vegetable oil, add 2–5 drops of lemon juice. Apply on face for 10–15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
- To improve the complexion: in crushed watercress add sour milk in a 1: 1 ratio. The mixture is applied for 10 minutes, then washed off.
In folk medicine
Cress salad is the most popular in traditional medicine. With it, you can get rid of:
- parasites in the intestines,
- oral cavity problems
- acne and excessive oily skin,
- thyroid dysfunction due to iodine in its composition.
For healing it is applicable in the form of freshly squeezed juice, ointment, tincture or compress.
- Improved digestion: 25 g of crushed leaves pour boiling water (250 ml), allow to brew, strain. Take a dessert spoonful 3 times daily before meals.
- Anti-dandruff: squeeze the juice, apply it on the scalp. Repeat 2 times a day - in the morning and in the evening.
- Diseases of the scalp: chop up freshly washed and washed leaves, mix with ghee (1: 5 ratio), apply to affected areas. The procedure is repeated many times - as absorbed ointment.
- For wound healing: apply the composition 2-3 times a day. You can apply a gauze bandage.
- Bronchitis, coughing episodes: 3 tbsp. spoon crushed plants pour a glass of boiling water, leave for 1-2 hours. Then strain the infusion and drink warm for 2 tbsp. spoons 2-3 times a day before meals.
- Periodontal disease and other diseases of the gums: immature cress seeds or fresh leaves daily eat little by little.
- Mastopathy: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of crushed watercress impose on seals in the chest for 2-3 hours, it is best to do a compress at night.
People who, for various reasons, should not eat dairy products, can successfully replace them with watercress - a source of calcium is provided for them. This is especially true for those suffering from osteoporosis. Now you know about the benefits and diversity of the use of this still exotic in our area spices. The advantages of this plant include unpretentiousness, the possibility of growing not only in the garden, but also on the balcony, the multiplicity of varieties, the speed of cultivation. If we take into account the desire of many people to lead a healthy lifestyle and, in particular, nutrition, then watercress has every chance of becoming popular.