Here are arugula nutrition facts and health benefits. The health benefits of arugula mentioned in this article are based on studies.
Arugula provides beneficial nutrition but has few calories. It is a leafy green veggie with a spicy kick. Arugula leaves are high in nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium, all of which are key to helping the body’s organ systems function properly.
While arugula doesn’t look anything like broccoli, it is a cruciferous vegetable and offers many of the same health benefits as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula is relatively inexpensive and easy to find pre-packaged in most grocery stores. It’s also easy to grow at home in a windowsill garden or outside.
1. Arugula Nutrition Facts
One half-cup serving of arugula (10g) provides 2.5 calories, 0.3g of protein, 0.4g of carbohydrates, and 0.1g of fat. Arugula is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 1.5mg
Vitamin K: 10.9mcg
Carbs: Arugula is very low in carbohydrates, offering less than 1 gram per serving. Unlike many of its cruciferous counterparts, arugula is rather low in fiber per serving. However, if you’re using it as a salad base, you will likely be consuming more than a 1/2 cup serving. A 2-cup serving of raw arugula would provide closer to 0.8 grams of fiber.
Fat: As a leafy, cruciferous vegetable, arugula is virtually fat-free.
Protein: Arugula is also very low in protein. If you’re using it as a salad base, you’ll likely want to include a protein source—this could be a meat product such as chicken or a legume like black beans.
Vitamins and Minerals: Micronutrients are where arugula really shines. It is high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and magnesium. Two cups of raw arugula will provide 20% of the body’s daily vitamin A needs, 50% of vitamin K needs, and 8% each of vitamin C, folate, and calcium.
Calories: As a leafy green, arugula is very low in calories: about 5 per cup. It provides about the same amount of calories per cup as spinach and kale.
Arugula is a low-calorie source of nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. It is considered a cruciferous vegetable and is low in carbohydrates and fat.
2. Health Benefits of Arugula
Possibly Rich in Antioxidants
Arugula is known to be a great source of antioxidants and can greatly increase a person’s ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), a method for measuring possible antioxidant capacities. Antioxidants function to maintain a healthy balance of enzyme reactions within cells, while actively seeking out and destroying the disease-causing free radicals that can attack your system. This helps raise immunity levels in the body.
Boosts Bone Health
The presence of vitamin K in arugula gives an anti-inflammatory boost to your body. Vitamin K also spurs an osteotropic activity in cells, meaning that promotes bone formation. The gradual degradation of neural pathways, found in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, can be slowed down by an increase in intake of vitamin K. As a good source of Vitamin K, the consumption of arugula has been cited as a preventative method of such diseases.
Arugula’s combinative effects of low oxalate levels (allowing more minerals into the system) and the presence of so many minerals in the plant itself make it a strong support system for healthy bones. Sufferers of osteoporosis can see improvements, and arugula can be used as a preventative step as well, ensuring bone health and strength before the age/activity-based effects of bone degeneration become serious.
The phytochemicals found in large quantities within arugula inhibit the activity of cancer-causing cells. Phytochemicals are substances like thiocyanates, sulforaphane, or indoles that are effective in countering cancer-causing tendencies in the body’s own processes. Studies suggest that these compounds help fight prostate, breast, cervical, colon, and ovarian cancers.
Possibly Increases Metabolism
Another benefit of arugula is the presence of small amounts of B-Complex vitamins that assisting in promoting metabolism. Eight B-vitamins participate and aid in all different cell activities, including energy production, fat synthesis, the production of red blood cells, and many other vital processes for cell and metabolic health.
Boosts Immune System
Arugula is loaded with vitamins and minerals that in some way bolster the defenses of the body’s immune system. The body is stimulated to create white blood cells from the copper in arugula, and the plant has a number of other ways to improve the strength of your immune system.
Vitamin C is one of the best defenses for your body to seek out dangerous, inflammatory free radicals and eliminate them from your body before they can cause real damage. This well-known vitamin is found in large quantities in arugula and helps prevent cancer and maintain good health by giving an extra push to your immune system.
May Improve Eyesight
Dr. Elizabeth J. Johnson, in her study on the role of carotenoids, states that they help improve eye health when consumed in natural form (not supplemental). Arugula is a well-known source of carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments that have long been famous for improving a person’s ability to see properly. Carotenoids slow down the process of macular degeneration, which is when the center of a person’s field of vision becomes compromised. By increasing the number of carotenoids in your diet, you may be able to slow down this symptom of old age.
Several review studies have found that eating vegetables reduces a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According a report that leafy green vegetables are especially beneficial.
One test tube study showed that arugula extract had antidiabetic effects in mouse skeletal muscle cells. They produced this effect by stimulating glucose uptake in the cells.
Plus, arugula and other cruciferous vegetables are a good source of fiber, which helps to regulate blood glucose and may reduce insulin resistance. High fiber foods make people feel fuller for longer, meaning they can help tackle overeating.
May Aid in Weight Loss
The inclusion of arugula in a diet is the same as any other low-calorie, vitamin or nutrient-rich plant; and it will inevitably have a positive effect on attempts at weight loss. By satisfying so many nutritional needs with calorie-density food, it is an easy way to watch your health and keep your system balanced, without making drastic changes to your diet.