Watercress (cresson) or yellowcress (Nasturtium officinale) is a species of aquatic flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. It is a rapidly growing plant native to Europe and Asia. It is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. Watercress (cresson) as well as many of its group, such as garden cress, mustard, radish, and wasabi, are noteworthy for their piquant flavors. The thin stems of watercress (cresson) float in water. The leaf structure is pinnately compound.
1.Prevent and treat cancer
Recent research in test tubes and animals has concluded that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables has an association with a lower risk of triple-negative breast cancer and bladder cancer. However, studies have suggested that a compound called sulforaphane is also what gives these vegetables their beneficial effects against cancer. This is a compound that contains sulfur and gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste.
2.Lower blood presssure
People who do not consume enough calcium, magnesium, and potassium in their diets are more likely to have high blood pressure. These minerals are thought to bring blood pressure down by releasing sodium from the body as well as helping arteries dilate. However, watercress (cresson) contains all three of these healthy minerals and can help improve intake.
3.Maintain healthy bones
A low intake of vitamin K can increase an individual’s risk of bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption improves how the body absorbs calcium, and reduces the amount of calcium that a person loses in their urine. Eating just one cup of watercress (cresson) a day would help a person meet their daily requirement of vitamin K. It is also a good source of calcium, which further supports bone development as well as strength.
4.Provide dietary nitrate
Watercress (cresson), along with beetroot and other leafy greens, contains a very high level of dietary nitrate, which increases nitric oxide and can also have positive effects on health.
People most consume the vegetable in salads. However, a person can also incorporate watercress (cresson) into pasta dishes, casseroles, as well as sauces. The greens will sauté faster than tougher greens such as kale and collard greens because of its tenderness. It lends a mild, slightly peppery taste to any dish.
How to buy and store
Choose watercress (cresson) with deep green, crisp leaves, and no signs of wilting. However, people should store it in the refrigerator and use it within a few days of purchase.