Arugula is a powerful, low-calorie, cruciferous vegetable that is sometimes called “garden rocket” or roquette in France. A member of the Brassicaceae Family, which is “well-connected” in Italian cuisine, its aromatic qualities are appreciated and is either consumed alone as a green (cooked or raw), as part of a mixed salad or even placed atop of pizza.
As you already know, from this month’s first installment, one of the benefits of curciferous vegetables is lung cancer prevention. But other benefits specific to Arugula include skin and oral cancer prevention as well as immune system support as well as bone and eye health (due to antioxidants like vitamins A, C and D). Mineral rich, Arugula is also low in Oxalates which inhibit mineral absorption in the body. Therefore it is actually a healthier alternative for people seeking foods high in calcium and other essential minerals than other healthy leafy greens, such as Spinach and Brussels Sprouts, which have high levels of oxalate.
And if you are ready to really be Zen, like the way I feel in my newly redecorated loft (with new floors and base-board molding), “pick” Arugula for macrobiotic reasons. Originated in Japan, this lifestyle of eating is based on the body’s organs seeking attention by craving specific things. What do lungs crave? According to macrobiotic expert Shonali Sabherwal, lungs crave pungent foods to help eliminate mucous-like build-up. So when Arugula or other members of its family are consumed, like radishes, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, asparagus, mustard greens, turnips, carrots, red peppers, wheat grass and spirulina, they actually “detoxify” the lungs.
So the next time you are considering a green leafy vegetable to be served with dinner or just want a salad (with protein of course) for lunch, choose Arugula. It is a great alternative to broccoli (because of its low Oxalates) and iceberg lettuce because it offers a much greater density of nutrients with the same low calories.
Oh, one more thing…In case you are keeping track, and those of you who know me well know that I always am, today also marks the last Sunday of Daylight Savings Time. Yes, don’t forget to set your clock BACK next Saturday night as we lose an hour of daylight. Boo! And that’s not the kind of Boo that RBI will be darning all week in celebration of Halloween. She’s really excited about her costume! Tracy picked it out!!