Arugula

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Arugula–also known as rocket and roquette–is one of my favorite salad greens.  It is tender, with a peppery taste.  With some good quality olive oil and parmesan cheese, it makes a terrific salad.  It’s also great on pizza! (See the recipe below).  It mixes well with other salad greens, is a healthier option than iceberg lettuce on a sandwich, and it is easy to grow in your garden.  The home grown version is nothing short of spectacular.

Arugula is readily available at many food stores.  Trader Joe’s has the organic green ready to go in a salad bag and Whole Foods usually has it available as well.  This week, add some arugula to your diet!

Why Eat Arugula?

Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower.  Cruciferous vegetables are rich in anti-cancer nutrients.  In the case of arugula, one of the benefits is its high level of glucosinolate.  Glucosinolates break down into indoles and isothiocyanates (ITC’s).

“ITCs possess multiple anticarcinogenic mechanisms, including inhibition of carcinogen-activating enzymes, induction of carcinogen-detoxifying enzymes, increase of apoptosis, arrest of cell cycle progression, as well as several other mechanisms that are not yet fully described. These mechanisms, which are discussed in detail in this review, illustrate the remarkable ability of ITCs to inhibit cancer development effective against both developing and developed cancer cells.” –from “Cancer-preventive isothiocyanates: measurement of human exposure and mechanism of action” , by Dr. Zhang.

Growing Arugula 

If you enjoy gardening, this spring vegetable is easy to grow from seed.  From DYInetwork: How to Grow Arugula

Recipes

From AllRecipes.com: Easy Arugula Salad
From Martha Stewart: Wilted Arugula
From SimplyRecipes.com: Arugula Pesto
From the FoodNetwork: Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon and Parmesan

This pesto can also be used on a pizza.

Pat’s Arugula Pizza in 10 Minutes:  To Trader Joe’s Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza, add some extra veggies, goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake according to directions.  Before serving, add a mound of fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil.  Enjoy!

 

Bibliography

Livestrong

 

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