Arugula

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 22. Apr. 2020
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​Arugula’s trademark spicy flavor makes it one of the most popular lettuces in the world, not to mention one of the most nutrient-packed.

arugula

Arugula…

  • ...helps boost your immune system. A 100 gram serving contains an impressive 62 milligrams of vitamin C. This vitamin is also important for building connective tissue, bones and teeth. The fresher the leaves, the higher the vitamin content!
  • …helps keep your heart and brain healthy. Arugula’s high levels of folic acid can help ward of cardiovascular diseases and dementia according to recent studies.
  • ...is particularly good for pregnant women. The folic acid also helps to prevent malformations in the womb because it promotes cell division and is essential for blood formation.
  • ...can have an antibiotic effect. The essential mustard oils present in arugula, so-called glucosinolates, inhibit the growth of various bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are also responsible for arugula’s distinct flavor.
  • ...contain nitrates. As a result, arugula might not be suitable for babies and small children. On the other hand, arugula’s high dose of nitrates make it a good option for people with heart problems, as nitrates can dilate blood vessels.
  • ...can develop a bitter taste. It’s best to eat arugula that’s as young as possible, when it still has small leaves and tender stems. Older, larger arugula leaves can take on an unpleasant bitter taste.

What You Should Know About Arugula

Origins

Arugula originates from the Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe. Arugula was consumed as early as ancient Rome, and eventually became a staple of the Italian diet.  But even in Egypt, Sudan and India, arugula has been eaten and appreciated for many centuries. 

Seasonality

Nowadays, thanks to green houses, we can eat arugula any time of the year. However arugula season naturally peaks from May to October. The lettuce tastes specially aromatic if it’s ripened under the sun during the summer.

Flavor

Thanks to its rich supply of mustard oils, arugula has a very intense, tangy and spicy taste.

Find all our arugula recipes here.

How Healthy Is Arugula?

In medieval herbal medicine, arugula as often utilized to detoxify the body and aid in digestion. The older the arugula, the more bitter substances it contains. These are excellent appetite suppressants and help support the liver in its detoxification work.

Arugula is also particularly rich in folic acid. This vitamin from the B group can help ward against cardiovascular diseases and dementia, among other things. Folic acid is also particularly beneficial for women who want a child or are already pregnant, as the vitamin has been shown to help prevent deformities in the unborn child.

Arugula is also high in beta-carotene, which is helpful for cell protection, especially in the skin and mucous membranes. This tasty lettuce is also a good source of plant calcium, which helps keep the nerve cells and muscles fit and is an important building material for strong bones.

Arugula Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 28
Protein 2.7 g
Fat 0.7 g
Carbohydrates 1.9 g
Fiber 1.6 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

Make sure the arugula leaves are green, fresh and relatively small. Large rocket leaves can often taste tough and bitter. 

Storage

Arugula wilts rather quickly, so you should prepare it as quickly as possible. If necessary, arugula will keep for 1-2 days in the refrigerator if you pack it in a freezer bag and cover it loosely with a damp cloth. 

Preparation

Sort out yellow and wilted leaves before eating. The remaining arugula should be watched carefully under running water, then patted or spun dry in a salad spinner. Remove coarse stalks and pluck or cut large leaves into smaller pieces, making it easier to eat. 

What To Make With Arugula

Whether in spaghetti, pizza, salad, soup, or gratin, arugula almost goes with almost everything. In Italian restaurants, this delicious lettuce is often served with pasta, salads, cheese appetizers, or even as a topping for pizza. 

Arugula is also delicious on its own, dressed in a simple mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and a little lemon. Add some shards of parmesan for a perfect Italian-inspired.  summer appetizer. 

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