Watercress

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 26. Jul. 2020

Watercress might have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but this delicious, healthful lettuce is definitely worth a second look.

share Share
print
bookmark_border Copy URL

Watercress...

  • ...helps support skin and eye health. 100 grams of watercress contain a full 692 micrograms of vitamin A, which plays a significant role in keep skin and eyes health.
  • ...is good for the blood. In naturopathy, watercress is considered a proven remedy for blood purification and anaemia. No wonder: 100 grams of watercress contains 2.2 milligrams of iron.
  • ...soothes colds. The essential oils in watercress can fight bacteria and help relieve coughs and bronchitis.
  • ...can help keep you slim. While watercress contains many essential nutrients, it is extremely low in calories and contains little fat.
  • ...can help make you more beautiful. For pigmentation marks (birthmarks), freckles and age spots, many naturopaths swear by watercress: applied externally, its’ said to help bleach out skin deformities.
  • ...has a detoxifying effect. Studies have shown that ehe essential oils and sulphur substances in watercress can help flush heavy metals out of the body.
  • ...is rich in vitamin C. A 100 gram serving of watercress already covers almost two thirds of your daily average requirement of this immune-boosting vitamin.
  • ...needs a lot of moisture. Keep watercress in cold water at home to keep it fresh.

What You Should Know About Watercress.

Watercress has a long history, having been consumed in royal courts in Europe as far back as the 1500's and as the star of noble watercress sandwiches in the 19th century.

However watercress' bourgeois reputation belies an incredibely hearty and versatile lettuce that adds beautiful texture and flavor to even the most modest salad.

Origins

The original home of watercress is said to be in South-East Europe and West Asia. Today it grows wild on all continents except for Antarctica.

Season

The main season for watercress is between March and May, but it can also be harvested in November and December as well.

Flavor

Watercress tastes pleasantly hot and piquant, like a radish.

Our Favorite Recipes With Watercress

Find all our watercress recipes here.

How Healthy is Watercress?

Watercress owes its typical pungent, radish-like taste to its abundant supply of essential oils and sulphur substances. These substances have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, relieve coughs and flu-like infections and strengthen the immune system. In naturopathy, watercress has also had areputation since the Middle Ages as a proven remedy for skin and blood cleansing and against anaemia. The latter is not surprising, as watercress is very high in iron, essential for blood health and formation. 

Watercress is also particualarly rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, of which it contains more than even lemons and oranges. It's also a good source of minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

WATERCRESS NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 19
Protein 1.6 g
Fat 0.3 g
Carbohydrates 2 g
Fiber 1.5 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

When purchasing watercress, look out for a vibrant green color and firm leaves that don't droop. Watercress can acumulate grit and dirt during harvest, so it's important to clean well before consuming.

Storage

Watercress needs a lot of moisture even after picking. It's best to store watercress at home in cold water. Remember to eat it quickly though, as the longer watercress sits in the water the more flavor and essential oils it loses. 

Preparation

Remove the fresh watercress leaves from the water, drain well and spin dry briefly. Then, depending on size and recipe, use them whole or chop them.

What to Make With Watercress

Watercress is great for salads, herb butter or even soups. Remember that watercress does not cook well, so if you are using it on a warm dish, just sprinkle it over the top at the very end just before serving. 

Add comment