Arugula is very good for you. The leafy, green vegetable has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. However, eating too much arugula is not recommend for those on blood-thinners—it can counteract with the medication.
A lesser known cruciferous vegetable, arugula is very similar to its broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts family members. It’s leafy, green and tastes rather tangy—a flavor which admittedly isn’t for everyone. However, those who do like to eat arugula commonly add it to salads, serve it as a sauteed side dish or blend it into health shakes.
Needless to say, arugula is very good for you. In fact, for the past three decades, health providers have studied the consumption of arugula and other cruciferous vegetables. And continuously, they’ve found a link between a higher intake and a lower risk of cancer; in particular, colon and lung cancer.
Why? Recent studies reveal that the same sulfuric components that give arugula its signature bitter taste might also be what provides its cancer-fighting properties. Sulforaphane can actually block the harmful enzymes known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells.
Eating more arugula may also reduce your risk of osteoporosis, as it contains a significant amount of vitamin K. A low intake of this essential nutrient has been associated with an increased risk of bone fracture. That’s because vitamin K helps strengthen your bones by modifying your bone proteins and improving calcium absorption. As a bonus, arugula contains a significant amount of calcium as well!
Arugula and other leafy green vegetables can also help reduce your risk of diabetes. Alpha-lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant found in arugula, has been shown to substantially decrease blood glucose levels, strengthen insulin sensitivity and even help prevent further oxidative damage in those with diabetes.
But while arugula offers a myriad of health benefits, it might not be for everyone. Sulforaphane can cause excessive flatulence along with abdominal cramping and discomfort. And if you have certain blood disorders or take blood-thinning medication, eating too much arugula can actually be dangerous. As mentioned previously, it contains vitamin K—which can cause blood clots when it counteracts with certain blood-thinners. This can be a very dangerous and even life-threatening situation.
So if you have a sensitive stomach, blood disorder or are currently taking blood-thinners, be sure to consult with your physician prior to adding more arugula to your diet. And remember: your overall diet is more important in achieving all-around good health than focusing on any one “superfood” or group. While leafy greens like arugula do offer impressive benefits, it’s important to consume a diet with a variety of healthful foods rather as opposed to just one.
Possible short-term side effects
- abdominal cramping and discomfort
Possible long-term side effects
- blood clots
Ingredients to be aware of
- vitamin k
- reduces risk of cancer
- improves bone health
- helps prevent diabetes