/Watercress Trending as a Superfood for Energy Boosting and Recovery

We have written before about nutrition tips and top foods particularly for runners but what caught our attention again was watercress trending as a superfood for runners.

Watercress first caught our attention back in 2007 with research by Ulster University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stating that watercress can reduce DNA damage to blood cells (which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer) and thus watercress was viewed as an anti-cancer superfood.

A 2012 study by scientists at Edinburgh Napier University published in the British Journal of nutrition noted eating watercress can prevent some of the damage caused by high intensity exercise and help maximise the benefits of a tough workout.

Study leader Dr Fogarty said: "Although we are all aware of how good exercise can be for our bodies, pounding the treadmill, lifting weights, or doing high-levels of training can take its toll."

"The increased demand on the body for energy can create a build-up of free radicals which can damage our DNA."

"What we’ve found is that consuming a relatively small amount of watercress each day can help raise the levels of important antioxidant vitamins which may help protect our bodies, and allow us to enjoy the rewards of keeping fit." The study was sponsored by Vitacress Salads, one of Europe’s leading growers of watercress.

Runners World covered water cress in their 2014 article 'Watercress Tops Ranking of Nutrient-Dense Foods

Jennifer Di Noia, Ph.D., of William Patterson University in New Jersey, created the ranking by starting with a list of potential produce powerhouses.

Watercress has high levels or iron, calcium, iodine, and manganese, which all help keep your bones healthy and strong, and prevent iron deficiency.

Gram for gram, watercress contains 12 times more vitamin C than lettuce and more iron than spinach. It's also rich in several of the B vitamins, beta-carotene, magnesium and potassium. Watercress contains a host of phytochemicals, many of which have been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties (Source). Use watercress instead of lettuce in salads or sandwiches. Alternatively, you can add it to stir-fries as you would spinach, or steam it, then purée and stir into mashed potato. You can often find salad leaves now that are pre washed with watercress added. In all cases make sure you thoroughly rinse watercress before consuming.

We can all benefit from extra energy and a recovery boost and now we have it natural form with watercress.