Are you looking for a kind of vegetables that is rich in nutrients? Watercress is the answer! It is green leafy green vegetable that has a lot of health benefits. This vegetable has small and round leaves. Its stems are also edible and have a peppery flavor. Surprisingly, watercress has ever been considered as a weed in UK, but now it is grown in watery beds all over the world. Read Health Benefits of Liver Soup and Health Benefits of Chinese Noodles for other Chinese food recipes.
Impressive health benefits of Chinese watercress soup
Rich in vitamin K
Watercress is very good for diet as it is low in calories but amazingly rich in nutrients. Surprisingly, watercress is considered as the 1st rank of Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables in US Centers for Disease Control. In a cup of watercress (34 grams), it contains:
- 4 calories
- 0.4 gr of carbs
- 0.8 gr of protein
- 0 gr of fat
- 0.2 gr of fibers
- 22% of vitamin A
- 24% of vitamin C
- 106% of vitamin K
- 4% of calcium
- 4% of manganese
If you take a look at the percentage of vitamin K, you can see that it exceeded 100%. Watercress is very rich in vitamin K, which is very beneficial for blood clotting and maintaining healthy bones.
Besides, watercress is also rich in vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, sodium, potassium and copper.
High level of antioxidant
Antioxidant is very powerful in fighting the risk of chronic diseases. Do you know that watercress is rich in antioxidant? It is packed with antioxidants that are best for preventing cell damage caused by free radicals.
Its high amount of antioxidants is very good for preventing chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Watercress is rich in phytochemicals, compounds that are beneficial for reducing the risk of some types of cancer. Moreover, watercress is also containing glucosinolates that are changed into isothiocyanates when they are cut. Isothiocyanates contain chemicals, such as sulforaphane and phenethyl isothiocyanate that may protect your body against cancer. They do this by protecting healthy cells from being damaged.
Isothiocyanates in watercress can also be used to prevent colon, lung, skin and prostate cancers.
Rich in vitamin C
Watercress has 15 mg of vitamin C per cup (34 grams). This amount of vitamin C is beneficial for boosting your immune system. Lack of vitamin C is related to decreased immune system and increased inflammation.
Enhance the function of thyroid gland
Watercress is believed to have beneficial effect for your thyroid health. It is effective for decreasing the production of hormone and it is best eaten when it is raw.
Good for cardiovascular health
With its rich nutrients, watercress has many metabolites that are helpful to lower the risk of some chronic diseases. Watercress is trusted to have a beneficial effect in lessening LDL or bad cholesterol. By doing so, the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as arterioscleriosis and heart diseases, is lowered.
Good for pregnancy
Watercress is rich in folate and it is important for the embryo’s health and development. It is considered good to consume at least 400 mcg of folate daily for pregnant women. By doing so, it is proven to reduce the possibility of neural tube deficiency. You may check Benefits of Yellow Moong Dal and Benefits of Catfish during Pregnancy.
How to make an impressive Chinese watercress soup
Watercress can be enjoyed by cooking it in a soup. One of the famous dishes using watercress is Chinese watercress soup. It is very popular among Chinese food stalls, especially in Singapore. Here is the recipe of Chinese watercress soup by using pork ribs. This recipe is written by Yvonne Oh.
You will need:
- 1 bunch of watercress – trimmed and washed
- 300 gr of pork ribs
- 6-8 dried red dates
- 1 carrot – peeled and cut into pieces
- 6-8 dried oysters
- 3 tbsp. of goji berries
- 2 honey dates
- 20 gr of dried anchovies – rinsed
- 6-7 cups of water
How to make it:
- Boil pork ribs in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. This is done to remove the scum of the pork and by doing so you will get clearer soup. Rinse and set the ribs aside.
- Put all the ingredients into the soup pot and wait until it boils. Once it is boiled, turn the stove into the lowest heat and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Make sure the pork ribs are soft enough.
- Add some salt according to your taste.
- Pork ribs can be substituted with chicken meat or chicken carcass.
- Put the watercress about an hour into cooking time if you don’t want to make the watercress turn too soft. Read Health Benefits of Watercress to know more amazing benefits of watercress.