Eat Watercress and Get Wit

Eat Watercress and Get Wit. You might get wet harvesting watercress (Nasturtium officinale), but this Greek proverb is talking about something to give you a bit of snap in your thinking. Here’s a plant, when compared weight for weight, has more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk. Although the full study is not yet available free of charge, click here to read about the recently published (Feb 2007) study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showing regular intake of watercress significantly decreases DNA damage and significantly increases antioxidant levels in the blood. Don’t get hung up on the labels though, it’s just good food that’s good for you!

I came across this amazing stand of watercress recently. It is just starting to flower here in Topanga Canyon and was the theme of the meal I made below. Watercress soup, watercress salad and watercress herbed butter made for a delicous meal with family and friends. Click here to visit a fun British watercress website. There are lots of recipes, information on their May 13th Watercress Festival, nutrition information, and more. Although they highlight cultivated watercress, it’s still good to get an idea of this plants history with humans and ways you can use it in your life.

The waters of the earth have become very polluted. Be sure to be responsible when harvesting, both in the amount you take and that you harvest food for your body from a clean area. For this meal I wasn’t concerned with the watercress in the soup because it was thoroughly cooked, but I was worried about eating it raw. I thoroughly washed the watercress I would eat raw and placed it into a pot of cold water with grapefruit seed extract to soak for 30 minutes.

4 replies
  1. camille ruoss
    camille ruoss says:

    Is it ok to consume watercress that has grown in a field close to a river where effluent from a water plant is dumped? The river floods twice a year, and there’s lots of watercress growing in the adjacent shady fields.

  2. sunny
    sunny says:

    Camille, I can’t say for sure without seeing it and knowing more about that particular water plants treatment process. Some put out water that’s cleaner than when it went in, others aren’t so stringent. Where’s the floodwater coming from…mt streams or ag runoff? anyways, be careful, use your good judgement.

    cheers, ~sunny

  3. marta
    marta says:

    There is a river by a park near my house and there’s watercress in it. There’s also lots of algea and the river seems to be drying a bit. Is it ok to consume the watercress from there? I plan to make watercress soup.

  4. sunny
    sunny says:

    wow…always a tough call marta. you have to go with your knowledge of the area, as i can’t see it and feel it to give you advice. it sounds stagnant though, and if there is no flowing water in the area…and it doesn’t look healthy/clean, i would stay away from it.

    good luck with your decision. cheers, ~sunny


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