By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about the “super” green kale. Kale salads, kale smoothies, kale chips…I swear that for a while everywhere I went I was hearing about kale. I get it, it’s super nutritious, pretty mild in taste and it’s a good healthy alternative to a lot of other greens that don’t pack the nutritious punch that kale does. But, kale has had its moment in the sun! Today, I’m here to brag on my new favorite super green, arugula.

Let me start by saying that arugula is delicious! Its aromatic, peppery flavor adds wonderful dimension to any salad, it’s the perfect addition to any sandwich because it provides a tremendous amount of flavor all on it its own, slathering on extra dressings and condiments is never needed. Arugula is a staple in our house. My son Harris could literally eat arugula with a little feta cheese, olive oil and some balsamic every single day. I add arugula to almost all of my soups and bean salads and Jonathan loves arugula on his sandwiches.

It’s delicious, we’ve covered that. But, it’s also powerful! This leafy green is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contains high levels of folic acid and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A, and is packed with carotenoids, as well as many other minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium.  Which leads me to this…the health benefits of arugula are endless and nothing makes me happier than something that is inexpensive, easily accessible and provides so much nutritional value.  Here’s why arugula is so good for you….

It’s a cancer fighting superfood. High in fiber and antioxidants, arugula is also rich in glucosinolates, which studies show may reduce the risk of developing lung, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.

It’s rich in chlorophyll. Leafy greens like arugula are a great source of alkalizing and detoxifying chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is like the green blood of plant leaves and actually closely resembles our own red blood cells. Because of this it is known as an excellent blood cleanser and oxygenator.

It’s hydrating. Arugula is composed of 90 percent water. That’s why it’s a perfect hydrating and cooling food in the summer. Great for you skin and your body.

It’s great for bone health. Vitamin K is essential for the absorption of calcium into the bones and teeth and arugula is packed with it. Half cup of arugula contains 10.9 micrograms of vitamin K. Three cups of arugula daily will supply you with 100 percent of your bodies need of vitamin K. It also contains eight times more calcium than iceberg lettuce.

It helps boost metabolism. Another benefit of arugula is the presence of B-Complex vitamins that promote metabolism. Eight B vitamins participate and aid in all different cell activities, including energy production, fat synthesis, the production of red blood cells, and many other vital processes for cell and metabolic health.

It can improve eyesight. Arugula is a well-known source of carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments that have long been famous for improving a person’s ability to see properly. Carotenoids slow down the process of macular degeneration, which is when the center of a person’s field of vision becomes compromised. By increasing the amount of carotenoids in your diet (and arugula is a great source for them), arugula eaters may be able to slow down this classic symptom of old age.

It boosts your immune system. Arugula is loaded with vitamins and minerals that in some way bolster the defenses of the body’s immune system. Vitamin C is one of the best defenses for your body to seek out dangerous, inflammatory free radicals and eliminate them from your body before they can cause real damage. This well-known vitamin is found in large quantities in arugula and helps prevent cancer and maintain good health by giving an extra push to your immune system.

As Summer arrives in full force and salad season is upon us, I encourage you to turn to arugula as your leafy green of choice!  Think outside the box and add arugula to your soups, to your pesto sauces, to your smoothies and even to your pasta. I’ve included some recipe ideas below to get you started. Arugula is a nutritional powerhouse, use it for all it’s worth! Your body will thank you. Xx Janine

Inspiration to get you started….

Five -Minute Lemon Arugula Pesto

 Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Avocado and Arugula

Avocado and Arugula Omelet

Lemony White Bean and Arugula Salad

Fusilli with Shrimp, Orange and Arugula