45 Arugula Facts: Do You Know About This Peppery Tasting Herb? | Kidadl


45 Arugula Facts: Do You Know About This Peppery Tasting Herb?

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Arugula is a green leafy herb that belongs to the Brassicaceae species or mustard family classified under Eruca vesicaria sativa.

The herb has medicinal value, and it's popular in the Mediterranean region for its fresh, tart, bitter and peppery flavor. It's used in green salads and many culinary applications.

Arugula is a fast-growing crop. Flowers and young and mature seeds of arugula are also edible. Flowers of arugula are white with purple veins and grow in clusters. The young leaves of arugula have a tender texture and provide a sweet flavor, whereas the mature leaves have a peppery flavor and bitter taste. Arugula is one of the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Its other names include rucola, rocket salad, bruschetta, and roquette. Arugula is available throughout the year.

Facts About Arugula

Arugula is a herb, and some varieties resembles lettuce, but many people believe it's better than lettuce. The arugula plant grows very quickly and it can be harvested in a few weeks to use with your green vegetables. Try several varieties of arugula, get a thank you from your taste buds, and stay healthy. Some of the best varieties of arugula are:

  • 'Astro' has a mild peppery flavor.
  • 'Garden-tangy' would be a perfect garnish for Italian dishes.
  • 'Italian cress' leaves resemble lettuce and have more edible parts. This is added to Italian sandwiches and salads.
  • 'Red dragon' leaves resemble the oak tree leaves, and it's a slow-growing variety.
  • 'Rocket' is the familiar and popular variety of these leafy greens.
  • 'Selvatica' is one of the modern cultivated types of arugula and it's a faster-growing variety.
  • 'Slow bolts' grow slower (hence the name), and are used in soups and stews for their peppery taste.
  • 'Wasabi' is a frost-hardy variety of arugula. Even though its germination period is long, it can be harvested quickly.
  • 'Wild rocket' has a strong flavor and grows in weed.
  • Arugula is used not only in salads but also in pasta, pizzas, soups, stews, sandwiches to increase the taste of the food.
  • When you want a spicy flavor in your food, add the mature leaves of these green leafy vegetables.
  • In Italian cuisine, these leaves are used as pizza toppings and as seasonings while making pasta. They are also chopped and added to cold meat and fish.
  • In Turkey, people eat raw leaves as a side dish or with fish. They use a sauce of virgin olive oil and lemon juice in addition.
  • In countries like Slovenia, it's used with boiled potatoes and soup for its spicy flavor.
  • The seeds of arugula are pressed to make oil, and in countries of west Asia, like Pakistan and northern India, this Taramira oil is added to pickles.
  • People also use the oil as a cooking oil and in green salads. The oil cake left after the oil extraction is used as animal feed.
  • Arugula contains sirtuins which make our body burn more fat.
  • Excess consumption of arugula causes flatulence (accumulation of gas), stomach discomfort, and cramping.

Arugula Nutrition Facts

Eating arugula every day keeps you healthy, but it's not advisable to have too much arugula. The recommended intake is 0.03-0.04 oz (1000-1200 mg) per day. Arugula is a superfood because of its nutritional value and health benefits. Thin, slender stems of arugula are also edible.

  • Like other cruciferous vegetables, arugula has more nutritional value and helps in promoting our overall health.
  • Arugula has low carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat, but it is rich in beta carotene, several vitamins, and minerals.
  • One hundred grams of arugula contains 0.02 oz (0.7 g) of fat, 0.13 oz (3.7 g) of carbs, 0.09 oz (2.6 g) of protein.
  • In addition, arugula has minerals like sodium and potassium.
  • Arugula also contains vitamin C and vitamin K.
  • Percent daily values of arugula based on a two thousand calorie diet are vitamin A 47%, vitamin C 25%, calcium 16%, and iron 8%.

Benefits Of Arugula

The health benefits of arugula are tremendous, and we've included a few of them in the following facts. Raw leaves have more health benefits than cooked ones. Eating arugula raw is very nutritious and tasty.

  • Arugula reduces the risk of developing lung, prostate, pancreatic, and breast cancer as it is rich in glucosinolates, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Folate (vitamin B9) and vitamin K are heart-friendly nutrients and prevent cardiovascular conditions. Arugula contains these vitamins and is good for your heart.
  • Arugula contains calcium, which promotes bone formation and calcium deposition in bones. It lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis (bones becoming weak and brittle) and improves bone health.
  • Vitamin K in these green leafy vegetables helps in blood coagulation.
  • People consuming blood thinners should have a doctor consultation before having arugula leaves, as vitamin K reduces the effect of these thinners.
  • The bright green herb lowers the risk of diabetes as it contains less sugar and carbs, and is a good source of fiber, like other cruciferous vegetables.
  • Vitamin C in arugula promotes iron absorption from the food, and it is important for the health of tissues.
  • Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, in leafy greens, acts as an antioxidant that boosts immunity.
  • This herb strengthens the immune system by stimulating the body to generate white blood cells from the copper content present in the arugula.
  • Arugula leaves are rich in potassium, vital for muscle and nerve functioning. Potassium helps in the contraction and the relaxation of muscles.
  • The negative effects of sodium are reduced by potassium, and people having high blood pressure can consume this to reduce blood pressure.
  • Vitamin A in arugula leaves helps in cell growth, improves night vision, and improves the functioning and health of kidneys, lungs, and heart.
Topping your pizza with arugula makes it more tasty and healthy.

Ideal Conditions For Growing Arugula

Arugula is a fast-growing plant, and its growth depends upon the climatic condition of where it's planted The seeds of arugula germinate quickly, and it takes six to eight weeks after sowing to harvest young leaves of arugula.

  • Nutrient-rich, well-drained, and well-watered soil highly favors the growth of arugula. The soil should preferably have a pH between six and seven.
  • Arugula plants need to be exposed to the sun to have healthy growth. At the same time, it is also good to provide some shade when the temperatures are too high.
  • 45-65° F is the ideal temperature range. Arugula needs protection from frost and snow.
  • Water your arugula plant well to keep it from bolting, which is premature growth of flower and turning into a seed.
  • Using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer is more than enough for the growth of this herb. Additional fertilizing is needed only when the leaves are light green.
  • The plants are planted in April so that they can be harvested during fall. Arugula can be harvested in three ways, namely grazing, cutting, or pulling.
  • Grazing is done by pinching the leaves off the plant so that the plant continues to grow. This can be done when the green leaves have grown a couple of inches.
  • Cutting is the method where you cut one-third of the plant.
  • Pulling is done when the plant has full growth, and the flowers start bolting. But ideally you should not pick in the sun.
Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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