Great news for those who hate kale, there’s a new superfood on the block that is more nutrient dense than the versatile greenery. Yes, the humble watercress is now taking centre stage thanks to it being crowned the most nutrient dense food according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US.
In the study, watercress scored a whopping 100/100 on the nutrient density index, where its rival kale scored only 49! With a delicious peppery flavour and super high levels of nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, iron and folate, watercress is gearing up to be your go-to green in smoothies, salads, soups, and more this summer.
The peppery flavour you get from watercress is thanks to its high levels of ITCs (isothiocyanates) which are activated when you chew on the leaves. But that’s not all ITCs are good for, they’re also known to have cancer fighting and preventing properties and they help to repair muscles after exercise and boost the immune system.
The only downfall of this discovery is that we’re sure to see the sales (and price) of watercress soar in the coming months so chances are, just like kale, it will be difficult to come by at your local supermarket for a while.
To get you started on the road to loving watercress, here is a delicious watercress salad recipe for you to try!
Watercress Salad with Beetroot and Feta.
6 cups watercress, thick stems removed
1 can whole beetroot, drained and thinly sliced
4 to 5 tablespoons Italian vinaigrette
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
In a large bowl, toss the watercress and beetroot with the vinaigrette.
Sprinkle with the Feta.
Serve in a large bowl alongside a delicious roast chicken dish or at a braai.