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All About Arugula!

While arugula may get passed off as just some fancy lettuce, beneath its mundane exterior lies a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants just waiting to do a body good. Here is everything you need to know about arugula, from what it is and how to prep and store it to the health benefits of this leafy green.

What is Arugula?

Arugula (also called rocket, roquette, rucolo depending on where you live) is a tender, leafy green with a pungent, peppery bite primarily used fresh in salads. This lesser known cruciferous vegetable belongs to the Brassicaceae (mustard) family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Though arugula will always have a distinctive bite, hotter weather and more mature plants yield spicier arugula, while cooler growing conditions and younger plants yield milder greens.

Health Benefits of Arugula

As a part of the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables, it’s no surprise arugula is teeming with health benefits. Its sulfur-containing compounds, called glucosinolates, contain potent anti-carcinogenic properties, and are shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral effects throughout the body. Arugula is rich in folic acid and the antioxidant vitamins K, A, and C, plus it contains helpful amounts of the minerals potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. And, unlike many other leafy greens, arugula is low in oxalates, which means you’re better able to absorb the variety of nutritious minerals it has to offer.

Who says BLTs can’t be healthy?! With this BLT Panzanella, you’ll get all the yumminess of a true BLT with only a fraction of the carbs. That’s because instead of piling all the ingredients on two slices of bread, you’ll make it into a salad with crunchy fried bread bites as croutons. You’ll also add avocados, garlic (or shallots), basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

“I’m big on green veggies: arugula, spinach, and kale.”
~ Shannon Sharpe

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