Boost Your Immune System Naturally with Watercress

Key Nutrients Watercress Provides to Support Immune Health

You may wonder what you can do to strengthen and support a healthy immune system. First, it’s essential to consult with your physician before making any changes to your regular health routine. Fortunately, after speaking with your doctor, you can incorporate several naturally occurring nutrients, which can significantly support your immune health. A few slight modifications to your diet can go a long way.

Since the best way for your body to absorb nutrients is through raw foods, let’s look at the benefits of adding one ingredient to your diet: the most nutrient-dense vegetable on the planet. Watercress scores a perfect 1000 at the top of the ANDI scale and a perfect 100 on the CDC index. It’s the only food to get a perfect score on both ratings.

Watercress is packed with over 30 essential vitamins, minerals, and compounds and has a variety of uses. Plus, evidence of its use dates back three millennia to the Persians, Greeks, and Romans. So let’s look deeper at the benefits of incorporating Watercress for immune health.


Salmon Watercress Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for total health and a robust immune system, and it supports keeping infections at bay. Research shows that zinc aids every step of the immune process, from the growth and development of immune cells to their fight against upsetting agents, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

While zinc is considered the immunity superstar, research also shows that people can maintain their zinc levels with a healthy balanced diet. We recommend our Salmon Watercress salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing.

Vitamin C

Watercress is an incredible source of Vitamin C. It shields the body against free radicals and supports the normal function of blood vessels. Vitamin C has also been shown to aid in the healing of wounds and assist in iron absorption and neurological function.

People often think the best way to obtain Vitamin C is by consuming oranges, but Watercress contains double the amount (based on 100g). Vitamin C also plays a prominent role in wound healing, thus maintaining your immune system by keeping your skin barrier intact. To go all in for Vitamin C, try our Watercress Citrus Salad Recipe.

Vitamin A

Watercress is also high in Vitamin A, which supports your immune system and eye health. In addition, studies show that people whose diet is high in Vitamin A or beta-carotene can have a lower risk of certain kinds of cancer. Try our Strawberry Bruschetta Recipe to mix things up.

Vitamin K

Add to that Vitamin K, which is well-known for supporting blood clotting. Vitamin K is also necessary for the absorption of calcium. And just one servicing of Watercress provides 106% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K.


Chef Ming's Crazy Chicken Watercress Salad

We understand if iron wasn’t the first thing you thought of as an immune-boosting mineral. But because Watercress has over 28 vitamins, minerals, and compounds, including highly absorbable iron, it’s one of the best ways to incorporate iron and help your body carry oxygen to cells, playing a significant part in the immune system process.

Additionally, the iron in Watercress helps maintain your energy levels, impacting how your body feels. In turn, iron builds up your immune cells, allowing them to reach full maturity and optimally perform. We recommend Chef Ming’s Crazy Chicken Watercress Salad as a delicious recipe to incorporate additional iron into your diet.


B Vitamins

Watercress also contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B4, and B6. B Vitamins are crucial in maintaining your overall health and well-being. This includes keeping your immune system strong, thus preventing health issues.

Chef Ming’s Wok Stirred Watercress and Goat Cheese Omelette

Try Chef Ming’s Wok Stirred Watercress and Goat Cheese Omelette to kickstart your day with a good serving of B Vitamins.

  • B1 (thiamine). Thiamine plays a crucial role in metabolism by converting nutrients into energy.
  • B2 (riboflavin). Riboflavin helps convert food into energy and acts as an antioxidant.
  • B3 (niacin). Niacin plays a pivotal role in cellular signaling, metabolism, and DNA production and repair.
  • B4 (choline or adenine). Choline supports brain function and cell membrane, is necessary for normal fat metabolism, aids in the proper functioning nervous system, regulates liver function, and minimizes excess fat deposits.
  • B6 (pyridoxine). Pyridoxine aids in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters.
Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble resource with potent antioxidant properties that support immune cell production. More specifically, Vitamin E assists with T-cell growth or the white blood cells essential to the body’s ability to defend against pathogens. Incorporate more Vitamin E in your diet with this delicious Grilled Pizza with Flank Steak, Blackberries, and Watercress Recipe.

Gut Health

Additionally, improving your gut health plays a role in immune health. So, leafy greens like Watercress that are high in Fiber, Magnesium, and Potassium aid in boosting immune cell production and fighting off infections. In a time crunch? This quick and delicious Watercress Salad with Honey Sautéed Apples and Almonds Recipe will have you covered.

Your immune system is your body’s natural defense system. So adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet to help fight off cases of the cold, flu, and cancer-causing free radicals can go a long way.

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