Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wellness Wednesday: Wonderful Watercress

by Jena Sanders

Freshly picked watercress from our spring.

An aquatic plant with a peppery flavour, watercress is one of mother nature's most nutrient dense and medicinally powerful foods.

Loaded with 15 essential vitamins and minerals (i.e. micro-nutrients and antioxidants) watercress in modern times has come to be considered a cancer-fighting super food.

In fact, did you know watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk and more absorbable iron than spinach??

That's not all, it also contains vitamins A, K, and B1 & B3, along with magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and more!

In 400 BC, Hippocrates, The Father of Modern Medicine, is said to have founded the first hospital near springs filled with wild watercress that he used to treat patients with blood conditions.  

An abundance of watercress.

In the 1600s, herbalist John Gerard touted watercress as a treatment for scurvy, as it was much easier to come by than the elusive orange at the time.

Watercress was even recorded in the first American Thanksgiving dinner with the Pilgrims and Indians...So how can you enjoy it, too?

My family is blessed with our own spring that has an abundance of watercress.  Harvesting it before flowering buds appear,  I will toss some in a salad with some olive oil and vinegar, or make a cream based pureed sauce, or even chop it up and toss it in a warm potato soup.

If you are not as fortunate to have access to your own watercress, now is its harvest season, so try finding some at a local farmer's market or a store such as Whole Foods.

And who knows, at some point it might be a anti-aging, super-nutrient in SoJoy Spa products, you'll have to stay tuned...

**Medical Disclaimer:  The information contained in this article is intended to provide helpful and healthful advice from traditional, home-health & well-being practitioners (Not medical doctors) and should not be construed as medical advice.  Please consult your primary health physician if you have or may have any pre-existing medical conditions.**

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