Wild rocket leaves, also known as arugula or rucola, are a flavourful and nutrient-dense leafy green vegetable. Often used in salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes, wild rocket leaves provide numerous health benefits backed by scientific evidence.
Rich in Antioxidants
Wild rocket leaves are packed with antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and quercetin, which help protect cells from oxidative damage (Martinez-Sanchez et al., 2006). Consuming foods high in antioxidants can reduce inflammation, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and support overall health (Carlsen et al., 2010).
Supports Bone Health
Wild rocket leaves are a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis (Weber, 2001). Vitamin K aids in bone mineralisation, ensuring that calcium is efficiently used to strengthen bones (Kalkwarf et al., 2003).
Improves Eye Health
The carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, found in wild rocket leaves, are essential for maintaining good eye health (Bernstein et al., 2016). These nutrients help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, supporting long-term vision (Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, 2001).
Promotes Heart Health
Wild rocket leaves contain nitrate, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease (Lidder & Webb, 2013). Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow (Larsen et al., 2006).
Aids in Weight Management
Low in calories and high in fibre, wild rocket leaves can be an excellent addition to a weight loss or weight maintenance diet. Fibre aids in digestion and promotes satiety, helping to control appetite and reduce overall calorie intake (Slavin & Green, 2007).
Wild rocket leaves offer numerous health benefits, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Rich in antioxidants, they support bone and eye health, promote heart health, and aid in weight management. Including wild rocket leaves in your meals can contribute to overall well-being and provide essential nutrients for a healthy lifestyle.
Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. (2001). A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Archives of Ophthalmology, 119(10), 1417-1436.
Bernstein, P. S., Li, B., Vachali, P. P., Gorusupudi, A., Shyam, R., Henriksen, B. S., & Nolan, J. M. (2016). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin: The basic and clinical science underlying carotenoid-based nutritional interventions against ocular disease. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 50, 34-66.
Carlsen, M. H., Halvorsen, B. L., Holte, K., Bøhn, S. K., Dragland, S., Sampson, L., … & Barikmo, I. (2010). The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutrition Journal, 9(1), 3.
Kalkwarf, H. J., Khoury, J. C., & Bean, J. (2003). Vitamin K, bone turnover, and bone mass in girls. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 80(4), 1075-1080.
Larsen, F. J., Ekblom, B., Sahlin, K., Lundberg, J. O., & Weitzberg, E. (2006). Effects of dietary nitrate on blood pressure in healthy volunteers. New England Journal of Medicine, 355(26), 2792-2793.
Lidder, S., & Webb, A. J. (2013). Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 677-696.
Martinez-Sanchez, A., Allende, A., Bennett, R. N., Ferreres, F., & Gil, M. I. (2006). Microbial, nutritional and sensory quality of rocket leaves as affected by different sanitizers. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 42(1), 86-97.
Slavin, J. L., & Green, H. (2007). Dietary fibre and satiety. Nutrition Bulletin, 32(s1), 32-42.
Weber, P. (2001). Vitamin K and bone health. Nutrition, 17(10), 880-887.