Meet the newest beautifying and detoxifying super green.
Watercress is destined to become your new BFF. But, if you’re like many people, you probably only think of it as a garnish—and one that you might even leave off your plate. Do reconsider. This vegetable has always been a favorite of mine, so why does it get overlooked?
It possesses a rather pungent flavor—reminiscent of mustard—but with a refreshing “bite” that makes watercress something of an acquired taste. What is its nutritional claim to fame? It’s one very beneficial nutrient that contains the anticancer compound phenylethyl isothiocyanate or PEITC. Whenever it is crushed, chopped, or chewed, watercress releases a peppery flavor, evidence of the PEITC content. The more pungent the taste, the more PEITC is being released, and the greater the health benefit.
In addition, watercress contains generous amounts of vitamins A and C, along with hefty doses of calcium, folic acid, potassium, and iron. Regular consumption of watercress boosts kidney efficiency and does away with hunger pangs. Best of all, watercress is a superb natural diuretic, serving as a powerful Fat Flush tool for reducing water retention and bloating.
In addition, it supercharges weight loss.
One spotlight for watercress has been the watercress soup diet for fast and speedy weight loss, which has gained popularity in the last couple of years in the US and UK. You can probably guess that the diet centers around a simple watercress soup, also incorporating other vegetables and fruits into the menu. For anyone wanting to add this soup to their Fat Flush lineup, I recommend the following.
Fat Flush Watercress Soup
—All Phases; Makes 4 Servings
• 3 bunches watercress, chopped
• 4 cups Kettle & Fire chicken bone broth
• ½ cup onion, chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
• Combine all ingredients, except the watercress, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Add watercress and stir for another 3 minutes.
• Pour all contents into a blender and blend until smooth.
• Store in desired container in the refrigerator.
Selection and Preparation
When selecting watercress, look for glossy, dark-green leaves and crisp stems. Typically, young watercress contains less mustard oil than older watercress but is easier to digest, allowing the body to get the most benefit from the phytonutrients. I suggest storing it wrapped in plastic with damp paper towels in the refrigerator. This method should keep it fresh for about one week.
Also note that you must take the time to clean watercress before using it. Because it’s grown in water it can carry water-borne parasites like giardia—and you don’t want to take any risks. I recommend using the Chemist’s Formula. Simply fill a bowl with the desired amount of liquid in a 4:1 water to vinegar ratio, soak for 20 minutes, and rinse the watercress off with water. This works for your other fruits and veggies, too!
Whether you’re enjoying a soup or salad, the fiery kick of watercress—along with the detoxing benefits—will make it the next food you fall in summer love with. For a handy reference of all of the best powerhouse veggies, check out The NEW Fat Flush Foods.