The Watercress Sensation

June 20, 2017
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

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.

Soup’s On

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.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Lois

    I tried for a good 15 minutes to find out how much the Kettle and Fire bone broth cost by clicking the hyperlink to no avail…must be too expensive


  2. lynette mayo

    Being from England l have eaten watercress all my life. So far the best one l have found is from Trader Joe’s, they just started selling it. I tried the hydrophonic one it was tasteless! tried the one sold in bunches at Ralph’s, huge mistake, l got a lot more age spots on my arms, l knew how many of the free radicals l had on my arms. After a huge struggle, l contacted the grower, they told me, they use synthetic fertilizers, and it’s heavily sprayed. So take good care, where you buy it. It will grow in a shallow dish from a root ball in high quality water, tried it in soil w/out much success.

  3. Mecala

    Lynette, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with everyone. I want to try making the soup this weekend and your comment has been extremely helpful. I was not very satisfied with the flavor of the last organic chicken bone broth (Pacific) I purchased. I’m sure others may like it, simply a matter of individual taste. Honestly, one of these days I’m just going to make my own. In the meantime, I may try the Kettle and Fire brand (if I can find the price, lol).

  4. Team ALG

    Lynette, that is indeed good advice. I completely agree that the purity is everything. For Lois and Mercala, here is the link directly to the chicken bone broth. It is $9.99 ( with a 10% discount). I love the flavor too!

  5. Lisa

    Kettle & Fire bone and chicken broths are excellent! You’ll be amazed at the flavor! I love it!


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