Rocket not only tastes good, but it is also healthy. The green herb is one of the most popular salads – and is often used for smoothies, pesto, and other things. What makes rockets so healthy and what should be considered before eating?
Origin of arugula
Arugula is healthy and a popular part of home cooking. The “rake”, as the rocket is sometimes called in German, was spurned as a weed in many places for a long time – wrongly so.
Rocket has its origins in southern Central Europe and the Mediterranean countries. The lettuce also grows outdoors in Germany – but only in regions with milder temperatures. Fresh rocket is usually available from May to October.
It’s in arugula
Mustard oils are among the most valuable substances found in rockets. These are so-called secondary plant substances that help the plant fight pests and support the body’s metabolic processes. Secondary plant substances also strengthen the immune system. The vitamin C contained in rockets also ensures that the body’s defenses work well.
Vitamin D and minerals
Arugula contains beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin D by the body. Vitamin D ensures that the skin remains healthy, it is beneficial for vision and supports the mucous membranes.
Rocket also contains minerals such as calcium and potassium. These are essential for the health of bones, muscles, and teeth and strengthen nerve cells.
An important component: folic acid
Arugula is also rich in folic acid. It supports cell division and thus the formation of new cells. Folic acid is also said to prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis.
Folic acid is particularly important for pregnant women: it can reduce the risk of miscarriage or premature birth and ensures the healthy development of the child in the womb.
Nutritional Values of Arugula
100 grams of rocket contains 351 mg of protein. With one gram of fat per 100 grams of lettuce, it is very low in fat. Also included:
- 2 grams of dietary fiber
- 2 grams of carbohydrates
- 26 mg sodium
- 351 grams of potassium
- 152 mg calcium
- 32 mg magnesium
Arugula – What you should consider before eating
The stalks of the lettuce leaves contain a relatively large amount of nitrate. This can be harmful to health in high doses, especially for young children and infants. It is therefore advisable to carefully remove the stems of the leaves before consumption. Arugula should also always be washed and cleaned carefully.
Beware of special stems!
If you find a light green stalk with a yellow flower in the pack, you should be careful: this may be liver-damaging ragwort. This should not be eaten under any circumstances. But don’t worry: since ragwort was found in rocket packs in 2007, controls have been tightened and the problem has largely been resolved.
Arugula – the expiry date
It is advisable to use up arugula as quickly as possible. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days. It is best if you wrap it in damp kitchen paper. Alternatively, you can use cling film to store in the fridge.
What arugula can be used for
Rocket can be a wonderful base for colorful salads. But it can also be used to refine pasta and pizza. It is suitable for making pesto and tastes delicious as a side dish on baguettes or in burgers.
You should pay attention to this when buying
It’s easy to recognize fresh arugula: if the leaves look green and crisp, the lettuce is fresh and safe to buy and eat. However, if the leaves are discolored and turning yellow or if the leaves already look limp, the lettuce is no longer fresh and the nutrients that make the rocket healthy are no longer contained in as many nutrients.