Benefits And Nutrition Of Arugula (Salad Rocket) For Health

Benefits And Nutrition Of Arugula (Salad Rocket) For Health

Arugula (Salad Rocket)

Arugula, also known as salad or garden rocket, is one of the nutritious green-leafy vegetable of Mediterranean origin. Arugula belongs within the Brassicaceae family similar to as mustard greens, cauliflower, kale…,etc., and has the scientific name: Eruca sativa.

Benefits And Nutrition Of Arugula (Salad Rocket) For Health
Arugula (Salad Rocket)

Arugula (Salad Rocket) is a small, low growing annual herb featuring dandelion like succulent, elongated, lobular leaves with green-veins. However, its light green leaves appear identical to that of spinach without lobulation in younger plants. Additonally, young, tender leaves feature sweet flavor, and less peppery taste in contrast to strong, spicy flavor in case of mature greens.

In addition to the leaves, the flowers (often used in salads as an edible garnish), young seed pods and mature seeds are all edible. Arugula (Salad Rocket) is now cultivated in various places, especially in Veneto, Italy, but is available throughout the world. Arugula is also locally naturalized away from its native range in temperate regions around the world, including northern Europe and North America.

Nutrition Of Arugula (Salad Rocket)

Arugula (Salad Rocket) nutritional value is high because it contains considerable amounts of vitamins and minerals. Arugula leaves provide the body with potassium, calcium, copper, manganese and iron. They also contain folic acid and the vitamins A, C and K. 

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, two cups of arugula (about 40 grams) contains approximately 10 calories. Arugula is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Arugula also contains 1 gram of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.6 grams of fiber and 0.8 grams of sugar). Consuming 2 cups of arugula will provide 20% of vitamin A, over 50% of vitamin K and 8% of your vitamin C, folate and calcium needs for the day..

Like other dark leafy greens, arugula provides a source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Vitamin A helps your cells communicate with each other. Arugula also helps your retinas function properly to support your eyesight and helps maintain your immune system.

Arugula also contains vitamin K. This nutrient's main function is controlling blood coagulation, or clotting.

Benefits And Nutrition Of Arugula (Salad Rocket) For Health
Arugula (Salad Rocket)

Fresh Arugula (Salad Rocket) leaves contain good levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful, natural anti-oxidant. Foods rich in this vitamin help the human body protect from scurvy disease, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity), and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

Eat arugula as a source of folate, also called vitamin B-9. Folate plays an essential role in nervous system development in utero, making the vitamin especially important for expecting mothers. In adults, folate supports your metabolism. Arugula also helps control gene activity in your cells and helps your body make new DNA, an essential part of cell growth.

Regular consumption of these vegetables helps to prevent certain types of cancer.  Phytochemicals such as sulforaphanes and glucosinolates help to trigger the release of enzymes which have a cleansing effect on the body. By removing toxins from the body, they help to reduce the risk of disease. There are also antioxidants contained in arugula such as carotenes which help to protect the body from heart disease and sun damage. They also promote good health of the cells as they enhance communication between the bodily cells. Chlorophyll is also a part of arugula nutrition. This is a compound which helps to cleanse the blood and improve the supply of oxygen to various parts of the body. It also helps in maintaining good health of the skin.

Benefits Arugula (Salad Rocket) For Health

Possible health benefits of consuming follow 

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like arugula, decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.


For the past 30 years, eating a high amount of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer; namely lung and colon cancer. Recently, studies have suggested that the sulfur-containing compounds (namely sulforaphane) that give cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite are also what give them their cancer-fighting power.

Sulforaphane is now being studied for Arugulas ability to delay or impede cancer with early promising results associated with melanoma, esophageal, prostate and pancreatic cancers. Researchers have found that the sulforaphane compound can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells. The ability to stop HDAC enzymes could make sulforaphane-containing foods a potentially powerful part of cancer treatment in the future.

Easily recognized cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips and cabbage as well as the lesser-known arugula, Broccolini, daikon, kohlrabi and watercress.2

Arugula also contains chlorophyll, which has shown to be effective at blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines generated when grilling foods at a high temperature.4

Osteoporosis prevention

Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption improves bone health by acting as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.5 Arugula also contributes to your daily need for calcium, providing 64 milligrams in 2 cups.


Leafy greens contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid that has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha-lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.

Of note, most studies have used intravenous alpha-lipoic acid there is uncertainty whether oral supplementation would elicit the same benefits.

Exercise and athletic performance

Dietary nitrate supplementation in the form of beetroot juice has been shown to improve muscle oxygenation during exercise, suggesting that increased dietary nitrate intake has the potential to enhance exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise and possibly improve quality of life for those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases who find the activities of daily living are physically difficult because of lack of oxygenation.

Beetroot juice improved performance by 2.8% (11 seconds) in a 4-km bicycle time trial and by 2.7% (45 seconds) in a 16.1-km time trial. Beetroot is just one of many vegetables that are high in nitrate. Leafy green vegetables like arugula are among the top sources.