Friday, March 6, 2009

The Peppery Green Your Lungs Love

The Peppery Green Your Lungs Love

There's a peppery green related to mustard and garden cress that your lungs truly love. It's watercress.
In fact, a daily bowl may protect against lung cancer, according to John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine.
A Lung-Loving Substance
In a study of both smokers and nonsmokers, those who ate about a cereal-bowl's worth of fresh watercress daily for 8 weeks had less DNA damage to white blood cells -- with smokers seeing the most significant benefit. Makes sense, since it's also thought that the isothiocyanates in watercress may thwart a potent carcinogen in tobacco, according to La Puma. And watercress is darn nutritious to boot. It's chock-full of vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and lutein, as well as mustard oil.
Where to Get the Good Stuff
One quick and easy way to get watercress? Drink a V8. It's one of the main vegetables in the juice. But if you'd rather eat your cress than drink it, try making this simple Watercress Salad from EatingWell. Or, for something jazzier, cook up these Beef, Watercress and Roquefort Burgers.
RealAge Benefit: Eating a diverse diet that includes 5 servings of vegetables per day can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.

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