What is Watercress?

Because it grows in water like a water lily, it gives the impression of being like a—well—like a water lily.  However, it is botanically classified as an herb that is often used in food as a vegetable or garnish.

Watercress belongs to the same family as cabbage, kale and cauliflower and is related to the flower called nasturtium.  They are often found growing in profusion in streams, springs, rivers, creeks and meadows.  They can even be cultivated in water basins.

It is grown as a perennial herb in Europe where it is at home.  It thrives in cool temperatures in early spring, summer and even winter.  But although they are common throughout Europe, they are not very popular in Central Wales and Scottish Highlands.

The watercress can grow as long as 70 centimeters.  Its leaves are thick and lobed with a dark green color and a shiny surface.  It grows tiny, white flowers between the months of June and September.  However, watercress harvest must take place before its flowers start to bloom.

The taste of watercress is very pungent and peppery which is why they are superb as a spice in fresh salads.  They are also used to add zing to sandwiches, soups, stir fries and other dishes.  Often, watercress serves as a garnish to meat, chicken and fish.

Proven to have health benefits that surpass those of broccoli, this plant is an excellent source of Vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium.  It also has loads of Vitamins A, B1, B6, E, beta-carotene among other vitamins and minerals.

Some of the health benefits of consuming watercress is it cleans the blood of impurities, strengthens the kidneys, improves the digestive system and a very long list of other therapeutic uses and benefits.

Watercress is often used fresh because its healing properties and substances are lost when they get dry.

 

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2 Responses to “What is Watercress?”

  1. Om Gere says:

    Can anybody outside there can send me a bunch of water cress? I have never seen on e before and so I like to have them. please contact me through my email.. thanks

  2. admin says:

    I doubt anybody is willing to post you some watercress…

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