Watercress is an aquatic plant renown for it’s vivid green color and unique peppery flavor. Nasturtium Officinale, watercress’s scientific name, has been eaten as part of the human diet as far back as history can record. This delicate leafy green is eaten around the world and currently translated into 34 languages…a sure sign that it is a part of a country’s cuisine.
Fortified with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals , even since ancient times its health giving properties have been highly valued. In fact Hippocrates, the Father of modern medicine, is said to have deliberately located his first hospital beside a stream so that he could grow a plentiful and convenient supply of watercress with which to help treat his patients.
In modern times it is increasingly seen as a powerful cancer fighting superfood, with a growing body of supportive scientific studies and discoveries. In addition, watercress is one of Mother Nature’s most nutrient dense vegetable, capturing a perfect 1000 score on the ANDI nutrient density scale. It is as close to a perfect food as there is!
It has a peppery flavor and delicate crunch when eaten fresh. In the United States it is most frequently used in salads and on sandwiches, where it’s distinctive flavor stands above the flavor profile of the traditionally muted flavors of most greens.
The uses for watercress as a food are as diverse as the languages it is translated into.
The French use it in sauces, salads and soups, the English revere it in everything, the Chinese consume the most and only it watercress cooked as in clear broth soups, stir fry and in hot pots. Watercress is a regular part of the Mediterranean diet and movie stars like Elizabeth Hurley have used watercress as the cornerstone of diets for recovery of birth.