Pure Food for Sages

Filed under: Nutrition

A former client and current blog reader of mine emailed me to let me know how happy she was to see me post a picture of my pets. They are rather cute.

She also wanted to hear my thoughts on a new food she had come across – watercress. So I turned to my trusty The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth to see what Jonny Bowden had to say about it. Lo and behold, it was one of his stars of the vegetable group, and he had lots to say about it!

Irish monks used to call watercress “pure food for the sages.” ┬áThis herb is as nutrient-dense a food as they come, with one full cup providing only 4 calories! That same one cup also provides a solid serving of vitamins A, C and K while also providing a whopping 1,900 mcg of the eye-healthy antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

Watercress is a member of the brassica family of vegetables, which also contains broccoli, spinach, cabbage and kale to name a few. This family of vegetables contains isothiocynates, which neutralize carcinogens. Watercress also has contains sulphoraphanes, just like broccoli.

Sulphoraphanes in combination with isothiocynates have been found to work synergistically in preventing and attacking cancer. The combination induces the death of cancer cells, preventing potential carcinogens from causing harm and helping cells to increase their defenses against carcinogens.

All in all, I would say that is one hell of a food, and it would be a great addition to salads, stir fry’s, and more!

For more information like this, check out Jonny Bowden’s The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

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Posted on November 16th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre


  1. Steve Says:

    Random question, but do you think its better to eat plants like this alone or throw them in a smoothie? For example I put tons of things in my smoothies, fruit, veg, seeds, cacao, peanut butter, etc. Does this do anything to nutrient absorbtion?

    Great blog by the way, I’ve been reading for a while.

  2. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    I think however you want to eat them is just fine. Alone, smoothie, whatever. I don’t think either way will make a truly significant difference.

    Thanks for the kind words man, much appreciated.


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