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 and autonomic neuropathy (nerve damage) in diabetics.
However, most studies have used intravenous alpha-lipoic acid, so there is uncertainty whether consuming it would elicit the same benefits.
Health benefits of arugula
Arugula is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
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.
How to incorporate more arugula into your diet
Arugula is most commonly consumed fresh in salads but can also be incorporated into pastas, casseroles, and sauces just like other leafy greens. It tends to sauté faster than its tougher cousins kale and collard greens because of its tenderness. It lends more flavor to a dish than spinach or Swiss chard.
Arugula is easy to grow and perfect for a windowsill garden - it requires only 3 hours of sunlight per day. Due to its peppery flavor, arugula is often mixed with other milder greens such as watercress and romaine. In Italy, it is common to top pizza with arugula after baking. Arugula should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days of purchase.
Here are some tips to try to incorporate more arugula into your daily routine:
Arugula can be added to fresh salads, pastas, casseroles and sauces just like other leafy greens.
* Add a handful of fresh arugula to an omelet or scramble.
* Throw a handful of arugula and blend into a fresh juice or smoothie.
* Sauté arugula in a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Eat as a side dish or top your baked potato.
* Add arugula to your wrap, sandwich, or flatbread.
Arugula leaves are tender and bite-sized with a tangy flavor.
Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels (more than 250 milligrams/100 grams).
High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance.