How watercress can support lifecycle nutrition

The mix of nutrients and phytochemicals found in watercress make it a valuable food that can help to support the body's natural defences and contribute to health and well-being throughout life.

As a salad vegetable it can contribute to the nutritional benefits through daily consumption. A recent analysis found that salad consumers tended to have more favourable intakes of vitamins C and E, folate and carotenoids and consistently higher serum values of these nutrients (Reference 88).

All essential nutrients support growth and development (Reference 7). Watercress is an especially good provider of vitamins A (via beta-carotene), C and K, folate, iron and vitamin E. Calcium is important to build and maintain strong bones, and vitamin K contributes to normal bone structure. During pregnancy requirements increase for vitamins A and C. Folate is needed for the normal development of the neural tube so helping to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Folate also plays a role in maintaining blood and circulation.

Eating plenty of vegetables (around 5 portions daily), especially green leafy, yellow and cruciferous vegetables, has been associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline amongst people aged 65 or over (Reference 89).