Arugula is also known as Rocket in some circles. Its a dark leafy green that actually lives in the cruciferous vegetable family with broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. It has a bit of a sharper taste than most greens and I've always had a love-hate relationship with arugula. Its super good for you which makes me like it more, but once I had an entire mouthful of arugula that I thought was going to be a light and refreshing bite of baby greens. The intense flavor threw me off for a while, but I think I've finally mastered ways to incorporate this sharp tasting green into my diet without being overpowered by its flavor.
Arugula is very low in calories - 2 cups is only 10 calories! And consuming 2 cups of arugula will give you 20% of your daily nutritional intake needed of Vitamin A (promoting strong eyes, vision, helps heart, lungs, and kidney function), 50% of vitamin K (improves bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis), and 8% of Vitamin C (full of antioxidants). 2 cups also provides 10% of your daily intake of Folate (Vitamin B-9) which supports your metabolism.
Sulforaphane is the sulfur-containing compound in arugula and other cruciferous vegetables, which gives them their bitterness, and is also what helps fight cancer. They inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells.
Ways To Eat
If arugula on its own is a little too intense for you (like it is for me), try mixing it into your regular pesto recipe (see below), or toss it in a salad with other leafy greens, or chopping up small and adding to soups or on top of pastas or rice dishes. Even I can get through a bag of arugula a week!