Top 10 Nutritional Benefits of Arugula

Healthy RocketArugula is a highly nutritious cruciferous vegetable that’s well worth eating as often as possible.

Also called salad rocket or roquette, it has a distinctive and delicious peppery flavor to its soft green leaves and goes particularly well in fresh salads.

Arugula has many beneficial properties for energy production, disease prevention, natural weight loss and a healthier appearance. Here’s just what makes rocket so good for you.

10 Reasons Why Arugula is So Good for You

1. Protective Sulforaphane and Indole-3-Carbinol

Like many other cruciferous vegetables, arugula contains special sulfur containing substances called glucosinolates. These convert to potent compounds known as indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates.

Scientists are particularly interested in indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate) for their anticarcinogenic properties.

Research studies have found indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane and possibly other indoles and isothiocyanates may inhibit carcinogenesis by:

  • Inactivating carcinogenic chemicals and protecting cellular DNA from damage.
  • Inducing apoptosis (cell death) in cells that have already become cancerous.
  • Preventing tumor blood vessel formation and tumor cell migration.

The isothiocyanates and indoles in cruciferous vegetables like arugula have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects.

Ideally get a good supply of cruciferous vegetables like roquette, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, Brussels sprouts and the very healthy bok choy into your diet.

Though with the number of problematic substances in our foods, drinks and environment these days, supplementation could be advisable if you’re not eating a lot of superfoods like arugula.Arugula nutrition

2. High in Vitamin K for Your Heart, Bones and Skin

Like many greens, arugula is rich in vitamin K. 100 grams of rocket contains around 109 mg of this important vitamin, which is 136% of the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin K is intimately involved in calcium regulation and metabolism and helps get the mineral into your bones and keep it there. Low vitamin K intake can lead to crippling osteoporosis later in life and is implicated in many other degenerative diseases.

When calcium is being leached out of your bones due to vitamin K deficiency it can be deposited in your arteries and lead to serious cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery calcification.

People with circulatory problems should make sure they get a good intake of vitamin K rich foods like this to keep calcium where it should be in their body.

Proper calcium metabolism is even necessary for healthy skin. Without enough vitamin K in your diet, calcium can stiffen the elastin fibers that help keep your skin soft and subtle.

Longer-term, this can be one of the causes of skin aging and wrinkles, but even in the short term improving your vitamin K intake has been reported to help many skin problems.

3. Eye Nutrients for Better Vision

Two special eye antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin are found in good levels in arugula. These phytonutrients are concentrated by your body in the macula region of your eye, the area responsible for detecting fine details like the words on this screen.

Lutein and zeaxanthin help protect your eye’s macula from both UV light and high-intensity blue light that can cause eyestrain and vision problems.

Orange and red vegetables like bell peppers, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, along with dark leafy greens are some of the best sources but unfortunately it’s difficult to get large enough amounts of these eye antioxidants unless you eat a lot of these foods.

These days most of us use our eyes for reading fine detail a lot more than ever before and often push them right to their limit. I know I do so I personally take these concentrated lutein and zeaxanthin capsules made from marigold flowers each morning with breakfast.

I’ve noticed a definite improvement in eye comfort over long work periods and less eye strain since taking them and you should find they help you too if you spend much of your day in front of an electronic screen.Arugula Nutrition

4. Rich Source of Antioxidants

Arugula is full of antioxidant carotenoids like beta-carotene for preventing free radical damage to the cells in your body.

It has an impressive ORAC rating of 1904 µmol TE per 100 grams and ranks highly compared to many other vegetables.

The beta-carotene in this salad green is often listed as vitamin A and nutritional information notes it as containing nearly half of the recommended daily intake. In fact, this is only potential vitamin A if you are deficient in it.

Beta-carotene is often better off in your body as an antioxidant and vitamin A should ideally be obtained from preformed vitamin A foods like free range eggs, grass fed butter and especially cod liver oil.

5. Vitamin C Content

Another antioxidant found in arugula is vitamin C, with nutrition data saying it contains 25% of the recommended daily intake in 100 grams of the pepper flavored leaves.

As well as quenching free radical damage throughout your body, vitamin C, like vitamin K has an important role to play in skin health and has many benefits for protecting your cardiovascular system.

6. Folate and B Vitamins

Arugula contains 97 mcg of folate or 24% of the recommended daily intake. As well as preventing birth defects in pregnant women, folate is involved in serotonin production and red blood cell creation.

Dark leafy greens like rocket are some of the best sources of folate and ideally it should come from foods like these rather than the folic acid in cheap multivitamins.

A good variety of most of the other B vitamins, with the exception of B12, are all found in this leafy green and will add to your daily intake of these important nutrients.

7. Minerals in Salad Rocket

Arugula is high in natural calcium, which at 160 mg per 100 grams goes well with its naturally high vitamin K content.

The dark green leaves also contain helpful amounts of magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and iron.

8. Good Source of Blood Cleansing Chlorophyll

Leafy greens like arugula are a great source of alkalizing and detoxifying chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is like the green blood of plant leaves and actually closely resembles our own red blood cells. Because of this it is known as an excellent blood cleanser and oxygenator.

Alkalizing and oxygenating your blood with dark leafy greens or chlorophyll rich green smoothies can have a strong detoxification effect throughout your body.

Many people notice an increase in their energy levels when they start including more high chlorophyll foods like roquette in their meals.

9. Arugula as an Aphrodisiac?

Since Roman times rocket has had a reputation as an aphrodisiac, particularly for men.

While not especially high in obvious libido boosters, like testosterone promoting Brazil nuts for instance, it’s broad array of nutrients may add extra energy to your love life if you eat it regularly.Roquette beneficial effects

10. Low in Calories and Good for Weight Loss

Very low in calories with 100 grams of the vegetable having just 25 calories, and even more importantly just 3.7 grams of carbohydrates, arugula is a great weight loss food.

An excellent way to use rocket for losing weight is to make it a base for your meals and use it to replace fattening grain products like pasta and bread.

It has a rich peppery flavor and is much more interesting to eat than bland lettuce or many other salad vegetables.

Try having the fillings you would usually have on a sandwich mixed into an arugula salad. It’s surprisingly versatile and can be used instead of pasta or rice in many dishes.

Replacing the grain-based foods that promote weight gain with arugula and other dark leafy greens is a simple way to boost your nutritional intake and minimize body fat storing glucose spikes in your blood.

In the long term, this is a far easier way of keeping the weight off than restrictive dieting.

Selection and Storage

You should be able to find fresh arugula in the market throughout the year. Look for the younger bright green leaves and avoid any with too many yellow or wilted leaves.

I always try and get organic greens to avoid sprays. If you can’t find organic at very least soak the leaves in hot water and a splash vinegar to clean them and minimize any residues before eating them.

I hope all of these arugula benefits have inspired you to give it a try or start using it more regularly. It really is an amazing superfood and I’d appreciate if you share how healthy it is with your friends.

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Janet (tom'smum)

Brilliant article keep up the good work we find it very useful info thanks

Jim Dillan

Thanks for your positive comments


I eat arugula every morning with a soft boiled egg on top, a splash of olive oil and sea salt. I add some berries when I have. Really yummy!

Jim Dillan

Hi Susan,

That sounds like a very healthy breakfast. I usually have it in a salad lunch but this sounds worth trying.

All the best,



US weekly dated October 19,2015 has an article on page 64, telling us Sulforaphane in veggies such as arugula and cauliflower has been shown to induce breast tumor cell death. is that true ?

Jim Dillan

Hi Fran,

Sulforaphane is widely studied for its anticarcinogenic properties. It is considered a good preventative though difficult to determine its effectiveness as a treatment for breast cancer. The usual ‘more studies are needed’ is the official line. It certainly can’t hurt to have more high sulforaphane vegetables like arugula.

All the best,



I enjoy a salad with arugula, beets, goat cheese, oil and vinegar. Delicious


Hello, I eat arugula in the mornings with my egg whites, 1 piece of Dave’s killer bread toast and it is awesome, I love the health benefits.

Jim Dillan

Hi Vlunda,

Yes I agree that arugula is great with eggs, though I personally think the yolks are nothing to be afraid of. Recent research show they are very healthy and don’t increase cholesterol levels in the body.

All the best,


Josie Liston

Thanks you for all this information about arugula I eat it in my salad every day but now I know all the benefits of this wonderful food. Thank you

Jim Dillan

Thanks for your positive comments Josie.


One of the best foods, too much here in the meddle east. I started eating this leafy super foods since 2003.


Thanks for this very informative article, I love Arugula and didn’t know of its nutritional value!


Hi Jim,
I recently became a fan of Arugula and I’m including it now in all my salads. Best combination So far is with parsley, thyme, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, mushroom and grilled halloumi on top with a lemon-Dijon mustard dressing. So yum…even my friends loved the salad combination… You’ve got to try it out!


IT is ok to eat arugula leaves if the person have highblood?


Wow thank you for the information about arugulas benefits . I put kale on our daily smoothie but wasn’t able to find organic kale lately, so I substitute organic baby arugula and it taste good , so instead of kale I 2ill continue using arugula instead. Thank you for all the info.

Melinda Webb

I eat Arugula every day, but I did not know all the wonderful health benefits. Thank you for all the wonderful information. This is my favorite website for nutritional values on Foods!

Jim Dillan

Thanks for your positive comments Josie.

Jim Dillan

Appreciate your positive comments Melinda.

Jim Dillan

Hi Reuly,

Yes, arugula contains beneficial nutrients for normal blood pressure.

All the best,


Jim Dillan

Hi Mark and thanks for your recipe.

Sounds delicious!

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