No longer considered a poor man’s food or simply a garnish, watercress is a leafy green cruciferous that is worthy of the label “super food”. A peppery vegetable in the Brassicaceae family along with broccoli, cauliflower and rocket, it is cultivated almost exclusively in spring-fed streams. Watercress has high levels of antioxidants and contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, folate, calcium, and beta-carotene. It is also rich in fiber, potassium, calcium phosphorous, and iron.

Historically, watercress was revered for its nutrition and healing properties. Even the father of medicine, Hippocrates, used it on his patients to treat illnesses. During the 1800s it was an essential part of the working class diet, but as more varieties of salad leaves were cultivated over the next 100 years, watercress became known as a poor man’s food and was eventually less popular, according to Medical News Today. Only recently after scoring at the top of the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) has this made a comeback because, as the ANDI score measures vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content in relation to caloric content. The study, conducted by Jennifer Di Noia of William Paterson University, looked at 17 important nutrients naturally occurring in food and calculated how much of those nutrients were found in a 100-calorie serving. With the surge in healthy eating in recent years, it stands to reason why watercress is on everyone’s radar as the super food you have to eat!

Watercress for Hair

Just like most super foods that have more than one positive function for our bodies, watercress is on the list of foods that are great for promoting healthy hair. With its high iodine content, watercress also helps to improve the function of the thyroid gland and relieves the symptoms of hypothyroidism that include hair loss. Many who eats foods for optimal hair and health benefits will want to eat watercress raw and as fresh as possible. It can also be used topically to treat dandruff and prevent hair loss because of its sulfur, iron, and zinc content. It is considered one of the best natural gems for hair loss. The prize ingredients in watercress that make it so attractive for hair loss would be the presence of zinc and biotin. The vital nutrients from the minerals and vitamins from watercress assist to encourage scalp health as well as hair health. Many deem it perfect for a hair conditioner or even a hydrating hair spa.

One of the best ways to utilize watercress for your hair is to create a tincture (liquid extract) and massaging it on your hair and scalp to rid dandruff or bacterial infections of the scalp. With its ability to enhance hormonal balance and performance, it indirectly encourages hair growth and healthy skin. Not into getting that close with nature? Well, it can also be found in an oil or in several hair products from shampoo to conditioner to even finishers.

6 Products with Watercress

So, watercress salad anyone or are you thinking about using it topically?