It’s about yesterday when I was invited for a dinner at an Indian restaurant and saw a strange-looking thing in my rice. Well, to be honest, it tasted really good, and the smell was heavenly!
However, being someone who has seen it for the first time, I called the waiter and asked about it and, to my surprise, I got to know it’s called a watercress. Apparently, it is quite popular across the Subcontinent, and chefs consider it the basic ingredient to use in most of their dishes. Rice, for instance, is considered to be incomplete if watercress is not added to it.
Appearance-wise, the watercress looks like it belongs to the family of cabbage. Talking about its nutritional value, it contains vitamin B6, K, and A in great quantities.
What is Watercress?
Watercress is a leafy vegetable that is loved by people all across the globe, especially around African and European countries. Green in color, lush in form and extremely delicious when served, watercress surely makes life full of taste and flavor. There are numerous ways to consume watercress, but the most reliable one is to put it either on the dining table or refrigerate it in a polythene sheet. This will keep it safe and fresh even when you put it out of the reach of humans.
Health Benefits Offered by Watercress
One of the most nutritional members of the cabbage family is the watercress, which is considered to be sent straight from heaven. The health benefits that this veggie offers make it mandatory for you to try it at least once. Some reasons why you should give it a shot are:
a) Filled with Nutrition
Watercress has vitamin K, A and B in it, which make it loaded with nutritional content. Alongside these, it also has potassium and magnesium in impressive quantities that make it a nutrient-dense product to consume.
b) An Antioxidant
One great benefit of consuming it daily is that it reduces the chances of cardiac problems. This is because it has antioxidants, which ensure the replenishment of dying cells on time.
c) Prevents Cancer
The phytochemicals that are a prominent part of its composition prevent the emergence of cancerous elements in the person who consumes it regularly.
d) Boosts Immunity
As it has a high content of Vitamin C in it, watercress can enhance the immunity of the person consuming it. As a result, he contacts diseases quite often compared to someone who doesn’t have watercress as a part of his daily life.
e) Assists in Weight Loss:
This veggie is very low in fat and cholesterol composition, making it a viable item to be consumed daily. As it doesn’t build the body’s mass, any person opting for a weight loss plan can make it a regular part of his diet quite easily.
However, the watercress is not easily available where I reside. Yeah, sadly. Hence, it made me go for extensive research to search for the substitution for watercress, which would be readily available and provide equal nutrition compared to that of watercress. Most of these substitutes are green vegetables, while others are leafy. Nonetheless, each one of these alternates will offer a great level of nutritional value to the consumer.
There are quite a few items that I have come across which offer great nutrition and health facilities. They include:
The pretty, green vegetable spinach is the perfect substitute for watercress. Yes, you read it right. Compared to watercress, it is easily available. Surely, it’s the most appropriate watercress replacement as it offers the same nutrients as the watercress provides. Alongside this, cooking this veggie is uncomplicated. The strength it gives to the consumer is something you must have witnessed if you have watched Popeye the Sailorman even once in your life.
Although spinach is a great substitute for watercress leaves, it surely doesn’t taste as amazing as watercress does. Hence, a spice lover may have to sprinkle some herbs or spices to make it taste better.
2. Radish Sprouts
Radish sprouts are quite popular amongst those who love to opt for varied diets to lose weight. If you have never heard of it before, it is high time for you to introduce it in your life. People who know about it swear by its nutritional content.
Using this in your salads will add some flavor to them. From being bland to being delicious, the transition in your salad’s taste the moment you add radish sprouts to it will amaze you. Nonetheless, the easily available radish sprout is a great substitution for watercress.
Some people find kale bland and a difficult to eat vegetable, while many consider it one of the best substitutes for watercress in a recipe. Those who can’t find watercress easily switch it with kale and add great nutritional value to their prepared food.
Considered as a member of the cabbage family, kale looks exactly like it. Alongside this, it adds color and flavor to the dish you add it to. Nevertheless, kale is a staple item in most of the soups prepared in Japan.
Now, if you are a burger lover, you must have felt joyous reading this word here. Lettuce, when added to a burger, adds some nutrition even to it. No matter how many unhealthy sauces do you add to the burger, lettuce will surely reduce its harmful effects to a great deal. From making it an additional part of your sandwich to adding it to your salad, it would work great as the perfect answer to what is a substitute for watercress.
5. Dandelion Greens
A single serving of Dandelion greens fills the consumer up with an extensive level of nutrition. This leafy vegetable is filled with varied nutritional elements, including calcium, protein and numerous minerals.
Dandelion greens may not be the tastiest alternative to watercress, but it is surely the most attractive one in terms of looks and color. Being extremely loaded with all the nutritional content, it acts as the best substitute for watercress.
If you are still wondering what is a good substitute for watercress, arugula is the answer. It doesn’t taste as bitter as most of the veggies in its family do. Alongside this, the smell erupting out of it takes one to heaven.
Arugula is a great vegetable to add to your daily dinner or lunch. Alongside this, putting it in your salad bowl will surely be a wonderful idea. Unlike other leafy vegetables, this one will take a lot lesser to get cooked.
Being the most basic vegetable to use in your meals, cabbage is surely the best alternative to watercress. It is extremely easy to find in the mart and put in the cart. Do you know what is even easier? Cooking it!
Cabbage is one of the easiest to cook food items, and you can even make a dish out of it every day.
If the taste is what excites you, you need to substitute watercress cooking with Nasturtium. Though the looks of this veggie are quite different compared to that of the actual watercress, it surely is a great replacement. When compared to watercress, this one looks like flowers rather than leaves. Nasturtium comes with a peppery taste, and biting on it will give your mouth a great Savoury ting.
If you roast it a little in a pan before adding it to the actual dish, it will turn out to be spicier than usual. Hence, for spice lovers, Nasturtium is the perfect substitute for watercress.
If you are used to adding watercress to your sandwiches but need to replace it with something else now, endive is surely the perfect substitution for watercress leaves. However, taste-wise it is a little bitter compared to watercress. These leaves are lighter than watercress, making them its ideal replacement when adding them to salads.
Nutritional Content and Health Benefits of Substitutes
|Substitute vegetable||Nutritional Content||benefits|
|Spinach||iron, vitamins, and minerals.||for skin, hair, and bone health|
|Radish Sprouts||vitamins A, E, and K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.||has cancer-fighting properties|
|Kale||fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C||removes unwanted toxins|
|Lettuce||calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium||bone strength|
|Dandelion greens||vitamin E, folate||regulating blood sugar.
aiding weight loss
|supports the immune system|
|Cabbage||protein, fiber, vitamin K||keeps Inflammation in Check|
|Nasturtium||vitamin C, iron and other minerals||supports a strong immune system|
|Endive||vitamin K, vitamin A, folate (33||helps with weight loss|
Some of the most repeated queries of the people regarding watercress include:
Coming across the existence of watercress and understanding its working, consuming one cup of watercress daily fulfills all your requirements of daily vitamin K. it also tastes heavenly and adds a different kind of flavor to it instantly. If you are always on the lookout for new and healthy food items, following the list mentioned above is surely a great way to start. Now that you know what can replace watercress, it is high time you did so!