This hot, peppery leaf is packed with essential disease-fighting nutrients, and is a healthful way to liven up a salad.
Rocket, also known as arugula, rucola or roquette, is a spicy salad leaf with a distinct "peppery-mustardy" flavor.
Like most salad greens, rocket is very low in calories and is high in vitamins A and C. It also contains fiber and sulfuraphane, a substance known to have potent anticancer properties. This substance is found in all cruciferous vegetables, and is a potent stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes in the body, and research has shown it to have anticancer, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial properties.
Other nutrients in rocket include vitamins B, K, folic acid, iron, calcium and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are particularly useful for preserving bone health.
Scientists from Saudi Arabia found that rocket extract was a safe and natural alternative gastric ulcer treatment. Laboratory animals pretreated with this herb extract were protected from the development of gastric ulcers despite being exposed to a host of toxins and stresses.
Tips for Using Rocket
- Rocket can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Combine rocket leaves with milder-tasting lettuce leaves to balance out its pungent flavor.
- A simple rocket salad: Mix together rocket leaves with quartered cherry tomatoes, sea salt and pepper, and drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Alqasoumi S, Al-Sohaibani M, Al-Howiriny T, Al-Yahya M, Rafatullah S.Rocket "Eruca sativa": A salad herb with potential gastric anti-ulcer activity.World J Gastroenterol 2009 April;15(16):1958-1965.