The spicy yet odd taste of watercress is something people either love or hate. It is easy to love if you're an Anglophile - I totally associate cress with those lovely crustless tea sandwiches.
Well there is now a new reason to love the stuff...a recent study performed at the University of Ulster (a province in Northern Ireland) shows that watercress can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells and increase antioxidant levels. Eating the cruciferous green daily can hopefully reduce the risk of cancer by keeping damaging free radicals from interrupting healthy cell development.
Thirty men and thirty (I praise that the study for having each sex equally represented as subject) ate 85 grams of watercress daily for 8 week. 85 grams is about a cereal bowl full of cress. All subjects, but especially the smokers involved, significantly reduced the amount of DNA damage in their blood stream. Damaged DNA is a known bio-markers of cancer risk.
Visit the University of Ulster website so read more about the study.
This is great news for cancer prevention. I say eat this stuff up!!! It is great in egg salad and add the greens into your salad. It is rumored that Liz Hurley eats up to 7 cups of watercress soup a day.