11 Arugula Health Benefits

Arugula, i.e. garden rocket, is a very nutritious cruciferous vegetable. Well known for its spicy and peppery flavor, this delicious salad is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and many other important compounds.

Read on to learn about some of the most important arugula health benefits, and to discover why eating this leafy green can be a great way to give your overall well-being a good kick.

1. Low Calorie Content

fresh arugula salad

  • 1 cup of chopped arugula contains only 5 calories (i.e. 3.5 oz contains 25 calories)!

2. Arugula is High in Fibers and Aids Digestion

3. Arugula Contains Anticancer Compounds

  • This is one of the greatest arugula health benefits. Like other cruciferous vegetables, arugula is rich in antioxidant phytochemicals.
  • Arugula contains a group of compounds called glucosinolates (sulfur-containing chemicals), which are responsible for its pungent and bitter flavor. When chewed and digested, glucosinolates break down to form biologically active compounds. These compounds, known as indoles, thiocyanates, sulforaphane and iso¬thiocyanates, are supposed to have great cancer-preventing properties.
  • They are especially useful in countering harmful, and carcinogenic effects of estrogen, and thus effective at warding off several kinds of cancer, including prostate, breast, cervical, colon and ovarian cancers.

4. Arugula is a Rich Source of Vitamin B, Especially Folate

  • 1 cup of arugula contains 19 mcg of folate, which is a natural source of folic acid. Folate is of essential importance for pregnant women, as it helps to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
  • Arugula is also a good source of other B-group vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid, which are important for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.

5. Arugula Contains High Amounts of Vitamin K

  • Another arugola health benefit lies in its high content of vitamin K. 1 cup of arugula contains 11 mcg of vitamin K, while the recommended daily intake is 90 mcg for men, and 120 mcg for women. In other words, arugula is an excellent source of vitamin K!
  • As we know, vitamin K is important for the absorption of calcium, and thereby for the osteotrophic activity, and bone health and strength.
  • Adequate amounts of vitamin K in the body can also help to limit neuronal damage in the brain that often results in Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Arugula is Loaded with Vitamin A

arugula in wood plate

  • 100 g of raw arugula leaves contain 1424 mcg of beta carotene and 2373 IU of vitamin A (1 cup contains 285 mcg of beta-carotene and 475 IU of vitamin A).
  • Beta carotene converts into active vitamin A in the body, which is essential for a healthy vision, as well as for the protection against lung, skin and oral cavity cancers.

7. Arugula Contains also Good Levels of Vitamin C

  • 1 cup of arugula contains 3 mg of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, essential for our overall health.

8. Arugula is High in Chlorophyll

  • Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in photosynthetic plants, which contains great amounts of magnesium that contributes to more than 300 metabolic functions in the body.
  • Chlorophyll can protect us against aflatoxins, which sometimes appear in moldy grains and legumes. These carcinogenic substances are produced by certain species of fungus, and they may cause serious DNA and liver damage.

9. Arugula’s Carotenoid Content

  • Arugula is not rich in carotenoids as sweet potatoes and kale are, but it still contains a considerable amount of lutein, zeaxanthin and carotene. These compounds have great antioxidant properties, which are very useful in the prevention of diseases like macular degeneration, and cancer.

10. Arugula Contains some Important Minerals

arugula salad

  • Calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

11. Arugula is Low in Oxalates

  • That is another arugola health benefit that is worth mentioning.
  • Oxalate is a compound found in many leafy greens that may interfere with the absorption of calcium. Compared to spinach and certain other leafy greens, arugula has a much lower amount of oxalates.

Please, share with us anything else you know about this delicious salad, and let us know if we have missed any of its health benefits. Write in the comment section below and enjoy its spicy flavor in the meantime!

About the author


Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.

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