Foodstruct Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart | Blog

Watercress vs Arugula - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 30, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Watercress
vs
Arugula

Summary

Arugula has more folate, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B5. It also contains less sodium. On the other hand, watercress provides more Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and phosphorus. Watercress also is lower in sugars and saturated fats.

Introduction

We will compare arugula and watercress in terms of nutrition and health impacts.

What's The Actual Difference?

Watercress and arugula have many similarities. They both are aquatic plants that belong to the Brassicaceae family. Arugula has a fresh, tart, bitter taste; its leaves have smoother sides and a rounded top, while watercress has a peppery flavor, similar to mustard and wasabi, and is soft, mid-green leaves with an unbroken edge and an oval shape.

Nutrition

In this section, we will look into the differences between the nutrients of watercress and arugula. Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between them.

The food varieties are raw arugula and raw watercress.

Calories

Both arugula and watercress are low in calories; however, arugula has two times more calories than watercress.

Arugula has 25 calories per 100g, whereas watercress contains 11 calories per 100g.

Fats

Both arugula and watercress have fats of less than 1g. Watercress contains 0.1g of fat, and arugula has 0.66g of fat.

Carbs

Both watercress and arugula are low-carb foods. Arugula contains 3.65g of carbs per 100g, whereas watercress contains 1.29g of carbs per 100g.

Cholesterol

Watercress and arugula have no cholesterol.

Protein

Watercress and arugula have a tiny amount of protein: 3g.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of watercress is richer than that of arugula.

Watercress contains more Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A.

Watercress falls in the top 12% of foods as a source of Vitamin A, 100g of which can cover your daily need.

On the other hand, arugula contains more Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, and folate.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin A +34.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +132.6%
Contains more Vitamin C +186.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +104.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +39.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +76.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +130.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +52.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +41%
Contains more Folate +977.8%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 192% 20% 0% 144% 23% 28% 4% 19% 30% 7% 0% 625%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 143% 9% 0% 50% 11% 20% 6% 27% 17% 73% 0% 272%
Contains more Vitamin A +34.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +132.6%
Contains more Vitamin C +186.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +104.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +39.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +76.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +130.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +52.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +41%
Contains more Folate +977.8%

Minerals

Arugula is richer in minerals than watercress. It contains more iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper, and potassium than watercress.

Arugula also has less sodium. On the other hand, watercress has more potassium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Phosphorus +15.4%
Contains more Calcium +33.3%
Contains more Iron +630%
Contains more Magnesium +123.8%
Contains more Potassium +11.8%
Contains less Sodium -34.1%
Contains more Zinc +327.3%
Equal in Copper - 0.076
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 36% 8% 15% 26% 30% 6% 3% 26%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 48% 55% 34% 23% 33% 4% 13% 26%
Contains more Phosphorus +15.4%
Contains more Calcium +33.3%
Contains more Iron +630%
Contains more Magnesium +123.8%
Contains more Potassium +11.8%
Contains less Sodium -34.1%
Contains more Zinc +327.3%
Equal in Copper - 0.076

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Some studies have found that nitrates are debatable by widening your blood vessels; they may help increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. According to one study [1], arugula may lower blood pressure, essential for people with kidney disease.

High levels of carotenoids have been shown in studies to protect against the development of heart disease and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke [2]. Watercress is high in antioxidants such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Low levels of these carotenoids have been linked to heart disease and hypertension.

Cancer

According to one study [3], arugula is exceptionally high in cancer-fighting compounds. Arugula extract is beneficial in targeting cancer stem cells and inhibiting cancer cell reproduction and invasion in test-tube studies.

Watercress outperformed in one study regarding total phenol content and ability to neutralize free radicals linked to oxidative stress and several cancer types [4].

Diabetes

Research indicates that eating vegetables reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Arugula is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants beneficial to the eyes. Because diabetes increases your eye problems, eating plenty of lutein and zeaxanthin may help lower your risk of blindness, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other devastating vision problems. They also aid in reducing blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease [5].

Bone Health

Arugula contains Vitamin K and the minerals manganese and calcium, which are all critical for bone health. These are essential nutrients for good bone health. Numerous published studies [6] show that low calcium intake throughout life is linked to low bone mass and a high fracture rate. Inadequate calcium intake contributes significantly to the development of osteoporosis.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4729801/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24489447/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29890115/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29748497/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26310005/
  6. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 30, 2022

Infographic

Watercress vs Arugula infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Watercress Arugula
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Watercress Arugula Opinion
Net carbs 0.79g 2.05g Arugula
Protein 2.3g 2.58g Arugula
Fats 0.1g 0.66g Arugula
Carbs 1.29g 3.65g Arugula
Calories 11kcal 25kcal Arugula
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 0.2g 2.05g Watercress
Fiber 0.5g 1.6g Arugula
Calcium 120mg 160mg Arugula
Iron 0.2mg 1.46mg Arugula
Magnesium 21mg 47mg Arugula
Phosphorus 60mg 52mg Watercress
Potassium 330mg 369mg Arugula
Sodium 41mg 27mg Arugula
Zinc 0.11mg 0.47mg Arugula
Copper 0.077mg 0.076mg Watercress
Vitamin A 3191IU 2373IU Watercress
Vitamin E 1mg 0.43mg Watercress
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 43mg 15mg Watercress
Vitamin B1 0.09mg 0.044mg Watercress
Vitamin B2 0.12mg 0.086mg Watercress
Vitamin B3 0.2mg 0.305mg Arugula
Vitamin B5 0.31mg 0.437mg Arugula
Vitamin B6 0.129mg 0.073mg Watercress
Folate 9µg 97µg Arugula
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 250µg 108.6µg Watercress
Tryptophan 0.03mg mg Watercress
Threonine 0.133mg mg Watercress
Isoleucine 0.093mg mg Watercress
Leucine 0.166mg mg Watercress
Lysine 0.134mg mg Watercress
Methionine 0.02mg mg Watercress
Phenylalanine 0.114mg mg Watercress
Valine 0.137mg mg Watercress
Histidine 0.04mg mg Watercress
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.027g 0.086g Watercress
Monounsaturated Fat 0.008g 0.049g Arugula
Polyunsaturated fat 0.035g 0.319g Arugula

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Watercress Arugula
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
91
Watercress
52
Arugula
Mineral Summary Score
18
Watercress
29
Arugula

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
14%
Watercress
15%
Arugula
Carbohydrates
1%
Watercress
4%
Arugula
Fats
0%
Watercress
3%
Arugula

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Watercress
Watercress is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.85g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Watercress
Watercress is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.059g)
Which food is cheaper?
Watercress
Watercress is cheaper (difference - $0.4)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Watercress
Watercress is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
Arugula
Arugula contains less Sodium (difference - 14mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (32)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Watercress - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170068/nutrients
  2. Arugula - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169387/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.