Watercress are an excellent way to add antioxidants and various other beneficial nutrients to your pregnancy diet. This dark green and leafy plant is native to Europe and Asia and is also known by its botanical name Nasturtium officinale.
Watercress contains isothiocyanates which is a sulfur compound that can help liver detoxification. Accumulation of toxins in the liver can harm the development of a baby. Sulfur also helps in the delivery of nutrients and oxygen around the body. It also contains Vitamin C which is used by the body to produce collagen — a key nutrient in developing a baby’s skeleton, muscles and skin.
Other nutrients in watercress include Vitamins A and E which enable the mother’s skin to stretch while causing minimal damage. These vitamins also reduce a baby’s risk of eczema and asthma.
The dark green color of watercress leaves are also rich in carotenoids, beta carotene and lutein which are antioxidants that help strengthen both mother’s and baby’s immune system and vision.
When choosing watercress, go for the ones that have the darkest green leaves as they contain the most antioxidants and chlorophyll which is essential in building blood. Choose fresh, open bunches rather than those sealed in bags. Watercress can be added to your dishes or can be eaten as a salad.