Scientific Name: Eruca vesicaria
Arugula (Eruca versicaria), also known as rocket or roquette, is a vegetable characterized by its green leaves. Sometimes, Eruca sativa is used as a botanic name, but many researchers consider this name to be a synonym of Eruca versicaria. Arugula has a slightly spicy flavor that is an acquired taste. It is a popular ingredient in Italian, Moroccan, and Portuguese cuisines. In America, it is often added to salads.
Arugula has high amounts of vitamin K/phylloquinone (91% daily value [DV]) which is beneficial for bone health and normal blood clotting, i.e., it helps wounds heal faster. Arugula is also rich in vitamin C (17% DV) which aids the immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease. It also makes collagen which is important for skin health. Vitamin A (13% DV) is present in arugula as well. This vitamin is crucial for eye health.
The folate (24% DV) in arugula is necessary for amino acid metabolism and preventing neural tube defects. Folate is also very advantageous during pregnancy. Arugula also contains calcium (12% DV) which supports bone health and muscle/nerve function. This vegetable has magnesium and manganese at amounts of 11% DV and 14% DV, respectively. Magnesium has been found to play a role in muscle and nerve function, while manganese is thought to be an antioxidant.