Rucola or arugula was known even in Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, and it was especially used to improve the work of the digestive organs at that time. Otherwise, the nature of this plant is to grow wild, and many consider it a type of weed. However, it also has healing properties and that’s the reason this salad is consumed almost all over the world, although most often in European countries, primarily in Italy.
A specialty on the Menu in many pizzerias today is pizza with arugula. In many restaurants all over the world, you can use arugula as an addition to meat dishes, risotto, and salads, in general. Due to the very interesting shape of the leaves, it is used to decorate many dishes in restaurants.
The healing properties of rucola are well known. Apart from improving the work of the digestive organs, it is also used in case of colds or coughs. And it is often recommended to use in case of constipation, which has grown into a chronic disease.
As it is a natural antioxidant, it is good to use rucola as an excellent remedy that prevents cancer, because it significantly reduces the risk of developing this disease, especially when there are indications of breast cancer. It is considered a great natural remedy for the treatment of various diseases, but also for the treatment of ulcers, as an excellent prevention of osteoporosis.
For best results consume it fresh since in that case, rucola will show the most positive effects.
Is rucola and dandelion the same?
Although they have absolutely no similarities in terms of healing, people are often confused about whether it is rucola or dandelion. Dandelion is recognizable by its yellow flower, while the arugula flower is completely different and is usually softly white or possibly light yellow color. The reason why many people mix these two plants is in the shape of the leaves, which is somewhat similar. Although if you look a little more closely, you will realize that the difference in the appearance of the leaves of these two plants is very easy to notice, even though they are both ragged.
Rucola plant characteristic
The herbaceous plant, which belongs to the family of cabbages, is one annual plant. Its homeland is the Mediterranean area, although recently it has been cultivated all over the world.
Rucola has a characteristic, pungent taste, and the leaves have sharp edges. Depending on where and how it is grown, the characteristics of arugula can be different, so its leaves reach a length of up to 20 centimeters.
The leaves are used for food, although this plant also has a flower, which appears during the months of May and June. Rucola flower is softly white or light yellow, with thin purple threads.
In addition, rucola also has fruit, but it is placed upright in the form of a shell, right next to the stem.
Although the south of Spain and Algeria is considered to be its homeland, today it can be found in all other parts of the world.
How to grow rucola?
We have already mentioned that rucola can be found as a wild plant, but it can also be grown in gardens and even in pots. Planting and growing rucola is not complicated or demanding at all.
The plant is very resistant to low temperatures and even frosts.
It can be planted at any time of the year. It is only important that the soil in which rucola is planted retains moisture well.
As for the position, it is ideal to be a little in the shade.
Arugula seeds can be planted in the garden or pot almost at any time of the year, but it would be ideal to do so in the period from February to September. After 40 to 60 days from planting, rucola will grow enough to be harvested and further consumed.
Growing rucola is very profitable, so according to calculations, you can get a maximum of 2 kg of rucola if you plant an area of one square meter.
Arugula health benefits
In the past, arugula was used extensively to improve the work of the digestive organs. However, over time, it has been concluded that it also helps with certain liver diseases, as well as osteoporosis.
It is no secret that it is recommended to consume arugula even when you catch a cold, especially when it is accompanied by a cough.
Thanks to the numerous vitamins and minerals it possesses, as well as other nutrients, it is considered an excellent natural fighter against cancer, and it is especially good to use it for the prevention of breast cancer. Thanks to its anti-cancer properties, it is good to include it in everyday diet.
The healing properties of rucola are also suitable for people who have been diagnosed with an ulcer, and it is also considered an excellent remedy for treating various bacterial infections because it is a kind of natural antibiotic.
In any case, in order to make the most of the healing properties of this plant, it is recommended to use it fresh.
Rucola – Nutrition facts
It is important to mention that the nutritional values of rucola show that it is a plant that is a natural antioxidant, and for that reason, it is recommended to consume it regularly.
20 grams of rucola contains only 5 calories!
Also, the same amount of rucola contains 0.132 g of fat and 0.516 grams of protein.
As for vitamins and minerals, in the same amount of about 20 g, there is 2.5% of vitamin C, then 3.2% of calcium, and the most is vitamin K, 27.5%.
In addition, arugula also contains vitamin A, vitamin B, and potassium, and in smaller quantities, it also contains magnesium and iron.
Due to its low caloric value, it is recommended to be used in various diets.
How to eat rucola?
Anyone who has tasted this vegetable knows that the taste of rucola is specific. The taste is somewhat tough and strong, so you may or may not like it. And for those who do not like rucola, the taste will not be improved by absolutely any additive. Also, whoever liked the taste of this plant during the first try, is almost certain that he will continue to consume it.
The best way to eat rucola is to serve it fresh, as a salad or on top of the pizza.
In many pizzerias in Italy, but also in other parts of the world, it is practiced to prepare a pizza with arugula. But even in that case, rucola it is not baked, as many think. In fact, rucola is added to the pizza only after this specialty of Italian cuisine is baked. In that way, people will have the opportunity to make the most out of all the nutrients that this plant contains.
The most important thing is to first wash each leaf, and then dry it slightly. The next procedure will depend exclusively on how you want to prepare rucola.
Rucola tuna salad
You can make a salad which includes a combination of arugula, tomato, and tuna. Also, the preparation is really simple and fast, so it is assumed that you will wash and lightly dry the rucola and then mix it either with a few pieces of cherry tomatoes or with chopped tomatoes and tuna. It is important to mention here that the original recipe includes tuna, and you can use any other canned fish you like. You can also use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar if desired, then olive oil and other spices to taste.
Chicken rucola salad
And if you want arugula salad to be a meal for you, you can add lettuce, chicken, and olives. In that case, rucola goes well with roasted sesame and peanuts, and again, it all depends on what you like to eat. There are many recipes for preparing this vegetable, so you can make your own unique combination. What is important and what you should never lose sight of is that only if you consume arugula in a fresh state, you can be sure that you will make the most of all its nutritional values.
You can also use rucola in sandwiches, and if you blanch and chop it briefly, and then add a little cheese, you can also make rolls or pies with that filling.
There are really many options available, so it is good to try each of them and find the one that suits you best.