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Food of the month - Rocket

July 2015

Supercharged Rocket!

July is such an exciting month for fresh foods. While we are saying goodbye to Britain’s lovely fresh broad beans and asparagus, other foods are now reaching their peak.

Crab and watercress are top fresh foods for July (look back in our Laterlife archives by just hitting the search box for stories on this).

But also in July here in Britain all the ingredients for wonderful fresh salads are available in abundance.

Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Strawberries

Lamb

Potatoes


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

For many of us, rocket is a new leaf on the market. When our generation was young, rockets were something that went to the moon, mainly in fiction! But in fact, although it wasn’t common in the shops or indeed in people’s allotments, rocket has been around for centuries.

Rocket is a very English leaf and was used in salads in Elizabethan times when its flowers, seed pods and seeds were often eaten as well. Argula – the official name of rocket – is an annual plant and highly drought resistant, meaning it is popular in dryer climates as well as in the UK. It grows fast – this is believed to be the source of its name rocket – and can reach up to 40 inches in height.

Today rocket is one of the top sellers in leafy greens and it is packed with a surprising number of great nutrients.

Rocket is full of certain phytochemicals that are thought to have serious cancer combating properties. It is rich in chlorophyll which can help prevent liver and DNA damage. It is a very good source of folic acid and is also a good source of vitamin A and C.

Interestingly rocket contains especially high levels of folate. Low levels of folate have been associated with congnitive decline in older people, so this could be a useful key ingredient.

Rocket also offers a good supply of vitamin K, which provides key elements for bone and brain health. It also contains high levels of iron and copper, meaning it can be a good alternative to spinach plus offers other key nutrients such as magnesium and calcium.

With few calories (rocket contains only 80 calories for two cup fulls) and a strong peppery flavor, it is a terrific addition to menus to give taste without weight gain. In fact, looking at all the goodness in rocket, it appears to be yet another great British product that can be classed as a “superfood”.

 


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