Arugula has a large set of useful properties. It contains many vitamins and trace elements. But, in some situations, it can be harmful to health. Let’s look more specifically at the benefits and harms of this plant for humans. [1]

What Is Arugula?

What is arugulaAn annual and biennial plant of the Cruciferous family, it grows in the Mediterranean countries and other southern regions. Rocket is especially common in Italy. The spice resembles lettuce leaves in appearance. The shape and color of the leaves depend on the variety. The leaves can be round with smooth edges or elongated with a wavy border. The plants reach a height of about 30-60 cm. The inflorescences on the grass are few and can be different shades: white, purple, yellow.

What Does Arugula Taste Like?

What does arugula taste likeRucola has a specific taste that not everyone will like. The taste is distinguished by the presence of a taste of bitterness. The bitterness is concentrated in the young stems of the herb, so the herb is already quite mature. The taste of arugula is similar to a nut mixed with mustard.

The herb is added to a variety of salads, sauces, soups, and vegetable stews; it also decorates sandwiches and snacks. In our country, the spice began to gain popularity due to the popularization of Italian cuisine, where arugula is quite often used.

Nutritional Benefits of Arugula

Spicy herbs have a fairly low calorie content. There are only 25–26 kcal per 100 grams of the product. The composition of arugula is rich in vitamins and trace elements:[2], [3], [4]

Key substances per 100g.
Water 92g.
Squirrels 2.58 g
Fats 0.66 g
Carbohydrates 2.05 g
Dietary fiber 1.6 g
Ashes 1.4 g
Vitamin A 119 mcg
Vitamin K 108.6 mcg
Vitamin C 15 mg
Vitamin E 0.43 mg
Lutein + Zeaxanthin 3555 mcg

Minerals per 100g.
Potassium 369 mg
Calcium 160 mg
Magnesium 47 mg
Sodium 27 mg
Sulfur 25.8 mg
Phosphorus 52 mg
Iron 1.46 mg
Manganese 0.321 mg
Copper 0.076 mg
Selenium 0.0003 µg
Zinc 0.47 mg

Arugula Health Benefits

Arugula health benefitsRucola helps to improve digestion and prevent the formation of malignant tumors [5]. The greens have expectorant, disinfectant, and diuretic effects. With the help of a useful spice, you can get rid of many serious ailments.

Sufficient amounts of iodine and ascorbic acid help to solve problems with the content of hemoglobin in the blood and remove harmful cholesterol [6]. Regular use of the healing herb increases the tone of the body.

Expert opinion
Adelaida Williams
Nutritionist with over 11 years' experience
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If every day to take herbs in dishes, you can fill the daily need of the body in vitamins and trace elements. Flavonoids help strengthen the walls of blood vessels, making them elastic. Ascorbic acid strengthens the immune system, enhances protective functions, makes it possible to resist various colds. Regular use of arugula has a favorable effect on the nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.

Benefits for Women of Eating Arugula

Daily consumption of the salad will allow women to stay young and beautiful for a long time. The condition of hair, nails, and skin improves [7]. The skin becomes smooth and elastic. Arugula leaves have beneficial qualities, so they gently cleanse the body of harmful substances and toxins. A woman’s body receives all the necessary vitamins. Regular use of the salad helps to get rid of extra pounds due to its low caloric content and other properties [8]. It has no effect on the performance of the fairer sex. The use of the spicy herb is excellent for preventing varicose veins and thrombophlebitis.

Rucola for women
Health Benefits rucola for women

Expert opinion
Adelaida Williams
Nutritionist with over 11 years' experience
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The ingredients in the salad can help get rid of warts, papillomas, and pigmentation. Women are advised to use arugula for cosmetic purposes. It can be used to make various masks for the face, hair, and body.

Arugula Benefits for Male

For the bodies of the representatives of the strong half of mankind, arugula will be a real helper. Here, the medicinal herb should be used not only as a dietary supplement but also in the preparation of masks. Such masks will help get rid of: [9], [10]

  • baldness
  • dandruff

Expert opinion
Adelaida Williams
Nutritionist with over 11 years' experience
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The spice is great for men with problems in the sexual sphere. Regular use of this useful spice will help normalize the urinary system and get rid of impotence.

During Pregnancy

For women who are expecting a new addition to the family, it is very important to eat right and replenish the body’s need for vitamins and elements. This is important for the normal development of the fetus. The benefits of arugula for pregnant women are due to its rich and unique composition:

    During pregnancy

  1. Vitamin A is responsible for the normal activity of the reproductive system when all the organs develop properly throughout the whole period of carrying a fetus. [11]
  2. Folic acid has a beneficial effect on the nervous systems of the mother and the unborn child.[12]
  3. Women’s metabolism improves, the body’s defenses increase, and blood vessels are cleaned.
  4. With regular use of healthy greens, you can get rid of edema, from which most pregnant women suffer.

Expert opinion
Eva Fernandez
Pediatrician, pediatric gastroenterologist - Doctor's experience: 10 years
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Of course, during pregnancy, you should not get too carried away with the useful spice. This can cause an increase in uterine tone, which is already a threat of miscarriage.

When Breastfeeding

When breastfeedingRucola is good for breastfeeding mothers because it increases the amount of breast milk. You can include arugula in your diet 3–4 months after childbirth. The vegetable product is rich in fiber, and this is too coarse a food for the baby’s immature digestive system. Nursing mothers should gradually introduce a new product to the menu. If the baby responds well to the novelty of the diet and does not develop an allergy, the herb can be eaten daily, but no more than 50 grams per day. [13]

For Children

Fresh green arugula leaves are among the safest foods for children’s diets. Children can be given green lettuce leaves from about 1.5 to 2 years of age. But you should not hurry, since the plant can provoke gas and bloating. In addition, you need to watch the amount of product. Leaves in children’s menus are added to salads, as well as in pies.

Expert opinion
Eva Fernandez
Pediatrician, pediatric gastroenterologist - Doctor's experience: 10 years
Ask an expert question
Rucola has a beneficial effect on the child’s body. Regular use increases appetite and normalizes the water-salt balance in the body. For children with diabetes, arugula will be an indispensable aid in reducing blood glucose levels.

Arugula Leaves Benefits

Arugula leaves benefitsThe useful and healing product is produced from fresh arugula leaves by cold pressing. In ancient times, the oil was used by herbalists to heal wounds quickly. It could be used to cure severe bruises and sprains. In addition, lettuce oil, thanks to its analgesic properties, helps get rid of headaches. Today, the oil is used as an important ingredient in cosmetics, is a medicinal product, and is also widely used in cooking.

Arugula Benefits for Skin and Hair

The tasty mustard herb is not only used in cooking but is also used for cosmetic purposes. It is often used to prepare masks for the face, hair, and neck. There are many substances in the leaves of lettuce that have a toning, moisturizing, and rejuvenating effect on the skin. With the help of arugula masks, you can get rid of skin irritation, acne, dandruff, and boils.

Rucola for skin and hair
Arugula benefits for skin and hair

For Skin

Arugula for skinWith the help of a face mask based on arugula, you can effectively fight acne. With its bactericidal properties, the plant helps to eliminate the focus of the disease, and along with this comes acne. If the skin on the face appears peeling, irritation, a good helper can also be a mask with lettuce leaves. The green spice nourishes the skin of the face, softens it, and removes irritation. Another useful characteristic of arugula is its whitening effect. With regular use of masks based on it, you can get rid of freckles and age spots.

For Hair

Arugula for hairThe benefits of greens are obvious for the scalp and hair. Excellent cosmetic and therapeutic uses will be found in the oil of arugula. This excellent remedy for hair loss helps men with premature baldness. With regular use, the oil strengthens the weakened hair follicles and improves blood circulation to the scalp. There is also a beneficial effect on the eyelashes and eyebrows. It is especially recommended to use the oil on dry and brittle hair.

Arugula oil can be mixed with burdock, chamomile, and coconut oil in equal proportions and applied to the hair. Keep the oil compositions on the head for at least 1 hour. You can also wear such masks at night.

Arugula for Weight Loss

People suffering from obesity and overweight should carefully monitor their diet. It is necessary not only to eat right but also to exercise. Only with a balanced diet can positive results be achieved. Rucola refers to a low-calorie product that is able to solve important issues in weight loss. With regular use of the useful herb, there is a normalization of the metabolism and the removal of harmful toxins and excess fluid from the body. This helps to quickly get rid of extra pounds. [14]

Arugula for weight loss
Arugula for weight loss

Weight loss with arugula will be most effective if the spice is included in dishes such as salads, appetizers, and cocktails. The greens go well with meat dishes, helping the stomach quickly digest food and avoid the appearance of heaviness. During various diets, the body loses a lot of useful vitamins and elements, and with the help of useful greens, you can make up for this deficit. In addition, the regular use of arugula helps reduce appetite. Including only healthy products in your diet will give you the opportunity to get rid of those hated pounds. It is also important that the menu contain a variety of products. [15]

Arugula Side Effects

Like any healthy herb, arugula has contraindications for use. In some cases, the greens can cause harm to the body. Pregnant women should limit their intake of lettuce, as large amounts of arugula can cause muscle cramping.


  • The fresh greens of the plant have a burning taste, which is not good for people suffering from ulcers or gastritis.
  • The presence of phytocides in the product may cause allergic reactions.
  • It is not recommended to use arugula for people suffering from kidney and liver diseases. In the presence of any chronic disease, it is necessary to consult with a specialist before including the salad on the menu.

Also, individual intolerances to the herb may appear, so the first use should start with a small amount.


The spicy plant has unique beneficial and healing properties. If you include a salad in your daily menu, you can not only get rid of many diseases but also prevent the development of serious ailments. The wide use of arugula in cooking, medicine, and cosmetology makes this amazing product demanded and popular.


Can animals be given arugula?

Pets rarely prefer to eat plant foods. But there are still herb lovers who like to eat salad leaves. For example, rabbits love fresh arugula leaves. However, you should not overfeed them with it. Rabbits have a weak digestive system, so you need to respect the dosage. Dogs and cats can try to add herbs at the end of cooking—after the end of cooking meat soups and porridges.

Can arugula be used with diabetes?

Useful arugula is recommended in unlimited quantities for people suffering from diabetes. The systematic use of medicinal greens reduces blood glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity. If a healthy person eats arugula, it will be a good preventive way to avoid the development of the disease in the future.

Can I eat arugula with gastritis?

Greens help to get rid of many stomach problems. In America, experts have even invented an interesting way to treat stomach diseases with arugula. Salad leaves not only protect the walls of the stomach from negative effects but also strengthen them. The plant contains acids, so it is better to limit the use of the product in cases of gastroenteritis with increased acidity.

Who else shouldn't eat arugula?

Some experts note that in serious liver disease, the use of arugula can be harmful, so do not advise eating this useful spice in cirrhosis or hepatitis; such ailments require a consultation with a hepatologist.

Can I freeze it?

To preserve a healthy salad for a long time, you can use methods such as freezing or drying. In the freezer, if all the rules of preparation and storage are followed, the greens can be stored for up to 1 year.

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