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Place Category: food & drink
The Watercress Company are specialist growers of baby leaf salad and watercress based in Dorchester, Dorset. Watercress has been grown in the UK for centuries and specifically on our farms since the 1850’s.
The principles of growing watercress have essentially changed little over the years. Much of the work is still done by hand, but some modernisation has taken place.
Until the mid 50s watercress was predominantly a winter crop and to support this there were up to 10 times the area of production as the crop grows slow during this period compared to the faster summer period. This winter production suited the farms as they often dried up in the summer or over time became unsuitable for production or even sold for development.
Watercress – the original superfood
Watercress is a highly nutritious plant packed with essential vitamins and minerals. And with a higher amount of nutrients than many vegetables. Much of this nutrition is part of the plant’s makeup. But it’ís also worth understanding that the mineral rich spring water used to grow watercress is adding to levels.
Watercress has now been labelled as a Superfood by scientists, but why?
Current research by scientists has shown that the high levels of antioxidants in watercress can increase the ability of cells to resist damage to their DNA. This helps to protect against the cell changes that can lead to some diseases.
The compounds that have attracted so much interest are generated by the chewing and digestion of watercress.
These has been significant research over the years investigating the effects of a particular compound called PEITC. Watercress is a fantastic source of this natural product.
The nutrients present in watercress, and the health benefits, have been known for decades. Working classesí in the early 19th century were eating bunches of watercress in the mornings. This was known as ĎPoor Manís Breadí. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, built his first hospital close to a stream. This was to ensure a fresh supply of watercress for his patients.
The nutritional value of watercress shows that if eaten as part of a daily healthy diet will supply high levels of Calcium (more than an average glass of milk), Vitamin A, E, K, C and Iron.