Antioxidant-rich watercress can relieve the stress placed on the body by a strenuous workout. Even those who ate the leafy vegetable just two hours before high level exercise experienced the same level of protection, a study said. Scientists from the Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Ulster said eating watercress can prevent some of the damage caused by high intensity exercise and help maximise the benefits of a tough workout.
“Although we are all aware of how good exercise can be for our bodies, pounding the treadmill, lifting weights, or doing high-levels of training can take its toll,” said Mark Fogarty, from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences, who led the study, the British Journal of Nutrition reports.
“The increased demand on the body for energy can create a build-up of free radicals which can damage our DNA,” said Fogarty, according to an Edinburgh statement. ”What we’ve found is that consuming a relatively small amount of watercress each day can help raise the levels of important antioxidant vitamins which may help protect our bodies, and allow us to enjoy the rewards of keeping fit. It’s an interesting step forward in sports nutrition development and research,” said Fogarty.