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I’m A Gastroenterologist & This Is My Must-Have Leafy Green For Gut Health

Arugula is a type of cruciferous bitter green, which, according to Singh, “[makes it] good with digestion and bloating.” Cruciferous vegetables support the gut with fiber and prebiotics, which nourish its good bacteria. Research suggests that when prebiotics are combined with probiotics, the latter is more likely to survive and flourish in the gut. What’s more, leafy greens have been shown to support heart health, thanks to their nitrate content–which can support healthy blood pressure levels and cardiovascular function.

In addition to gut health benefits, Singh lauds arugula as “a source of calcium, potassium, folate, and different kinds of vitamins,” including vitamin C for immune health, vitamin K for heart health, and vitamin A for immune, eye, skin, and reproductive health.

In addition to these health benefits, Singh appreciates arugula slightly peppery flavor. “I love adding it onto a salad or mixing it on any kind of dish,” he says. “It gives a little spice to your food, a little flare to it. People say, ‘Oh, my salad is monotonous,’ well, do something different. Put some cilantro in there, put some arugula in there, and all of a sudden you’re eating something different, even though it’s really still a salad.” (For what it’s worth, Singh touts cilantro as another gut-healthy staple; he even calls the spicy garnish a “super-herb.”)

If you’re looking for some creative recipes that incorporate the superstar veggie, check out this pear, tempeh, and arugula sandwich or this healthy fall salad.

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