6 Amazing Health Benefits of Arugula

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/04/2023

The benefits of Arugula are tremendous it's a cruciferous vegetable known for its delicious, peppery flavor. Sometimes referred to as garden or salad rocket, arugula is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and several essential minerals. 

Arugula supports the immune system, blood and tissue health, and even bone metabolism. It also helps protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer.  

Let’s take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of arugula!

arugula and tomatoes

What is arugula?

Arugula is a leafy green, easily identified by its distinctive leaf shape. Arugula belongs to a group of vegetables known as the cruciferous family. Cruciferous vegetables are known for their numerous health benefits.

Every day, we’re exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals. Cruciferous vegetables like arugula, bok choy, and cauliflower have the potential to detoxify the body.

Cruciferous vegetables support the liver through a process called biotransformation. Through this process, fat-soluble toxins are transformed into water-soluble chemicals so that they can be removed from the body. 


Arugula nutrition facts

A serving of 1 cup of arugula contains: 

  • 6 calories

  • 0.1 g total fat

    • 0 g saturated fat

  • 0.4 g total carbohydrate

    • 0.2 g dietary fiber

    • 0.2 g net carbs 

  • 3 mg sodium 

  • 37 mg potassium

Is arugula keto-friendly?

Green leafy vegetables like arugula are packed full of vitamins and minerals with virtually no carbohydrates. Arugula is keto-friendly and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. 

Arugula is a delicious green with a spicy, peppery flavor. It’s delicious raw with olive oil, salad dressing, or topped with lemon juice and sea salt. You can also enjoy lightly cooked arugula.

Eating arugula on the keto diet is a great way to avoid water retention and other negative side effects sometimes associated with keto. 

a handful of arugula

Six benefits of arugula

1. Reduced cancer risk 

Arugula contains beneficial plant compounds that help the body combat oxidation and inflammation. This helps to prevent cancer and free-radical damage. 

This study examines the compound erucin that’s found in arugula and other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Erucin proved to be beneficial in cancer prevention as a primary or complementary treatment.

2. Contains several vital nutrients 

Arugula is high in several key nutrients necessary to support healthy bones, teeth, eyes, and immune system function. It’s also a great source of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and folate.

Arugula supports healthy immune function with its vitamin C content and also contains the pre-vitamin A, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid—important for eye health and night vision.  

3. Low in oxalates 

Leafy greens, vegetables, and nuts sometimes contain oxalates. Oxalates are considered an anti-nutrient because they block the absorption of minerals. They can also cause kidney stones and even symptoms of arthritis.

Almonds, spinach, kiwi, and chocolate are all high in oxalates. Fresh arugula is low in oxalates so it’s easier for your body to absorb the key nutrients that it contains.

4. Tastes great!

Adding arugula to a dish adds nutritional value and flavor! Arugula is incredibly versatile and can be used in both hot and cold dishes. This delicious recipe combines sauteed shrimp with cauliflower grits and garlic arugula. You can also incorporate arugula into your favorite salad.

Check out this Keto Food List to find some other keto-friendly, nutrient-dense foods to pair with arugula.

5. Supports cardiovascular health 

Arugula has potent anti-inflammatory properties and greatly supports cardiovascular health. Similar to other leafy greens, arugula is rich in vitamin K1.

Arugula contains about 20% of the vitamin K that you need every day. Vitamin K plays an important role in blood coagulation. Without enough vitamin K, your blood won’t be able to clot.

6. Supports sexual health

Research suggests that eating arugula can improve your libido. It can also help to improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Similar to the mechanism of Viagra, arugula increases nitrates, a component of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases blood flow, which can be beneficial for men with erectile dysfunction.

Arugula salad

Key takeaways

Arugula is an excellent source of essential minerals and vitamins and can improve your health in a number of ways. Arugula supports the health of your eyes, immune system, and cardiovascular system. It even has potent anticancer properties.

If you want to improve your health and your eating habits, arugula is a delicious leafy green you’ll want to add to your diet today!


1. Is arugula a superfood?

Yes. Arugula can be considered a superfood because it supports immune function and even helps with cancer prevention. Arugula is a nutrient-rich food packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. 

2. Is arugula better than spinach?

It can be! Arugula has some of the same health benefits as spinach, but spinach is a lot higher in oxalates. Oxalates can irritate the gallbladder and kidneys—and can even interfere with the absorption of important minerals. 

3. Can I eat arugula every day?

Absolutely! Arugula can be added to salads and smoothies and can also stand alone as a side dish! If the flavor is too strong for you, try mixing arugula with other milder greens. 

4. What are the health benefits of arugula?

Arugula is a low-calorie vegetable that is high in potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Arugula supports healthy immune function and cardiovascular health and even aids in cancer prevention. It’s also one of the best high-fiber foods, which can help support a healthy gut.

5. Can I have arugula on Healthy Keto®?

Consuming lots of keto-friendly vegetables is a key principle of Healthy Keto. Arugula is keto-friendly, so you can have as much arugula as you want on the Healthy Keto diet. Aim to consume seven to ten cups of vegetables each day. Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables—like arugula—help support a healthy body.

6. Is arugula high in oxalates?

No! One of the best things about arugula is that it’s not high in oxalates like many other greens. This means that your body is able to absorb all of its micronutrients. 

7. Is arugula low FODMAP? 

Yes. Arugula is very low FODMAP. It’s considered a FODMAP-free food.

8. What does arugula taste like?

Arugula has a peppery and spicy flavor with a hint of sweetness. If you don’t care for the flavor of arugula, you can also try arugula extract or arugula powder. 

9. Is arugula good cooked?

Yes. Eating arugula raw is excellent, but it can be just as flavorful cooked! You can sauté arugula leaves with olive oil and sea salt for a tasty side dish. 

10. Is arugula a cruciferous vegetable? 

Yes! Arugula, also known as garden rocket or salad rocket, is part of the cruciferous family.

11. Is arugula good for bone health?

Yes! Arugula contains calcium and vitamin K, which are excellent for bone health. 

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