Newest Variety of Watercress
Makes Its U.S. Debut
And Supercharges the Immune System
The British are coming — and they’re
bringing innovative new salad ingredients
NEW YORK CITY, Oct. – You might think a dark, leafy vegetable that is scientifically proven to do everything from fight cancer to combat the effects of aging would be #1 on everybody’s grocery list. But watercress has long been the overlooked miracle green in U.S. grocery aisles.
Now two iconic produce specialist firms are bidding to change all that.
The Watercress Company (www.watercress.co.uk), based in Dorchester, Dorset UK, and Solata Foods (www.solatafoods.com), based in Newburgh, NY, are teaming up to launch an aggressive campaign promoting this healthful superfood.
The Watercress Company is a progressive and enthusiastic grower that produces the finest quality products in a safe and sustainable way across their farms in the UK, Spain and Florida.
“We are finally giving watercress the star treatment it deserves,” declared Tom Amery, Managing Company Director. “Beginning immediately, The Watercress Company and Solata will showcase watercress as the hot new premium salad, because it’s by far the healthiest thing you can put in your body.”
Premium Packaging containing flavors to match
The Watercress Company and Solata Foods will be producing varied combinations of prepackaged salad blends featuring watercress as the key ingredient. Packaging configurations will include a retail clam shell package as well as a bulk size for food service.
Mixes featuring watercress include Nutri-mix, watercress with super greens such as beet tops, chards, and spinach; Britaly, a play on bringing Italian tricolor salad (Frisee, Radicchio and arugula) and swapping the arugula for British-grown watercress;Vita-mix, a combination of arugula, spinach,frisee and watercress;and Hot and Sweet, a blend of baby sweet lettuces and the spiciness of watercress.
Solata’s CEO Roger Zlotoff stated, “For too long, watercress has been treated by American buyers as a cooking ingredient, rather than a salad ingredient.The U.S. market is overdue to upgrade watercress beyond its current status.”
Zlotoff added: “Asians and Europeans have understood the health benefits of watercress for more than 2,000 years. In the UK, watercress has been a major staple for the last 125 years. The reason is simple. Watercress truly is one of the most amazing foods on the planet.”
Astonishing health benefits
The list of scientifically documented health benefits from watercress is nothing short of amazing.
What’s more, that list has been growing steadily since at least the 1980s.
Back then, nutrition experts touted watercress as offering, ounce for ounce, “more calcium than whole milk, more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more folate than bananas, and more B vitamins than black currants.”
Yet even nutritionists who promoted watercress were surprised in 1995 when University of Minnesota researchers documented the vegetable as one of nature’s richest sources of PEITC (phenylethylisothiocyanate), which helps fight cancer. UM lab studies showed PEITC helped neutralize certain carcinogens and helped subjects resist cancers developing.
Over the next dozen years, a series of follow-up studies in prestigious science journals in both the U.S. and the UK indicated that eating watercress:
- Reduces cellular DNA damage (which can lead to cancer) by nearly 25%
- Limits the ability of cancer cells to metastasize (spread)
- Blocks certain bio conditions needed for breast cancer tumors to grow
- Reduces skin damage
- Makes breast cancer cells more vulnerable to radiotherapy and protects healthy cells from radiation treatment
- Increase the Elasticity in the blood vessels helping reduce blood pressure
- Improves blood flow and enhances athletic performance
- Virtually eliminates damage otherwise caused by free radicals during highly intensive exercise
- Can even reduce facial wrinkles up to 49% Additional studies have indicated that eating watercress helps lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients, improves thyroid gland function, boosts cardio health and bone health, reduces the risk of depression, helps prevent stroke, aids in fetal development and pregnancy, helps prevent cognitive disorders, improves eyesight and brain health, and even helps avoid catching the common cold.
Steve Rothwell, “Don’t Forget Watercress,” Produce Business, June 1, 2018; https://www.producebusiness.com/dont-forget-watercress/Meenakshi Nagdeve, “17 Impressive Watercress Benefits,” Oct. 4, 2019; OrganicFacts.net; https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/watercress.html
Watercress ranks #1 on scientists’ list of powerhouse fruits & vegetables
This superfood received another stunning scientific endorsement in 2014. Researchers who work with the National Institutes of Health released a study in the prestigious journal Preventing Chronic Disease, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The groundbreaking study announced that watercress is the only food to score a perfect 100 on the world’s first-ever list of fruits and veggies ranked by “nutrient density.”
In fact, watercress came in at #1 on the list, highlighted as the most nutritious, health-packed vegetable or fruit available in the entire world.
Also-rans included #2: Chinese cabbage at 91.99 on the scale; #3: chard (89.27); #4: beet greens (87.08), and #5: spinach (86.43), among dozens of others. Kale was far down the list at #15, scoring just 49.07 out of 100.
Solata’s CEO Zlotoff affirmed: “In these times when health is on everyone’s mind, we believe our bold new marketing approach is the best way to bring the world-beating benefits of watercress to more U.S. retailers and families.”
Di Noia J. “Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach.” Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130390. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130390.
How to put watercress on your shelf
Solata Foods and The Watercress Company are well positioned to upgrade U.S. consumer thinking about watercress and its potential for “salad star power.” We will be at the New York Produce Show. Come visit us at Booth #110 to learn more about watercress and our other premium products.
Both companies have a long record of leadership in the produce market. Solata Foods is located in the Hudson Valley, some 60-odd miles outside of New York City. It specializes in sourcing seasonal baby greens and lettuces from its farms along the East and West Coasts.
Bringing watercress to local supermarkets in the NY, NJ and CT area is Hudson Valley Greens, the regional distributor for Solata Farms. This partnership allows Solata to keep fresh product available daily.