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This Rarely Eaten Ingredient Has Been Named the Healthiest in the World


What is the healthiest food in the world?

100/100. That’s the score American researchers awarded to watercress in a study conducted by William Paterson University in the USA in 2023. Among the healthiest foods, it is ahead of Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard and beet, in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place respectively, according to them. The reason for this being how exceptionally dense it is in nutrients.

We asked naturopath and wellbeing coach Mary Delberghe to break this news down for us.

What is watercress, the most healthiest ingredient in the world in 2023?

“Watercress is an aquatic plant, not to be confused with garden cress, which is used more as an aromatic,” reveals naturopath Mary Delberghe. “It is naturally rich in vitamins, notably A and C, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium and very high in iron.”

What are its benefits?

1. It boosts digestion thanks to its fiber content

2. It beautifies the skin by promoting collagen production thanks to its antioxidant properties

3. It helps detoxification with its diuretic properties (especially in juice)

4. It strengthens the immune system thanks to its high mineral content.

How should we eat it?

It can be eaten raw or cooked. Personally, I love incorporating it into my salad recipes or sauces, to boost my health. My tips for adopting it well are as follows:

1. Use it as an aromatic, chopped fresh in your dishes

2. Add it to your vegetable juices for a boost in vitamins and trace elements

3. Mix it fresh into your salads.

2 recipe ideas using watercress

Watercress salad


For the salad:

– 200 g fresh watercress, washed and drained

– 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

– 1 cup cooked quinoa

– 1/2 cup toasted pecans

– 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

– 1/4 cup dried cranberries

– 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (optional)

For the vinaigrette (very interesting for its Omega 3 content and glycemic balance):

– 2 tbsp walnut oil

– 1 tbsp cider vinegar

– Salt and pepper


1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water, then bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a saucepan.

2. Add the rinsed quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water and is tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

3. Meanwhile, wash the watercress leaves well and drain.

4. In a large bowl, add the watercress, sliced apple, pecans, crumbled goat’s cheese, dried cranberries and sliced red onion.

5. When the quinoa is cold, add it to the rest.

6. Prepare the vinaigrette by adding the walnut oil and cider vinegar, then pour over the salad.

Watercress pesto


– 2 cups watercress

– 1/2 cup pine nuts

– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– Juice of half a lemon

– 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

– Salt and pepper


1. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat until they begin to brown slightly.

2. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

3. In a blender, add the watercress, toasted pine nuts, grated Parmesan, minced garlic and lemon juice.

4. While blending, slowly pour in the olive oil until the mixture is well blended to the desired consistency.

5. Serve with pasta or grilled vegetables.

Translated by Jack Pownall.

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