Quick Navigation

Watercress

Watercress is a peppery vegetable in the family Brassicaceae, which includes broccoli. Eating watercress may help protect against carcinogens and chemotherapy drugs.

Our evidence-based analysis on watercress features 29 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:
NOTE: We are updating our coronavirus (COVID-19) page with evidence as it comes in.

Summary of Watercress

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Watercress is a vegetable in the Brassicaceae family. It has a peppery taste and is related to broccoli, cauliflower, and rocket.

Watercress consumption has been associated with various anti-cancer effects.

Watercress consumption can also stimulate anti-oxidant enzymes, which is thought to reduce DNA damage. Watercress is also a good source of lutein.

Watercress and other members of the Brassicaceae family contain compounds called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates include sulforaphane, diindolylmethane and phenethyl isothiocyanates (PEITC). Compared to other Brassicaceae plants, watercress contains more PEITC. These compounds help the body protect against a variety of compounds, including carcinogens.

There is minimal human evidence to support these claims, but two human studies have found a degree of reduced DNA damage in otherwise healthy people after they added watercress to their diet.

Want to know which supplements you should take?

Examine.com bases all of its recommendations based on research. We’re a trusted resource because we don’t sell or even advertise supplements.

If you’re tired of wasting time and money on supplements that don’t work, our 17 Supplement Guides will help you figure out precisely what to take — and what to skip — based on your health goals and the latest scientific evidence. There’s a reason why over 50,000 customers rely on Examine.com’s independent and science-based analysis.

And best of all — free lifetime updates are included!


I want unbiased recommendations to improve my health »

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Between 85-100g of watercress a day (referring to the wet weight of the plant) is associated with the benefits commonly seen with watercress.

Further research is needed to determine the optimal dose and timing for supplementation.

Improve your health with the latest information on 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health outcomes.

By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research. Quickly and easily look up scientific research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects watercress has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
There appears to be an influence on the enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, but this requires a certain genotype to occur
grade-c Minor - See study
DNA damage biomarkers have been reduced following watercress consumption

Get access to the latest nutrition research summarized

By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As

Nasturtium officinale

Do Not Confuse With

Nasturtium seeds (Tropaeolum majus)

Tired of misinformation? Get unbiased info on supplements.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. It’s why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who’ve learned about effective versus overrated supplements, supplement buying tips, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 29 references.