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Prepare for lift-off: Arugula is a nutrient-packed rocket food

Arugula is one of the most versatile greens in the produce aisle.

It is frequently used in both hot and cold dishes at Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ont., where fresh and nourishing is a key priority.

Chef Christopher Mark says the secret to spa food is “to serve small portions of highly nourishing food with intense flavours throughout the day.”

The idea being that high-nutrient, delicious food sustains and supports all that cleansing and resting we so desperately need.

Arugula is sometimes called rocket for its shape and zippy taste and there are loads of ways to work it in:

  • Top a pizza just as it comes out of the oven

  • Stir into any soup at the last minute

  • Use alone or as a mix in salads

  • Add to grain side dishes to stretch the carbs and add flavour

  • Use as a fresh herb to top pasta dishes

  • Add a handful to smoothies in place of spinach or kale

What all dark leafy greens have in common is fibre, vitamin K and A. But they also serve up more eye- protecting zeaxanthin and lutein than carrots.

Bugs Bunny would probably have looked funny carrying around a handful of arugula, though; best he stuck with carrots.

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and private nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at

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