Watercress: Pet Food Ingredients A to Z

We continue our A to Z blog series with the letter “W”. Today's ingredient is Watercress.

What is Watercress?

Watercress L

According to Wikipedia, watercress is a fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia.  Related to mustard and radish, it is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans.

Common names for Watercress

There aren’t many alternative names for Watercress besides its genus name Nasturtium and the shorthand cress.  In practice, it is doubtful that many people, other than botanists, refer to it as anything other than Watercress.

Why is Watercress included in pet food?

Watercress is used in pet food as a source of vitamins and minerals and as a flavor enhancer.

Common benefits of Watercress

Watercress is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  It is high in Vitamins C, A, B-1, B-2, B-6, and K, as well as the minerals Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Calcium.

Watercress is reported to have many health benefits including as a digestive aid, as an appetite stimulant, and possibly to help reduce the risk of some forms of cancer (e.g. colon, gastric).  Watercress contains quercetin a plant flavonol with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Miscellaneous facts about Watercress

  • In the United States in the 1940s, Huntsville, Alabama was locally known as the “watercress capital of the world”. Today, Oviedo, Florida in the United States is known by that title.
  • Eating a bag of watercress is said to be a good cure for a hang-over

Sources and further reading



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