Watercress is a great source of lutein. A study in France in 2006 revealed that lutein increases skin elasticity, hydration, and superficial skin lipids rather significantly. While it increased the skin lipids, it also protects against their degradation (oxidation).
Lutein (LOO-teen) is a carotenoid, a yellow pigment found in egg yolks, vegetables, and other plants. This carotenoid is used by the body as an antioxidant. Lutein cannot be produced by the body, we must eat it. Vitamin supplements contain isolates and are better than nothing. However, the best way to include it in your diet is to eat lutein rich vegetables like watercress, spinach, broccoli and kale.
Here is a great recipe for watercress soup which is easy to make and delicious to eat.
- 1 litre well-flavoured vegetable stock
- 1 waxy potato, about 250g, sliced very thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 250g watercress, well washed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Eggs
Sweat the shallot in a little olive oil and add watercress once softened. Once watercress has wilted, add finely sliced potatoes and stock to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Season and blend.
Poach eggs and serve in the soup along with some raw watercress leaves as a garnish.
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