Cancer Research

Recent years have seen researchers worldwide unearth scientific evidence to prove the significant power of watercress in relation to cancer.

Effects of watercress consumption on metabolism of a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen in smokers
In 1995 a pioneering US study revealed how eating watercress can neutralise a cancer-causing chemical found in the blood of smokers.

Watercress could be a life-saver
In 2007 research from the University of Ulster demonstrated that eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells – considered to be a key trigger in the development of cancer.

Watercress may ‘turn off’ breast cancer signal
Most recently in 2010 the University of Southampton undertook a study that revealed how a plant compound in watercress – PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate) – may have the ability to suppress breast cancer cell development by ‘turning off’ a signal in the body and thereby starving the growing tumour of essential blood and oxygen.

Watercress – the original superfood
Report for Health Professionals
This report provides science-based information for health professionals and focuses on: the nutritional composition of watercress; the potential health benefits of watercress; a summary of research studies relating to watercress.

Full of Powerful Antioxidants

Apples, broccoli and tomatoes are often cited as the “wonder” fruit and vegetables, but gram for gram, watercress is a better source of vitamins C, B1, B6, K and E, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Only raw broccoli has more vitamin C and magnesium – but it is much more often eaten cooked in this country.

Watercress is brimming with beta-carotene and vitamin A equivalents – which as well as being important antioxidants are also needed for healthy skin and eyes – containing more than four times the amount of the other “wonder” foods.

Watercress contains greater quantities of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, types of carotenoids that act as antioxidants, meaning they can mop up potentially damaging free radicals. Quercetin, a type of flavonoid and a powerful antioxidant, is also found in greater quantities in watercress than broccoli and tomatoes.

Data Sources


Watercress Supplementation in Diet Reduces Lmphocyte DNA Damage and Alters Blood Antioxidant Status in Healthy Adults

7-Methylsulfinylheptyl and 8-methylsulfinyloctyl isothiocyanates from watercress are potent inducers of phase II enzymes

Inhibition of Hypoxia Inducible Factor by Phenethyl Isothiocyanate.

Watercress May ‘Turn Off’ Breast Cancer Signal