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Watercress Protects Body From Exercise-Induced Muscle Stress, DNA Damage

April 25, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A study sponsored by a European grower of watercress has found that the leafy green effectively reduced the stress endured by muscles during a strenuous workout. Even study participants who ate watercress two hours after high-intensity exercise experienced the same reduction in muscle stress. For the study, ten healthy young men ate 85 grams of watercress – a small bag – each day for eight weeks, then exercised on a treadmill. A similar eight week study without watercress consumption served as a control. The researchers found that eating small amounts of watercress each day boosted the levels of antioxidant vitamins that help protect bodies from stress-induced DNA damage.
Mark C. Fogarty et al., "Acute and chronic watercress supplementation attenuates exercise-induced peripheral mononuclear cell DNA damage and lipid peroxidation", British Journal of Nutrition, April 25, 2012, © Cambridge University Press
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