Peppercress (Lepidium bonariense) is a member of the brassica family, a plant family that contains many of the most familiar and nutritious vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Peppercress is an aromatic small-leaved green with a strong peppery flavour, a slightly bitter grassy element and a mustard-like spice. It is sold as a microgreen, and is harvested at 14-21 days old. The strong flavour is a good match with rich foods like cheese and meats. Peppercress is excellent on a cheese sandwich, and mixed with other greens in a salad.
Peppercress is a good source of vitamin C, and contains amounts similar to baby spinach. Vitamin C is an essential element of the human diet; important in protein metabolism, immune function, healing, and it’s a water-soluble antioxidant. The antioxidant vitamin K (phylloquinone) is required for blood coagulation and is most abundant in dark green leafy vegetables. Peppercress contains equivalent amounts of vitamin K as mature spinach leaves, which are regarded as an excellent source of vitamin K.
Peppercress is very high in carotenoids, which are important in organ function and act to help prevent age-related eye disease. Peppercress is an excellent source of alpha-tocopherols (vitamin E). Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant important in immune function. Nuts, seeds and oils are the most common sources of vitamin E, but peppercress is an excellent source and contains much less fat. Peppercress has 6 times the amount of vitamin E as a serving of sunflower seeds.
Minerals are important for many bodily functions and can be obtained from food. Calcium is important for bones and teeth, for nerves to carry messages and to move blood through the body. Calcium is also essential for muscle function and hormone secretion. Peppercress microgreens have a little less calcium than an equivalent amount of mature broccoli, considered a good source of non-dairy calcium.
Iron, magnesium and potassium are essential for a variety of metabolic functions. Iron from plants is in the nonheme form, which is less bio-available than heme iron. However, vitamin C improves the bio-availability of nonheme iron, and peppercress is a good source of both vitamin C and iron. Magnesium is important in enzyme activity and energy production and good food sources include green leafy vegetables, and other foods high in dietary fiber. Peppercress contains an equivalent amount of magnesium as a banana.
|Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)||Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)||Carotenoid (Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A)||Carotenoid (Lutein/ Zeaxanthin)||Carotenoid (Violaxanthin)||Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)|
|Peppercress||2.4 µg/100g||57.2 mg/100g||11.1 mg/100g||7.7 mg/100g||3.1 mg/100g||41.2 mg/100g|
|Peppercress||39 mg/100g||320 mg/100g||33 mg/100g||0.48 mg/100g||0.41 mg/100g|
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (2016)
Xiao, Z., Lester, G. E., Luo, Y., & Wang, Q. (2012). Assessment of vitamin and carotenoid concentrations of emerging food products: edible microgreens. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(31), 7644-7651.
Xiao, Z., Codling, E. E., Luo, Y., Nou, X., Lester, G. E., & Wang, Q. (2016). Microgreens of Brassicaceae: Mineral composition and content of 30 varieties. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 49, 87-93.