If you've lived in Huntsville for any amount of time, you may have heard the term watercress. Watercress is simply a leafy plant that grows along slow-moving bodies of water and is commonly harvested for use in salads.
You may have even seen watercress while paddling the Flint River before without realizing. That's because watercress grows abundantly along many of Huntsville's local streams. It's no surprise that Huntsville was once known as the "watercress capital of the world". OK, maybe a little surprising. Let's go with mildly intriguing. That is until 1958 when Huntsville became better known as the "Rocket City" after the Explorer I satellite was launched at Redstone1. That's a net gain as far as city monikers go.
Watercress contains over 15 vitamins and minerals--more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, more folate than bananas, and more vitamin C than oranges2. Say that again?? Research indicates that the health benefits of regular consumption of watercress include reducing the risk of some cancers, as well as, reducing damage to blood cells.
You may recall an upscale restaurant downtown named after the plant. The restaurant eventually relocated to Bridge Street in the old Dolce location before closing after only a few months which is unfortunate because their bread pudding put Tim's and Po Boy Factory to shame.