Is Watercress Good For Weight Loss?

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Yes, watercress is good for weight loss because it is super low in calories. It contains only 11 kcal per 100 g. Plus it is also pretty low in its carb content.

Both these factors are weight loss-friendly and will help you support your diet in your weight loss journey.

But does it have any other benefits or any downsides for weight loss? Lets find out.

Nutritional Value Of Watercress

As per the USDA, 100 g of raw watercress contains the following nutrients:

Serving Size: 100 g

Calories: 11
Protein: 2.3 g
Carbs: 1.2 g
Sugar: 0.2 g
Fiber: 0.5 g
Fat: 0.1 g

Potential Benefits Of Watercress

There are mainly two benefits of watercress in the context of weight loss. Here are they

It is Super Low in Calories

As you can see above, watercress only has 11 kcal per 100 g. That’s barely anything.

But having low-calorie foods in your weight-loss diet will make it easier for you to stay within your daily caloric limit.

The basic idea of weight loss is straightforward: to lose weight, you should burn more calories than you eat.

For instance, if your body requires 2000 calories (kcal) daily to keep your current weight stable, you’d need to consume fewer calories to lose weight.

Aiming for a slightly lower intake, such as around 1800 calories, can create the necessary calorie deficit while still providing enough energy for your daily needs.

Including foods like watercress allows you to eat a larger volume of food without consuming a lot of calories.

This can make it easier to maintain a calorie deficit, which is important for weight loss.

It is Low in Carbohydrates

Cutting down on carbohydrates encourages your body to use its stored fat for energy, instead of relying primarily on carbs.

This shift can be effective for weight loss, particularly as part of a well-managed diet.

Incorporating low-carb options like watercress into your meals can help you maintain a moderate carbohydrate intake. It’s not about strictly limiting carbs as in a ketogenic diet, but rather about avoiding excessive carb consumption.

Carbohydrates serve as a source of energy, and if not utilized, they can be stored as fat. Therefore, the timing of your carb intake is also crucial.

For example, adding a low-carb food like watercress to your evening meals can provide a minimal amount of carbs, reducing the likelihood of exceeding your daily carb limit.

Downsides Of Watercress For Weight Loss

It is Low in Protein

Honestly, this is not much of a downside but more something to keep in mind. But this is the only thing I could think of really.

Now, watercress does have some protein – about 2.3 grams in every 100 grams. I’m mentioning it here mainly for those who follow a plant-based or vegan diet.

If you’re counting on watercress as a protein source, my advice is to pair it with other protein-rich foods. Watercress lacks some essential amino acids like lysine and methionine, which are important for your body.

Getting enough protein is crucial, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.

When people cut calories to lose weight, they sometimes lose muscle too, which isn’t ideal. That’s why it’s important to eat enough protein and do some resistance training.

The goal of weight loss is to lose fat, not muscle.

Tips To Incorporate Watercress in a Weight Loss Diet

Fresh Salads

Watercress is a spicy green leaf that’s great in salads. You can mix it with other salad leaves like spinach or lettuce.

Add different veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Put some grilled chicken or tofu on top for protein.

Make a simple dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to add flavor without too many calories.


Put watercress in your smoothies to make them healthier. It doesn’t change the taste much, so it’s good with fruits like bananas, apples, or berries.

Add Greek yogurt for a thick, creamy smoothie, or use almond milk if you don’t want dairy. You can also add chia seeds or flaxseeds for more nutrition.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Use watercress instead of lettuce in your sandwiches and wraps. It adds a nice spicy flavor. You can put it with turkey, chicken, or veggies.

Add some avocado for healthy fats and a little hummus or mustard instead of mayo for extra taste.

Soups and Stews

Watercress is good in soups and stews. It’s like spinach and gets soft quickly.

You can blend it into creamy soups with potatoes and garlic, or add it to chunky stews with beans or meat.

Put the watercress in at the end so it stays a bit crunchy and green.

Also Read: Is Miso Soup Good For Weight Loss?

Healthy Snacks

Make a dip with watercress and Greek yogurt. Chop some herbs like dill or parsley and mix them in. Add a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

This dip is great with carrot sticks, cucumber, or crackers. It’s a yummy snack that’s also good for you.

Also Read: Are Fit Crunch Bars Good For Weight Loss?

Alternatives To Watercress For Weight Loss


Kale stands out for its exceptionally low-calorie content and high fiber. A cup of raw kale has only about 33 calories but offers about 2.5 grams of dietary fiber.

Fiber is crucial for weight loss as it slows down digestion, making you feel full for a longer time.

This can significantly reduce the tendency to snack between meals, aiding in maintaining a calorie deficit.

Additionally, the bulk provided by fiber helps in keeping your digestive system healthy, which is vital during weight loss.

Also Read: Is Kale Good For Weight Loss?


Like kale, spinach is extremely low in calories, with only about 7 calories per cup when raw. This means you can consume a large volume of spinach without adding many calories to your diet.

The high-volume, low-calorie nature of spinach is particularly useful for those looking to lose weight, as it helps create a sense of fullness, thereby naturally reducing your overall calorie intake without feeling deprived.

Also Read: Is Spinach Good For Weight Loss?


Arugula is another low-calorie option, with only about 5 calories per cup. Its distinct peppery flavor adds a lot of taste to dishes without contributing extra calories.

This can be particularly beneficial in a weight loss diet, where you might be reducing your intake of higher-calorie ingredients.

The flavorful nature of arugula makes it easier to enjoy salads and other dishes without relying on high-calorie dressings or additives.

Also Read: Is Arugula Good For Weight Loss?

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is known for its high water content, which is about 95%. This high water content, combined with a low-calorie count (about 15-20 calories per two cups), makes romaine lettuce ideal for weight loss.

Foods high in water content can fill you up, reducing the likelihood of consuming excess calories.

They also add volume to your meals, making them appear larger and more satisfying while still being low in calories.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is not just low in calories (about 7 calories per cup), but also high in water and fiber.

This makes it a great choice for filling up without consuming a lot of calories. It’s also nutrient-dense, meaning it provides a good amount of vitamins and minerals relative to its calorie content.

This is important in a weight loss diet, as it ensures you get the necessary nutrients without having to consume a lot of calories.


Watercress is an excellent choice for weight loss due to its low-calorie count.

This means that similar to other leafy greens, you can enjoy watercress without being too concerned about adding a lot of calories to your diet.

However, it’s a good idea to pair watercress with foods high in protein to compensate for its lower protein content, ensuring a balanced and nutritious meal.


Is it OK to eat watercress every day?

Yes, it’s OK to eat watercress every day as part of a balanced diet.

What does watercress do for the body?

Watercress provides vitamins and minerals, acts as an antioxidant, and supports overall health.

Is watercress low in calories?

Yes, watercress is low in calories.

Is watercress healthier cooked or raw?

Both cooked and raw watercress are healthy, but raw may retain more nutrients.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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