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Is Garden Nasturtium Keto-Friendly?

Garden Nasturtium on a kitchen counter

Garden Nasturtium, with its vibrant flowers and peppery flavor, has long been a favorite in ornamental and culinary circles.

But, Is Garden Nasturtium Keto-Friendly? The short answer is resounding yes.

Diving into the details, however, reveals an intriguing interplay of nutritional aspects that make this plant a beneficial addition to a ketogenic diet.From its carbohydrate content to various health implications, and from delicious keto recipes to alternative options, this article explores the many ways Garden Nasturtium can enhance your keto journey while inspiring culinary creativity.


  • Garden Nasturtium is indeed keto-friendly with just 4.4g net carbs per 100g.
  • This plant offers a rich blend of nutrients, including Vitamin C, lutein, and essential minerals.
  • Read on to discover delicious and unique ways to incorporate Garden Nasturtium into your keto meal plan.

Is Garden Nasturtium Keto-Friendly?

Let's cut to the chase: Yes, Garden Nasturtium is indeed keto-friendly. Now, let's understand why. A key aspect of the keto diet is limiting your carbohydrate intake, typically to 20-50 grams per day. What makes Garden Nasturtium a great fit for such dietary constraints is its relatively low carbohydrate content.

Now, when we state 'low carbohydrate content,' we're referring to the 'net carbs' of Garden Nasturtium. Net carbs are the total carbohydrates minus the fiber content, as fiber isn't digested and used for energy like other carbohydrates. This gives us a true picture of the carbs that will impact your body and potentially kick you out of the desired state of ketosis.

With Garden Nasturtium, you're looking at 4.4g of net carbs per 100g serving, making it a viable choice for those following a strict ketogenic diet. It's a careful balancing act with keto, and this vibrant plant fits quite comfortably within the macros.

Beyond the carbs, Garden Nasturtium also boasts a good dose of protein and a very low fat content. While keto is a high-fat diet, it's essential to remember that the goal is not just to pile on the fats but to maintain a balance of nutrients. And Garden Nasturtium helps us do just that.

Can Garden Nasturtium be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Absolutely, Garden Nasturtium can be incorporated into a strict keto diet, but it's all about balance and portion control. Its carb content, at 4.4g net carbs per 100g, is within the keto-friendly range, but keep in mind that these carbs add up. If you're on a strict keto diet, you're likely limiting your daily carb intake to between 20-50g, which means every gram counts.

A strict keto diet can certainly include Garden Nasturtium, but it's crucial to consider the overall day's carb allotment. For instance, if you're planning to include Garden Nasturtium in your salad for lunch, you might need to adjust your breakfast or dinner menu to ensure you're not going overboard with carbs.

One way we recommend doing this is by using a food tracking app. These apps make it easy to log what you eat throughout the day and keep a close eye on your net carb intake. By entering your Garden Nasturtium portions, the app can tell you how many net carbs you've consumed and how many you have left for the day. It's a handy tool for maintaining nutritional balance and staying in ketosis.

Additionally, while Garden Nasturtium is low in fat, remember that the keto diet is not just about low-carbs but also about high fats. So, ensure you're complementing it with high-fat foods like avocados or seeds to maintain the desired macronutrient ratio.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Garden Nasturtium

Understanding the carbohydrate content of Garden Nasturtium is crucial for those on a ketogenic diet. This plant contains 4.4g of net carbs per 100g, but let's unpack what that really means.

In nutritional parlance, 'net carbs' refer to the total amount of carbohydrates in a food minus its fiber content. Why subtract the fiber, you ask? Because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can't digest. This means it doesn't raise your blood sugar levels and won't kick you out of ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs.

Now, 4.4g of net carbs in a 100g serving of Garden Nasturtium may not seem much, but remember, on a keto diet, your daily carb intake should ideally stay between 20-50g. Therefore, even a seemingly small amount of carbs can take up a significant portion of your daily limit.

Let's put it into perspective. If you were to consume a standard serving of Garden Nasturtium, which might be around 50g or around a cup of packed leaves, you'd be consuming approximately 2.2g of net carbs. That's around 10% of your carb intake if you're sticking to a limit of 20g per day.

It's crucial, then, to consider this in your overall daily meal plan. Keep in mind that there are other foods and beverages you consume throughout the day, some of which might also contain carbs.

Nutritional Snapshot of Garden Nasturtium

Garden Nasturtium, also known as 'Cress, garden, raw,' has a comprehensive nutritional profile, making it a nutritious addition to your diet.

One 100g serving of Garden Nasturtium contains just 32.0 kcal and 5.5g of carbohydrates, out of which 1.1g is dietary fiber. This low net carb content (4.4g) makes it fitting for keto diets. It also contains a modest 2.6g of protein and 0.7g of total fats, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

Among micronutrients, the standout is Vitamin K1, with a whopping 541.9ug per serving, an essential vitamin for blood clotting and bone health. The serving also contains a significant amount of Vitamin C (69.0mg), known for its immune-boosting properties, and Vitamin A (346.0ug), vital for eye health.

Minerals are not left out in the nutritional profile of the Garden Nasturtium. It's particularly rich in Potassium (606.0mg), known to support heart health, and Calcium (81.0mg), critical for bone strength. Other minerals present in smaller but still noteworthy amounts include Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper, and Zinc.

The presence of Beta-carotene (4150.0ug) and Lutein + zeaxanthin (12500.0ug), two plant compounds with antioxidant properties that support eye health, make Garden Nasturtium stand out. These, along with a range of B vitamins, offer a broad spectrum of nutrients that can contribute to overall health.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 4.4g
Carbohydrate, by difference 5.5g
Fiber, total dietary 1.1g
Total fats 0.7g
Protein 2.6g
Sodium, Na 14.0mg
Potassium, K 606.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 38.0mg
Calcium, Ca 81.0mg
Vitamin A 346.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.25mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 69.0mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.7mg
Vitamin K1 541.9ug
Copper, Cu 0.17mg
Iron, Fe 1.3mg
Phosphorus, P 76.0mg
Selenium, Se 0.9ug
Zinc, Zn 0.23mg
Beta-carotene 4150.0ug
Lutein + zeaxanthin 12500.0ug
Betaine 0.2mg
Manganese, Mn 0.55mg
Thiamin 0.08mg
Riboflavin 0.26mg
Niacin 1.0mg
Pantothenic acid 0.24mg
Folate, total 80.0ug
Choline, total 19.5mg
Calories 32.0kcal
Water 89.4g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.02g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.24g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.23g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Garden Nasturtium' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Cress, garden, raw' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Garden Nasturtium on a Keto Diet

When it comes to Garden Nasturtium, it's not just about the carbs. This plant is a nutritional powerhouse that can add significant value to your health, especially on a keto diet.

Garden Nasturtium is a rich source of Vitamin C, an essential nutrient known for its immune-boosting properties. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage and boosts your body's natural defenses against disease. If you're on a keto diet, Garden Nasturtium can be a great way to get your Vitamin C, given that many other sources, such as fruits, might be off-limits due to their high carb content.

Moreover, Garden Nasturtium is packed with lutein, a potent antioxidant that supports eye health. Antioxidants like lutein help combat oxidative stress, a common concern in metabolic conditions that a keto diet often aims to address.

This plant also provides a generous dose of minerals such as magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. Magnesium plays a crucial role in nerve and muscle function, blood sugar control, and energy production. Iron is essential for blood health, while phosphorus helps build strong bones and teeth.

To top it off, Garden Nasturtium also contains mustard oil, known for its natural antimicrobial properties. This can help support gut health, which is a vital aspect of overall well-being and a critical factor in the effectiveness of a keto diet.

Incorporating Garden Nasturtium into Your Keto Meal Plan

Adding Garden Nasturtium to your keto meal plan is not just easy, but also adds a vibrant, flavorful twist to your dishes. Its peppery taste can liven up salads, soups, main dishes, or even snacks. Here are a few ways you can incorporate this nutritious plant into your keto meals:

  1. Garden Nasturtium Salad: Start by mixing a handful of Garden Nasturtium leaves with other keto-friendly greens like spinach or arugula. Top it off with a simple olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. You can also throw in a few nasturtium flowers for added color and flavor.
  2. Stuffed Garden Nasturtium Leaves: Think of these as low-carb, plant-based tacos. Use the large, sturdy leaves of Garden Nasturtium to hold fillings like fish, chicken, or cheese. Top with some avocado and a squeeze of lime for a delicious, keto-friendly meal.
  3. Garden Nasturtium Pesto: Swap out basil for Garden Nasturtium leaves in your favorite pesto recipe. Blend with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil for a unique keto-friendly sauce that goes well with zucchini noodles or grilled meats.
  4. Garden Nasturtium Tea: Steep the leaves in hot water for a refreshing, peppery tea. You can add a keto-friendly sweetener if desired. This tea is not only a delightful, low-carb beverage but also a great way to enjoy the health benefits of Garden Nasturtium.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Garden Nasturtium

While Garden Nasturtium is a great choice for those on a keto diet, it's always nice to have a variety of options. Here are a few alternatives that can also add flavor and nutrients to your keto meals:

  1. Arugula: With a similar peppery flavor, arugula can be a great alternative to Garden Nasturtium. It comes with 2.05g of net carbs per 100g, making it slightly more keto-friendly. Like Garden Nasturtium, it's also packed with vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients. Try it in salads, sandwiches, or as a pizza topping for a keto-friendly twist.
  2. Spinach: With only 1.4g of net carbs per 100g, spinach is a nutrient-dense alternative. It's high in magnesium, iron, and vitamins A and C. Use it in salads, as a side dish, or in a creamy spinach and feta stuffed chicken recipe for a delicious keto meal.
  3. Kale: Although kale has slightly higher carbs (5.15g net carbs per 100g), it's still keto-compatible in reasonable amounts. It's loaded with vitamins K, A, and C, and also contains a decent amount of calcium. You can use kale in salads, soups, or even make keto-friendly kale chips.
  4. Swiss Chard: This leafy green has 2.14g of net carbs per 100g and is particularly high in vitamins K, A, and C. Its slightly sweet, bitter taste can add complexity to salads or sautés.

Concluding Thoughts on Garden Nasturtium and Keto

It's clear that Garden Nasturtium holds a promising place in the realm of keto-friendly foods. With its nutritional profile, particularly its low carb content of 4.4g net carbs per 100g, it can be integrated into a well-formulated keto diet.

The benefits of Garden Nasturtium go beyond carb content, though. Its rich array of nutrients, including Vitamin C, lutein, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, contribute to overall health and wellness. Its unique peppery taste can also bring a vibrant twist to a variety of dishes, from salads to pesto.

Using a food tracking app to monitor your daily carb intake can help you effectively incorporate Garden Nasturtium into your diet without breaking ketosis. At the same time, being aware of other keto-compatible alternatives like arugula, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard can add variety to your meal plan.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can. Garden Nasturtium flowers, like the leaves, are low in carbs, making them suitable for a keto diet.

Garden Nasturtium is a good source of Vitamin C, lutein, and essential minerals like magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. Despite being low in carbs, it's packed with beneficial nutrients.