Dandelions, those little yellow-flowered weeds that have probably popped up in your garden once or even a dozen times. But here’s the good news: these fellows are less floral pests, more nutritional powerhouses! From their golden-hued flowers to their leaves and roots, the entire plant is edible. Interestingly enough, the FDA continues to treat dandelion as a weed, and nothing more. Author Ralph Emerson might respond to that with his well-known words, “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” And for dandelion greens, in particular, the health virtues abound, so journey with us to discover the Top 5 Health Benefits of Dandelion Greens!
1. A Detox and Cleansing Superhero
Dandelion greens work to cleanse your body by helping your liver release toxins while you sleep as well as assisting your body’s other detox organs to function optimally. Add dandelion to your green smoothie and juice staples for the ultimate daily detox boost. Yes, please!
2. Iron Punch
Leafy greens have long been known for their iron-rich properties and dandelion greens fair well in the rankings. Bear with us for a moment for some number crunching: spinach, most people’s go-to for an iron kick, contains 2.7mg of iron per 100g. Dandelion greens, in comparison, gives you 3.1g in the same amount. This means they’re a great addition to help fight off those.major yawns during that midday meeting.
Dandelion greens are bursting with vitamins, specifically vitamins A, C, and K. 100g of these green leafies take you to your recommended daily intake of vitamins A and K – 200% and 637% over! And vitamin C? A not-too-shabby 58%. We told you, these greens don’t fool around!
4. Mineral Powerhouse
Dandelion greens are packed with calcium, copper, potassium, and a bunch of other great minerals with overly-long names. 100g of dandelion greens packs a nifty 18% of your recommended daily intake of calcium, a mineral essential for healthy bones. These leafy greens are also rich in potassium, which is highly effective in lowering your blood pressure.
Dietary fibre. Your doctor is always going on about it, and for good reason: adding fibre to your daily diet is crucial, what with its role in digestive and intestinal health: essentially, going to the loo is so much less hassle and strain when you’re fibre-filled. Dandelion greens are loaded with fibre, so they’ll help your body hold onto the good stuff and get rid of the bad stuff. You win.
It’s official, then, dandelion greens are the dark horse of the green-leafy world, and we’re in their corner. They’re packed with the useful stuff to help your body feel great. And it’s just as well, because – from your smoothies to your salads and most any other dish – there are a plethora of ways to add dandelion greens to your every-day chow for a nutrient-rich punch. The neat part is, you can probably pick them for free in your own garden. (Or your neighbour’s. Joking. Kind of). Tried DG’s? Tell us about it below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Looking for other healthy foods, then check out our other Top 5’s to help you KEEP your Fit ON!