Other than the exercise they provide while weeding your lawn, do dandelion greens offer health benefits?
From delivering antioxidants to lowering blood sugar, this plant with a bad reputation among gardeners is a covert natural health superstar.
Can You Eat Dandelion Greens?
Not only are dandelion greens safe to eat, but they also provide a range of health benefits. All parts of a dandelion plant are edible, from the top of the yellow flower down to the roots. The green leaves of the dandelion can make a healthy addition to salads, sandwiches, omelets, and more.
A few words of caution before we take a closer look at dandelion green’s secret life as a superfood, though: If you have allergies, be mindful of any sensitivities you might have before adding dandelions to your diet. Allergic reactions are more likely if you’re allergic to related plants, such as ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and daisies.
The safety of dandelion greens is well established when you’re eating the amount of vegetation commonly found in food. Less is known about the safety of consuming very large quantities of dandelion greens. In particular, if you’re pregnant or nursing, dandelions are likely safe but it’s best to avoid consuming large amounts.
Dandelion Greens Health Benefits
Dandelion greens are credited with a wide range of health benefits.
Controlled blood sugar. Dandelion greens can lower blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Diuretic effects. Due to the high potassium content of dandelion greens, they work as a diuretic. Diuretics help increase urine output and treat water retention.
Lower blood pressure. Since dandelion greens are a diuretic, they can treat high blood pressure for some people. While the diuretic effect isn’t as powerful as a prescription medication, it can still be helpful when a mild diuretic is needed.
Lower inflammation. Dandelion greens contain natural anti-inflammatories. Reducing inflammation in your body can reduce your chances of developing certain cancers and heart disease.
Antioxidants protect your health. Oxidative stress can damage your cells and contribute to cancer, metabolic disorders, and disease. The antioxidants found in dandelion greens can protect your body and keep your immune system strong.
Control cholesterol. Dandelion greens affect lipid metabolism. Preliminary studies show they might be useful in lowering cholesterol.
Dandelion Greens Nutrition
In addition to the many health benefits, dandelion greens offer your body a lot of nutrition in every bite. In fact, dandelion greens are one of the most nutrient-dense greens you can eat.
With just 25 calories a cup, raw dandelion greens are a source of:
Calcium (103 mg)
Folate (14.8 µg)
Iron (1.7 mg)
Potassium (218 mg)
Vitamin A (279 µg)
Vitamin C (19.2 mg)