Dandelions are incredible.
Not only are they bright and beautiful… not only do they have the ability to grow like crazy (I’d rather not call them weeds!)… not only do they produce tiny seeds that are so fun to blow and watch the wind carry away… they’re also one of the healthiest things you can consume. Today I’m talking about their lion-tooth-shaped leaves – as opposed to their more recognizable yellow flower heads – but dandelion roots and flowers are edible as well, as long as they’ve been grown in a natural, chemical-free environment!
Dandelion greens have a bitter taste, which – according to the ancient practice of Ayurveda – makes them the perfect vegetable to incorporate into your spring diet. Make a salad with them, sauté them in olive oil, juice them up, or throw them into your smoothie. Here are 5 reasons to bring dandelion greens into your diet!
1. They’ll detox your body like crazy. Dandelion greens are excellent at cleansing the liver and kidneys. They’re actually a diuretic, which means they help expel excess water from your body – just make sure not to indulge when you’re dehydrated.
2. They’re filled with antioxidants. Both the vitamin A and the vitamin C in dandelion greens will help protect your body from free radicals, helping to reduce your risk of certain diseases and shield you from premature aging. Vitamin A also helps fight certain cancers, and vitamin C is one of the best treats you could ever give to your immune system.
3. They’re high in calcium. In today’s world, it seems that dairy – the once go-to source for calcium – is being consumed less and less. It’s important to know that there are tons of fruits, vegetables, and nuts – like dandelion greens – that are very high in calcium, too! This means dandelion greens work to strengthen your bones and teeth, and help optimize the function of your heart, nerves, and muscles. Just make sure you’re also getting an adequate supply of vitamin D in your diet – this is necessary to absorb the calcium.
4. They reduce swelling and inflammation. These days, there are way too many foods out there that cause inflammation within our bodies. That’s why when we discover one that does the opposite, it’s so important to take note. Friends, add dandelion greens to that ever-growing list of anti-inflammatory foods I know you carry around with you. Right now.
5. They help banish acne. All of the properties of dandelion greens seem to come together in harmony as one incredible acne fighter. I’ve actually been eating dandelion greens twice a day for the past few days, and – I kid you not – my skin seriously seems to be clearing up. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’ve had bad skin for over a decade, you guys. So this is huge.
Here’s an idea for what to include when turning these lovely greens into a smoothie! The key: Offset the bitterness with a little natural sweetness. :)
*BONUS REASON TO EAT DANDELION GREENS* Well, the fact that what you’re eating is actually part of a dandelion is pretty awesome in itself.
What’s your favorite way to eat dandelion greens? Try this spring liver cleanse tonic made with dandelion root tea!