Free Healthfood Growing in Your Yard (Dandelions)?
Is free healthfood growing in your yard? Colonists brought dandelions with them to America to plant in their gardens.
Today, researchers have proven what the colonists knew several hundred years ago. Dandelions are packed with nutrition and offer medicinal benefits. Dandelions are free superfoods that almost anyone can access.
Health Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions offer several health benefits. When a person takes a regular tablet diuretic, precious potassium is flushed from the body along with the water. However, when you eat dandelions for their diuretic properties, your level of potassium will not decrease. Dandelions have naturally high levels of potassium that replace what is flushed from the body.
Other Health Benefits
Dandelions are loaded with beta-carotene. According to researchers at Arizona State University, dandelion leaves have a higher amount of beta-carotene than carrots. You can also enjoy the roots of this wonderful plant. Roasted dandelion roots taste similar to coffee and help diabetics to regulate their insulin levels.
When to Harvest
The best time to harvest this free superfood is during the spring months when the leaves are young and tender. Not only are dandelions high in vitamins A, C and iron, but they are also low in calories. Young leaves add flavor to fresh salads, especially when mixed with other greens. You can eat the leaves either raw or cooked. Use the flowers to garnish salads with their attractive yellow color and pleasant taste.
How to Use Dandelion
Dandelion leaves have a stronger taste than lettuce. You can minimize the tang when cooking them by changing the water halfway through boiling them. The mature greens are bitter but these leaves have medicinal value. The colonists used them to aid digestion by speeding up the metabolism. Researchers have confirmed that it does work.
Where to Pick Dandelions
The plants grow wild throughout many regions of the country. You may have a patch of dandelions growing in your yard right now. So instead of looking at them as a weed that needs eradication, harvest the plants and enjoy the nutritional and health benefits they offer. Dandelions are easy to grow and need no special care.
Be Mindful of Potential Poisons
Be careful of the plants that you do harvest. Dandelions exposed to pesticides are not safe to eat. Washing the leaves does not remove the pesticide. Additionally, if you harvest plants near a highway, avoid the plants growing closest to the road as they have been constantly exposed to toxic fumes. Grow your dandelions organically for a healthy crop of superfood nutrition.
You can find many recipes for dandelions at the major cooking websites. You can eat the flowers, leaves and roots of this versatile plant. So enjoy some free healthfood and add dandelions to your menu.
Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips!