The dandelion is a plant known for its exotic beauty and its seeds that fly at the slightest whiff of wind. It grows spontaneously and there is no need to plant it or water it, and it beautifies the surroundings where it is. But did you know that it also has many benefits for our health? This vegetable, scientifically known as Taraxacum officinale, is as beautiful as it is healthy and can be used with great versatility on the menu.
How to consume dandelion?
The dandelion can be eaten in salads, juices or teas, and can be taken several times a day, without major side effects. It also works very well as a complement in detox juice recipes, and even as a mild "spice", sprinkled on the dishes. There are very few restrictions are for pregnant women, people allergic to Taraxacum and gallstones and intestines.
Dandelion as food
In addition to being used as a medicine, you already know: the dandelion is also edible! It is even recognized by FAO (an important institution of the United Nations that deals with food issues) as a food source. A study showed that every 100 grams (g) of dandelion has 15.48 g of protein and 47.8 g of fiber, significant amounts to be considered as a food source, according to the study itself. The same research also points to dandelion as a source of potassium and to help with weight loss.
It is entirely edible - roots, stems, leaves and flowers. It is very reminiscent of the taste of bitter vegetables, such as Catalonia. And, for those who like the bitter taste, it is possible to prepare it as salad, green juice and tea. Its roasted root can even replace coffee. But those who don't like bitterness and still want to enjoy the benefits of dandelion can sauté it in olive oil and garlic to soften it. Another possibility is to make dandelion flour, as in the recipe below:
- 2 cups of washed and chopped dandelion leaves;
- 4 cups of cassava flour;
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil (or to taste);
- 1 chopped onion;
- Salt to taste (suggestion of half a tablespoon shallow);
- Save the washed flowers and keep them raw to decorate the dish (optional).
Method of preparation
Pour the four tablespoons of olive oil into a saucepan and cook with the chopped onion. Before the onion begins to brown, add the dandelion and, after sautéing it, with the golden onion, add the cassava flour and salt. Stir all ingredients until lightly browned and ready to serve. You can also use the raw (washed) flowers to decorate the dish, as they are also edible.
It is diuretic and good for the kidneys
Famous for its diuretic effect, this plant stimulates kidney metabolism and increases urine flow. The dandelion prevents kidney stones and cleanses the urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra. Because it is a source of potassium, it does not cause the loss of this mineral - something very common when there is excess urine.
Dandelion takes care of your liver!
Another benefit of dandelion is the detoxification of the liver. In the form of tea, it expels all the toxins from this organ, caused by excessive consumption of sugar, alcohol and fatty foods in general. It also prevents inflammation.
Tip: if you take a lot of medicines for continuous use, taking dandelion tea can also help, since the excess medicine overloads the liver. Just don't forget to consult the nutritionist to make sure that the food doesn't cut off the effect of the medicine you are taking.
Dandelion for improved blood flow
Besides taking good care of your kidneys and liver, the dandelion, by the table, cleans the blood and improves blood flow, avoiding circulation problems, regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. This is because it favors the unblocking of vessels and arteries.
Dandelion is good for the skin
Antioxidant, this plant also combats free radicals, avoiding premature aging. It is also rich in vitamin A, a nutrient responsible for good skin and eye health. Besides, for having detox characteristic, it eliminates toxins and combats the excess of oil, caused by the ingestion of very greasy foods. In short, the constant consumption of dandelion leaves the skin soft and healthy!