Purslane – a humble “weed” with massive health benefits

I just came back from a family holiday in my home country Bulgaria. We had an amazing time, in fact, the beginning of September is my favourite time to go to Bulgaria, because so many fruits and vegetables are in season. I was feasting on fresh and ripe tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, figs, cantaloupes, watermelons…. I felt I was in food heaven! 🙂 One day, as we were lounging in my parents garden, my mom brought us some purslane. It was growing freely, like a weed, and until recently my parents were actually weeding it out of their garden. As soon as I saw it I got excited, and we made a big salad with it!

Purslane is a humble green “weed” that grows easily, but is packed with nutrients. It is low in calories but high in fiber and this makes it great if you’re after losing some weight. Purslane contains many vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Just 100gr of purslane supplies you with 25% of your daily requirements of iron. Another great reason to consume more of it! It can help with skin issues and improve your vision, because of its high content of vitamin A. But the most interesting part is that this little green contains insanely high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. So high, it is actually the best source of omega-3’s among all cultivated leafy greens! This makes it an interesting food for vegetarians and vegans, who do not consume fish or fish oil.

purslane

This is what purslane looks like

So if you would like to lose weight, improve your skin complexion as well as strengthen your bones and improve blood circulation, look around for some purslane in your garden or lawn, alternatively you might even find it in the framers market and add it to your diet. The only downside of this green is that is very high in oxalic acid, and if you have any kidney problems, especially kidney stones, you might be better off staying away from purslane.

You can consume purslane just like any other leafy green. Look for leaves that are tender, fresh and green. Wash them well and just add them to any salad you are making. The leaves taste kind of salty and sour and add a nice flavour to the salad. You can also juice them ;).

 

 

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