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Dandelion:One of the healthiest food on the Planet

[ 2019-18-11 ]

In many parts of the world, spring is in full bloom. Flowers of all colors and shapes

can be seen in gardens, parks and other green spaces. They make our world look and

smell better. So, it is no surprise that people love flowers! Well...except for one. Dandelions!

There is probably no flower more hated, or misunderstood, than the bright yellow

dandelion.In the United States, they are considered “weeds,” the name for any unwanted plant. In

an effort to have the perfect green grass lawn, people try their best to kill all dandelions

with chemical products. Or they dig them out at the roots -- only to see them grow right

back. Dandelions are hard to kill. And that is a good thing because they are actually one of

the most nutritious foods in the world. That’s right, dandelion haters: The most hated flower on Earth is one of the healthiest

to eat! A 2014 study ranks dandelion greens as one of the top 41 most nutritious foods.

Coming in at number 16, the wild growing “weed” topped popular healthy like kale and


The lead writer of that study is Jennifer Di Noia, a professor and researcher at William

Paterson University. She is an expert in nutrition and healthy behaviors. In an interview with the university’s television studio, Di Noia explained her goal for the study. She said she wanted to develop a method for defining “powerhouse fruits and vegetables.” These are the foods most strongly linked with reducing chronic disease

risk. She added that she also wanted to give people an exact list of fruits and vegetables that

offer them the most nutrition. Oftentimes, she explained, people hear they should eat

“leafy greens” or add more “color” to their diet. But, they do not always know how to

bring that information to their meal planning. Based on scientific literature and a huge database that lists the nutrients of all foods, Di

Noia picked 41 foods with the highest content of 17 nutrients. To pick these 17 nutrients, she used research from the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Those nutrients are potassium,

fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, zinc, and vitamins A, B6,

B12, C, D, E and K. Dandelions are a great source of vitamin K and also are a good source of vitamins A

and C. They also have vitamin E, folate and small amounts of other B vitamins. Also,

they provide lots of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Here is another reason to love dandelions. 

Children in many parts of the world have had the simple pleasure of blowing the soft,

white dandelion tops. They watch the seeds float easily in the air. In fact, there is a game children play with dandelions that have gone to seed. Pick the white top, make a wish, close your eyes and blow! If you blow all of the seeds off in one

breath, your wish will come true! Well, that is what many children believe. Even if the wish does not come true, at least the seeds have traveled far and wide, letting more of this nutritious food source continue to grow.