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The Top 10 Reasons to Eat Dandelions

One of the most common and most despised weeds in the world is the dandelion. They seem to grow everywhere, particularly where you don’t want them to grow. That is a classic definition of a ‘weed’; a plant that grows where you don’t want it to grow. However, there are some fantastic reasons to eat dandelions, too. Here are the top 10 reasons:

#1 Dandelions are readily available

Dandelions are so wide-spread that it is extremely difficult to find places where they don't grow. They are hardy, drought tolerant, heat tolerant, cold tolerant, and even grow in poor soil that won't support many other kinds of plants. Where they aren't native, they've been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, so about the only places they don't grow are the polar regions and the driest and hottest deserts. Dandelions aren't native to America, yet they grow in every state, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

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#2 Dandelions are cheap

For most people, getting dandelions to eat is a simple matter of stepping a few feet from their front door. They aren't just cheap; in most cases, they are free. They shouldn't be harvested anywhere that has been sprayed by pesticides, though.

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#3 Dandelions are entirely edible

The roots, plants, and flowers of dandelions are all edible. They can also be eaten raw or cooked, which makes them a valuable survival food. Even the seeds can be eaten, though most people won't take the time to harvest and winnow them.

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#4 Dandelions are good for dieters

There are fewer than 25 calories in a cupful of chopped dandelions, which makes them great for dieters who are trying to lose weight. People aren't likely to gain weight off of dandelions, yet they aren't empty calories. They are healthy additions to the diet.

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#5 Dandelions are great for diabetics

A cup of chopped dandelions contains only about five grams of carbohydrates, about 2% of the recommended daily value. They also contain one and a half grams of protein, which is 3% of the daily value, and they have a whopping 1.9 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value. All of this gives them a glycemic load index of only 2, which is exceptionally low.

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#6 Dandelions are high in vitamins

Not only do dandelions contain extremely high amounts of vitamin K (535% of the daily value per cupful), they are also exceptional sources of vitamin A, C and good sources of vitamins E, riboflavin, thiamin, B6, and folate.

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#7 Dandelions are high in minerals

This plant is high in calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Yet it is low in sodium and contains no cholesterol. Dandelions also contain other minerals.

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#8 Dandelions fight cancer

Among the other great substances that dandelions contain, they are also high in antioxidants. This makes them good for preventing or helping to fight cancer. Including this plant in your diet helps to lower the chance of getting cancer.

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#9 Dandelions are easy to cook

There are quite a few recipes for dandelions. However, the leaves are quite simple to just rinse and steam. The roots can be washed, peeled, sliced, and cooked like carrots. The roots can also be dried, ground, and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be batter fried or made into dandelion wine. None of these are difficult.

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#10 ______________________________________

I'm purposely leaving number 10 blank. There are a great number of excellent reasons to eat dandelions other than the ones listed. By leaving number 10 blank, it is meant as encouragement for you to fill in that blank.

What reason can you think of that wasn't included in this list?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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  1. When my husband was alive he knew how to dig out the dandelions from our garden root and all. Then we would wash the leaves and leaves them to soak to take away some of the bitterness. Afterward, chop the leaves and even grate some of the bigger roots. Then make a delicious salad. One way was to use oil, lemon juice, some soy sauce and some chopped ham or salami and another with salt, freshly grated pepper and sour cream. I see the dandelions outside but I cannot dig them out myself. Maybe I will try to pull some leaves. I also enjoy the flowers they are kind of sweet and I just pluck those and eat them.

    • One of my favorite spring vegetables is steamed dandelion crowns. That is the part at the base of the plant just above the root. I steam them, add butter and salt, and eat them just like that. Once in a while, I’ll also add chopped onions, but I usually do that just when I’ve chopped too many onions for another dish.

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