What’s on my plate? Dandelion. Yes, we mean the yellow perennial flower that sprouts up in gardens and fields all over the world.
Superpower: Dandelion has a special place in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is used to treat a number of ailments ranging from indigestion to fever to bile duct ailments. And why not? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, dandelion is bursting with vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as iron, zinc, and potassium. A pilot study on dandelions, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009, also found its leaves to be an effective diuretic, thus explaining why in traditional medicine systems dandelion is used to treat liver disease and hypertension, and generally rid the body of toxins.
Where to buy: You can find dandelion products—like powder, capsules and tea—at most organic and health stores across the country. Dried dandelion leaves and dandelion juice are also available at select stores. Alternatively, you can also grow dandelion yourself using organic practices, and harvest its root and leaves.
Eat this: Every bit of the dandelion plant is edible, so there are plenty of ways you can incorporate it in your diet. For starters, use the fresh leaves for salads. Can’t bear the bitter punch they pack? Sauté them in olive oil with garlic for a mellow taste, or boil the leaves and add it to lentils. If you’re feeling adventurous, add dandelion leaves to smoothies; batter fry them and serve with curd, mint chutney, and saunth for a fresh take on palak-patta chaat; or add to soups. For a fuss-free way to get all the healthful goodness of dandelion, steep its dried root in hot water for a caffeine-free alternative to tea and coffee.
Discover More Superfoods
Rich in nutritional value, superfoods are the easiest way to boost the health quotient of your daily meals. To discover more superfood ingredients, check out the rest of our superfood series:
Amla: This superfood can fix every part of your body! Don’t believe us? Read on to find out the health benefits of amla.
Ashwagandha: Can’t get sleep? Check out the sleep-inducing and other health-promoting properties of the Ayurveda-approved Ashwagandha.
Basil or Tulsi: Apart from simply adding flavor to meals, basil brings with it several medicinal properties. Check out the number of health conditions for which basil can come to your rescue.
Black Carrots: You’ve seen the red ones and you’ve seen the orange ones, but ever witnessed black carrots? Check out how they look and their many health benefits.
Brahmi: Are you afraid of the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease? Include this superfood in your diet to boost your brain health. Read about the other health benefits of Brahmi.
Camu Camu: One of the richest sources of Vitamin C, this superfood comes all the way from the Amazon rainforest! Read about its health benefits.
Chia Seeds: This Mexican native is now being used in many Indian kitchens. Check out the various health benefits of chia seeds.
Chilli: Do you love to eat spicy food? Well, good news! Check out how those spicy chilies boost your health.
Hog Plum: Looking for a remedy to cure ulcers? Tired of getting diarrhea every time you eat out? Hog plum can come to your rescue! Check out the amazing health benefits of this not so popular superfood.
Jamun: Apart from tinting your tongue purple, jamun has several medicinal properties. Here’s why you must include jamun in your diet.
Kale: Coming across a lot of kale in salads, pizza toppings, and even chips? Check out why kale has suddenly topped the charts for being a healthy option.
Karela: Reading this will prevent you from screwing up your face every time someone mentions karela.
Kokum: Along with being a refreshing summer drink, kokum also helps you shed extra kilos. Find out more about the sour and fruity kokum.
Makhana or Lotus Seeds: It is rapidly becoming the choice of snack for weight watchers. Check out the nutrient profile of this incredible superfood.
Moringa or Drumstick: Looking to boost your iron and calcium levels? Don’t restrict yourself to just meat and milk. Know more about moringa and how this superfood can be made a part of your diet.
Mushrooms: These fungi are loaded with nutrients. Click here to know why you should be consuming them more often.
Muskmelon: The juicy and aromatic muskmelon has several health-boosting properties. Find out more about this nutritious fruit.
Ragi: This grain has made its way into the plates of many. From ragi dosa and idli to ragi porridge, it is being promoted in the diets of old and young. Find out why health experts are recommending this superfood.
Sabja: Slurped a tall glass of falooda? If it had sabja seeds, you have no reason to feel guilty. Click here to know why!
Sacha Inchi: These nut-like seeds are rich in omega-3. Check out the other health benefits they have in store for you!
Sweet Potato: A rich source of Vitamin A and fiber, sweet potato is a great alternative to the white potato. Take a look at all the reasons why you need to include it in your diet.
Tofu: Often known as the vegan cousin of paneer, tofu is derived from soybean and comes loaded with protein and minerals. Read more about the health benefits of tofu.
Turmeric: Think twice before you say no to “haldi wala doodh”. Find out why your grandma trusts turmeric for every infection.
Zucchini: Did you know that you can use your favourite zucchini not only in pasta and pizza, but also in a cake? Wondering how it’s possible? Click here to know more.