There's nothing more satisfying than going outside and picking your own food from the garden. Fingernails caked with dirt, it always seems like food tastes better when you harvest it yourself. And better yet when you forage and find tasty treats hiding right in your own backyard. Purslane or Portulaca oleracea is an edible garden weed with some amazing health benefits, and you probably already have some growing in your own garden.
According to Organic Facts, purslane is a leafy vegetable most likely originated from the Mediterranean region. With a sour and slightly sweet taste, the vegetable is eaten in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. However here in the United States, we think of it as a weed. That thinking has got to change. Here are 7 reasons why you should be eating this garden weed.
1. Purslane is a Natural Remedy for Insomnia
According to a study conducted in Iran, researchers gave mice purslane to see if the weed could help combat sleep problems. In conclusion, the plant did have an effect on their sleep, promoting a night of restful sleep.
Consuming purslane has been shown to be an antidote to caffeine and reduce jitters. The purslane plant is also rich in magnesium, which has a close connection with sleep. If you find yourself tired throughout the day and unable to sleep at night, you might be lacking enough magnesium in your diet.
2. Purslane is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Not only does purslane contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and more beta-carotene than carrots, this plant also packs a healthy punch of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like fish) can help prevent cardiovascular disease like and lower blood pressure. Eating a heart-healthy diet is the key to preventing heart disease and heart attacks.
3. It May Prevent Headaches and Migraines
The health benefits of purslane keep on coming! According to Health Benefits Times, purslane is rich in vitamin b2, which has been proven to help alleviate headache and migraine pain. Eating a diet rich in vitamin b2 can reduce the frequency of headaches as well as lessen the time the headaches stick around.
4. This Garden Weed Can Promote Strong Bones
Milk isn't the only thing that can promote strong bones. Purslane contains bone-building nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese to help prevent osteoporosis. Why not cook up some fresh purslane leaves in some olive oil instead of reaching for that glass of milk?
5. Purslane Can Help With Skin Conditions
Eating purslane has many heart health benefits, but don't discount using the plant externally. Because of its high levels of vitamin A, turning the plant into a topical salve can reduce inflammation. Some beauty brands have taken note of this amazing plant, adding its extract to serums to protect sensitive cell membranes against free radicals.
6. It Can Improve Your Circulation
Eat a bowl of purslane and you'll be getting all the health benefits. Rich in iron and copper, eating this garden weed can help boost your body's circulation and stimulate the production of red blood cells. Good circulation is vital to one's health so eat another forkful in honor of your healthy blood vessels.
7. It Tastes Great
There are countless ways to prepare this delicious plant. Whether you can find it at the Famers' Markets or in your own backyard, these green leaves can be prepared in salads, steamed like spinach, and even pickled.
Don't have this plant in your garden already?
Pick up a pack of purslane seeds and watch them grow in no time.
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