What a "dandy" vegetable!
Dandelion greens come loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients important for healthy eyesight. Both nutrients filter light as it enters your eyes to protect eye tissues from light-induced damage. Consuming at least 12 milligrams combined of lutein and zeaxanthin daily lowers your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration!
Dandelion greens also provide considerable amounts of vitamins A and K. Both nutrients affect your blood. Vitamin K regulates the formation of blood clots, while vitamin A supports new blood cell growth. Vitamin A also plays a role in eye function and supports your immune system, while vitamin K helps maintain healthy bones.
Incorporate dandelion greens into your diet as an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as a vegetarian-friendly source of calcium. Vitamin C and calcium both positively affect your bones -- you need calcium to maintain bone density and rely on vitamin C to produce collagen, which makes your bones resistant to damage. Both nutrients also support nerve cell communication and contribute to nervous system function. A serving of dandelion greens provides 206 milligrams of calcium, or 21 percent of the recommended daily intake for most adults, according to the Institute of Medicine. Each serving also contains 39 milligrams of vitamin C -- 43 percent and 52 percent of the recommended daily intakes for men and women, respectively.
- Sylvie Tremblay, MSC