Purslane ~ Super Vegetables

Put this Nutrional Powerhouse on Your Dinner Plate

Purslane has rounded, succulent, leaves and a reddish stem and grows everywhere.

So it's very likely that you'll find this plant somewhere in your neighborhood.

Notoriously difficult to kill as a weed it's probably better suited to your dinner plate anyway.

It's loaded with antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A and C, and also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

You can eat the stems and leaves fresh.

Try them in salads or sandwiches.

Or use them in soups or in recipes that call for spinach (they’re related and have a similar taste).

Soft and succulent.

This leaf vegetable has more omega-3 fatty acids than many fish oils.

If you're a vegetarian.

And want to avoid all forms of animal products, then here is the answer!

Go for this healthy dark green leafy vegetable and soon you'll forget fish!

This super vegetable is native to the Indian sub-continenet.

And is now widely distributed across the world especially as a wild weed.

There exists different varieties of Pusley with variations in leaf size, thickness, leaf arrangement and pigment.

It's actually a hard herb plant that requires comparatively less water and soil nutrients and grows very well in sunny conditions.

The plant reaches about 12-15 cm in height.

Pusley is widely grown in many Asian and European regions as a staple leafy vegetable.

It's leaves appear thick, containing a mucilaginous substance and has a slightly sour and salty taste.

It's stems, leaves and flower buds are also edible.

The seeds, appear like black tea powder and are often used to make herbal drinks.

Health Benefits

* This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats; but is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

* Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more omega-3 fatty acids (x-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant.

100 grams of fresh Purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of x-linolenic acid.

Research studies shows that consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Stroke and also help prevent development of ADHD, autism and other developmental differences in children.

* It's an excellent source of Vitamin-A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin-A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision.

This vitamin is also required to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin.

Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin-A are known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

* Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin-C.

And some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids.

As well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

* Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish beta-cyanins and the yellow beta-xanthins.

Both of these pigment types are potent anti-oxidants.

And have been found to have anti-mutagenic properties in laboratory studies.

So, how does Purslane stack up?

It kicks nutritional butt, as compared to four, more well known superfoods:

* It has more vitamin-C than Cabbage .

* It has has more vitamin-A than Beets.

* It has has more iron and calcium than Swiss Chard.

* And it has more iron and calcium than Frozen Blueberries.

Selection & Storage

In the store, buy fresh and healthy looking Purslane.

Look carefully for mold, yellow or dark spots as they indicate inferior quality.

Go for the organic product whenever possible.

Wash fresh leaves and stem in clean cold running water in order to remove any soil and insecticide/fungicide residues.

After removing from water, wipe it with soft cloth to remove any moisture before storing in the refrigerator.

Pusley can be kept in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

But should be eaten while the leaves are fresh and not wilted.

Preparation & Serving Methods;

The stems and flower buds are also edible.

Trim the tough stems near roots using sharp knife.

Cook under low temperature for shorter period in order to preserve majority of nutrients.

Although antioxidant properties are significantly decreased on frying and boiling.

Minerals, carotenes and flavonoids may remain intact with steam cooking.

Serving Tips:

* Fresh, raw leaves can be used in salads and in vegetable juices.

* It is also used in soup and curry preparations in many mouth watering Purslane recipes in South Indian states.

* Stir fried and mixed with other greens such as spinach and vegetables are favorite dishes among Asians.

* The French call it “pourpier” and often serve it with fish, for which it's citrus flavor is a natural complement.

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