Weed also known as Purslane, usually grows on the thin or bare spots in a lawn, other common names are verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose. Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) classifies purslane as a broad-leaved weed, in countries such as China, Mexico, and Greece it is used as a popular vegetable and herb.
Many consider Purslane as a common weed and throw it away, while others cultivate it specifically to eat as food. Purslane is an aesthetically attractive weed with fleshy leaves and yellow flowers, and it also has many health benefits.
Purslane Nutrition Facts
– Purslane contains different types of betalain alkaloid pigments with powerful antioxidants and anti-mutagens.
– Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids.
– Purslane contains dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
– It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision.
– Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid.
– Purslane is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats, and is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Health Benefits of Purslane
– When eaten fresh, Purslane leaves contain high omega-3 fatty acids compared to any other leafy vegetable plant. Research studies have shown that consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and help prevent the development of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism, and other developmental differences in children.
– Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio have found that purslane has up to twenty times more of the possibly cancer-growth-inhibiting antioxidant melatonin than many other common fruits and vegetables
– It is also high in another antioxidant, vitamin A, which has significant tumor-fighting potential, especially when it comes to oral and lung cancers.
– Purslane seeds, appear like black tea powder, are often used to make some herbal drinks.
Due to its high nutritional benefits, instead of considering purslane as a weed, it can be considered as a health-boosting, everyday food, as purslane can be used fresh as a salad, or cooked like spinach, and it is also suitable for soups and stews.