Wild greens that will boost your health

Wild thang - dandelions
Wild thang - dandelions

Thankfully, this time of year lends itself to having a more moderate appetite (minus the daily froyo cravings), and finding ourselves drawn to eating more fruits and veggies. You probably have your go-to produce, but how about living on the edge by trying some lesser-known, wild greens? Find out how these flowering plants can spice up your summer menu and boost your health.

The big sting

The nutritional value and herbal properties of Stinging Neetles, this prickly wonderplant, are seemingly endless: Chock full of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene and amino acids among others, nettles aid in cleansing the bladder and kidneys; used in herbal treatments, they have been known to help treat gout, anemia, thin blood, epilepsy, depression and poor circulation. To get your daily dose, add some zing to your favorite juice or smoothie, or consume on its own as tea by drying its leaves yourself.

(Dande)lions and tigers and bears

Save yourself money by foraging through your backyard or local park for these greens. Though considered a pest to gardeners, consumption of dandelion leaves are an excellent tonic for cleansing the liver. Add to your favorite salads, saute in lieu of your usual kale or spinach or try one of these helpful tips to help detoxify your system in a naturally delicious way.

(Cat)tail of two cities

Cattails work as an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, and these marsh mainstays grow in uberabundance in nature and can be used in a variety of ways. Pluck tails (about two to three per serving) when they’re green to steam like asparagus, drizzling with your favorite oil. If you happen upon browned reeds, no worries – take the fuzzy tails and mix with ground grains to give homemade baked goods extra nutrition, or use as a thickening agent in your signature stews.

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