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Nutritional value of Dandelion

Nutritional value of Dandelion

The common dandelion or dandelion, dog’s tooth, dandelion, etc. (Taraxacum officinale (Weber) ex Wiggers, 1780) is a plant of the Asteraceae family. The specific epithet, officinale, indicates its medicinal virtues, known since ancient times and exploited with the use of its roots and leaves.

Characteristics –
Taraxacum officinale is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Asteraceae family, widespread in many parts of the world and is recognizable by its characteristic yellow inflorescence composed of small flowers gathered in a flower head.
Dandelion leaves are basal, long and lanceolate, with toothed or lobed margins. They often form a basal rosette and may have a characteristic toothed shape similar to a lion’s mane, hence the common name “dandelion”.
The dandelion flowers are gathered in yellow flower heads placed on erect stems. Each flower head is made up of small central tubular flowers, of an intense yellow colour, surrounded by green bracts. The flowers open during the day and close at night.
The dandelion root is fleshy and can be white or brown. It is often described as taproot-like, with thin lateral roots extending radially.
Dandelion is known for its medicinal properties. Its leaves are often eaten raw in salads and are rich in vitamins and minerals. The root is used in herbal medicine to prepare infusions and herbal teas, as it is believed to have purifying and diuretic properties.
Dandelion is a perennial plant, which means it lives for more than two years. It reproduces both sexually, through seeds, and vegetatively, thanks to the formation of new plants from its root.
This plant grows in a variety of habitats, including lawns, roadsides, gardens and fields. It is often considered a weed but has an important ecological role as a food source for insects and as a companion plant in gardening.
Additionally, dandelion has a long history of culinary and medicinal use in several cultures. Its ubiquitous presence and endurance give it a prominent position in the popular imagination and herbal tradition.

Nutritional sheet –
Taraxacum officinale contains a series of substances and active ingredients that make it a very interesting plant from a nutritional point of view.
Below is a general list of nutrients found in dandelion per 100 gram edible serving:
Calories: Approximately 45 kcal
Protein: Approximately 2.7 g
Fat: About 0.7 g
Saturated fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated fats: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fats: 0.4 g
Carbohydrates: Approximately 9.2 g
Sugars: 0.7 g
Dietary fibre: 3.5 g
Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamin A (as carotenes): Approximately 10191 IU
Vitamin C: About 35 mg
Vitamin K: Approximately 778.4 µg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol): Approximately 3.44 mg
Folate: Approximately 27 µg
Calcium: Approximately 187 mg
Iron: Approximately 3.1 mg
Magnesium: About 36 mg
Phosphorus: Approximately 66 mg
Potassium: Approximately 397 mg
Sodium: Approximately 76 mg
Zinc: About 0.4 mg
Copper: Approximately 0.2 mg
Manganese: About 0.3 mg
Additionally, dandelion is known to contain beneficial phytochemical compounds, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, which may have antioxidant properties and other potential health benefits. However, the percentages and quantities reported here are indicative and average and may vary depending on various factors, such as production system, climatic conditions, etc.

Property –
Taraxacum officinale has been known since ancient times for its food and healing properties.
Dandelion is known for its diuretic effect, which can help increase urine production and aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
Thanks to its diuretic properties and antioxidant content, dandelion is often considered to aid in the body’s detoxification process.
Traditional uses of dandelion include digestion support. It can stimulate the production of bile in the liver, thus aiding in the digestion of fats.
Dandelion contains antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids, which can help neutralize free radicals and protect cells from oxidative stress.
Some studies suggest that dandelion may have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Dandelion is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium.
Thanks to its stimulating action on bile production, dandelion can be considered beneficial for liver health.
Some use dandelion for supposedly beneficial properties on the skin, such as reducing acne or skin irritation. However, it is important to note that scientific evidence on these effects is limited.
Importantly, although dandelion has a long history of traditional use and is widely considered safe, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before using herbs or supplements, especially if you are taking medications or have pre-existing medical conditions.

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