Grandma knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your dandelion greens! And Grandma wasn’t the only one to know this. People have been using the dandelion’s powerful healing properties for many years. They are the ultimate detox and cleansing green.
They help cleanse the liver, purify the blood, prevent gallstones and hemorrhoids, and settle digestion, which is why so many detox recipes call for this versatile ingredient. So if your goal is detoxification and cleansing, you should be using dandelion greens in your green smoothies!
Dandelions are even on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s “Most Highly Recommended Vegetables” list! And it’s no wonder when you look at these facts from his website:
“The greens of the humble dandelion provide 535 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which may be the most important source of any other plant-based food to strengthen bones, but may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuron damage in the brain.”
“Dandelion greens give the body 112 percent of the daily minimum requirement of vitamin A as an antioxidant carotenoid, which is particularly good for the skin, mucus membranes and vision. A flavonoid called zeaxanthin protects the retina from UV rays, while others, primarily carotene, lutein, and cryptoxanthin, protect the body from lung and mouth cancers.”
“Dandelion greens are high in fiber, which helps your body shed waste. These greens also contain vitamins C and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron (crucial for generating red blood cells), potassium (to help regulate heart rate and blood pressure), and manganese. Other nutrients present in dandelion greens include folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.”
You can find out more about this powerful green on Dr. Mercola’s website:
Now let’s put this versatile vegetable to work with a recipe! This is one of my favorite smoothies at this time of the year.
Detox Green Cleansing Smoothie
- 1 cup or small bunch dandelion leaves
- 1 cup torn romaine leaves or any greens ( spinach, kale, swiss chard)
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 small pear (or 1/2 large), cored and chopped
- 1 banana, chopped (preferably frozen)
- 1 cup water or coconut water (I use coconut water)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh mint
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Handful of cilantro
- 1/2 to 1 whole lemon or lime, juiced
- ½ Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1/4-inch slice ginger root, peeled
- Pinch of cayenne, optional
- Pinch of cinnamon, optional
- Pinch of turmeric, optional
Place ingredients in blender and blend until completely smooth. Makes 1-2 servings.
Dandelions play such an important role in liver cleansing. For other guidelines about improving the health of your liver, read this blog post