The weed in the photo is called purslane. Purslane is a common weed that can be found in gardens and lawns. While it may be tempting to pull it out or use herbicides to kill it, it is actually a nutritious and tasty plant that can be eaten as a leafy green.
I personally discovered the benefits of purslane when I was working on a community garden project. One of the experienced gardeners taught me that purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids and can be used in salads or as a garnish. Since then, I have made a conscious effort to leave any purslane that I come across in my own garden, and instead, incorporate it into my meals. Continue reading to understand the benefits of purslane:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids
You thought you could only get omega-3s through salmon and flaxseeds. You'll be delighted to know that according to Mother Earth Living, the omega-3 fatty acids in purslane function as fuel for the brain, a preventative for heart attack and a treatment for depression.
Mother Earth Living says the plant is chock-full of antioxidants, which delay cell damage and slow aging.
3. Calcium and magnesium
Eat purslane to maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
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Add purslane to your daily diet, because the potassium in the leaves helps keep your blood pressure in check.
Most people think they can only get iron from red meat and beans. But according to Heal With Food, purslane is also a good source of iron.
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You might not think purslane is a rich source of beta carotene, given its green color, but according to the Chicago Tribune, this is one of the plant's greatest advantages.
Progressive Health reports that purslane is 93 percent water. Eat the plant to refuel dehydrated cells.
8. Glutathione and melatonin
Purslane contains glutathione, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, and melatonin, which regulates sleep-wake circles, according to Progressive Health.
Progressive Health says purslane contains betalain, an antioxidant that prevents cholesterol from damaging blood vessels. This is why purslane is known to have a positive effect on LDL cholesterol levels.
Purslane contains this important amino acid that regulates mood. Progressive Health says eating purslane can fight depression.