This cancer-fighting superweed belongs on your table

Do you wage war on the dandelions in your yard every year? If you do, you might want to reconsider…

Dandelions may not make your lawn look neat and tidy, but they do have something worthwhile to offer you… unbelievable health benefits.

In fact, dandelion greens are among the healthiest of all leafy greens. Yet they’re probably the least likely to end up on your plate. Why?

Maybe it’s hard to look at a “weed” as a superfood. But I think part of the problem is that most people don’t realize just how healthy dandelion greens are…

Did you know, for example, that dandelion greens blow broccoli — the brassica that stops cancer growth — out of the water when it comes to nutritional content? They have four times more calcium, 1.5 times more vitamin A and 7.5 more vitamin K than broccoli.

They give spinach a run for its money too. They contain double the amount of iron and three times more riboflavin than spinach. They also contain whopping doses of vitamin E (the weight loss vitamin) and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin—nutrients you need to fight age-related eye disease.

And if all that weren’t enough, dandelion greens are one of very few vegetables that contain prebiotics, a form of fiber that makes your gut a welcoming place for good bacteria.

Because of this rich nutritional profile, dandelion greens can do amazing things for your health, like:

  • Reduce symptoms from kidney, liver, bladder and gallbladder diseases
  • Improve your eye health
  • Balance your blood sugar
  • Control disease-causing inflammation
  • Ward off breast cancer and prostate cancer

So next time you’re throwing together a salad, ditch the usual lettuce or kale for a plate full of dandelion greens. Here’s one recipe for a simple yet delicious dandelion green salad you can try when you see a fresh bag of dandelion greens calling your name at the grocery store.

And of course, if you don’t use chemical fertilizers or lawn treatments you can harvest a fresh and healthy plate of dandelion greens from your very own yard in the spring and summer when they’re everywhere. It will make your yard more presentable and make you healthier, so it’s a win-win.

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  1. Bowden, Jonny. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2007.
  2. “The Health Benefits of Eating Dandelion Greens.” The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  3. “Health Benefits of Dandelion.” Organic Facts. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  4. “Dandelion Greens with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette.” Whole Foods Market. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  5. “Dandelion Greens with a Kick.” Retrieved September 27, 2016.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and