We all know that Omega-3’s are a crucial part of a healthy diet. The protection this fatty acid provides for our brain is a key to treating so many symptoms related to cognitive disorders.
Many of you are likely looking for a source of Omega-3 that isn’t animal based or taken as a supplement. You want natural ways to add Omega-3 to your diet. I have the answer – purslane.
Soft, succulent purslane leaves have more Omega-3 fatty acids than some fish oils. If you are a vegetarian and pledge to avoid all forms of animal products, then here is the answer to your search for a plant-based Omega-3 alternative!
Purslane Fast Fact:
The purslane plant is a leggy crawler whose stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. The leaves are thick and fleshy and have a mild tangy taste. Purslane may be used raw in a fresh salad or cooked as you would spinach. It is excellent for using in blended soups and smoothies. Purslane also is a gluten-free alternative to flour or rue for thickening soups!
What is most exceptional about this plant is how extremely nutritious it is. In fact, it contains up to six times more essential Omega-3 fatty acids than other greens. Just 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves (about 1 cup) contains 300 to 400 mg of Omega-3, an extraordinary amount for a land-based vegetable source.
Purslane Fast fact:
We know from much research that Omega-3 prevents inflammation, protects against heart disease, helps with depression and improves immune system functions. Purslane also contains vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C, some B-complex vitamins and carotenoids, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese and iron.
In fact, one cup of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A. At the same time, it’s low in calories and fat, while still high in fiber.
Also present are two potent types of antioxidants, the pigments betacyanins (visible in the reddish coloration of the stems), and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves).
Although purslane is a rock star for its Omega-3 content and other minerals, it contains significant amounts of oxalic acid, which binds with calcium to form calcium oxalate, an insoluble salt.
As many other greens also contain oxalic acid, including spinach, beet leaves, swiss chard and lambs quarters, be sure to vary your greens. Chocolate, tea and coffee are also high in oxalic acid. This is important to take note of as oxalic acid in large quantities can cause some people to develop kidney stones.
Remember – Variety is the spice of health! Mix up your diet and try new foods to be sure you’re getting balance in your diet.
Just be sure to include purslane in your eating plan several times a week to be sure you are taking advantage of its many health benefits!
Because I feel so strongly purslane should be a part of everyone’s healthy diet, I am offering free seedlings to anyone who wants to add this powerhouse to their garden.
Simply call our office at (717) 303-0505 or email us to find out how to get your purslane seedlings.