Trim Your Tummy with Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens – who knew the little yellow flower often thought of as a nuisance growing wild in the grass had health benefits?  I’m not suggesting you run out and start pulling dandelion weeds out of your yard because they do need to be grown and harvested in the proper setting for human consumption. But the more you learn about the benefits of dandelion greens, you’re probably going to want to try them! I’ve been using them lately in salads, green juices, and herbal teas.

What initially attracted me to dandelion greens is the fact that hey have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for healthy digestion. Recently I had been having strange issues with inflammation that seemed to move from one area of my body (mainly in my joints) to another which is typically  related to immune system issues in an autoimmune person. I  call it a “mini immune attack.” In addition, I have been preparing for an upcoming photo shoot and when I also learned about the detox and slimming effects of these mildly sweet bitter greens I knew I wanted to give them a try. I initially started with drinking a small cup of warm dandelion green herbal tea in the morning and again in the early afternoon. I don’t need to lose weight per se, but at 5’2″ and with the thought of needing to be ready for the camera, I’ll take all the slimming techniques I can get (with the caveat it is healthy for me and not some crazy risky quick fix fad). I really was mainly only after the detox effects because I knew this would help decrease inflammation, and who wants to be inflamed and in pain during a photo session? As a bitter herb, dandelion greens support the liver and kidneys by improving their functions to detoxify and neutralize toxins.

What I noticed after about five days of simply drinking the tea was a pleasant surprise. One morning after a few days of drinking the tea, I was getting dressed to go to a meeting and put on my usual  business suit…one I wear quite often. I was taken aback when the pencil skirt literally fell off the minute I zipped it up!  It seemed a size or two too big and just slid off as though it wasn’t even my skirt. Like most women, I have a variety of sizes in my closet, so I chose another suit one size smaller…same thing happened again! For the meeting I had to quickly choose a dress instead that I could use a belt with to make it look fitted. My point is that my hips and tummy were obviously much slimmer according to the way my clothes fit. I’m not complaining!

Dandelion Greens Home PicDandelion greens are rich in iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins K, B6, B2, and C. They are also rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and copper. No wonder I’m mad them!

SIDE-NOTE: Dandelion greens should be used in adults only. And you should consult your healthcare practitioner if you have a gallbladder disorder, bowel obstruction, or are pregnant or nursing. In addition, dandelion greens should not be used if you have kidney disease, diabetes, heart failure, or if you are allergic to plants in the daisy family like Echinacea or dandelion. Dandelion greens should also be used for a period of only two weeks followed by a break before resuming.

So, if you’re in the clear health-wise, and interested in giving dandelion greens a try as a detoxification “boost,” you can try them in salads with other greens, in a smoothie (see recipe below) or as an herbal tea. If using in salad greens I suggest blanching them  for about 3 minutes to reduce the bitterness of the leaves. If using as a tea, you could try to steep the leaves and make your own, but I really likeDandelion tea box pic Traditional Medicinals brand which is certified organic and non GMO. In case you are wondering where I get dandelion greens, I get them in the produce section from Whole Foods.

Green juice smoothie picDandelion Greens Melon-Cucumber Weight Loss Smoothie with Mint
2 cups honeydew melon, cubed
6 fresh mint leaves
1/2 cucumber with peel
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 teaspoon lime juice
3 cups dandelion greens
8 ounces (118ml) unsweetened almond milk
Start by adding the liquid to your blender (I use a Ninja) followed by the fruit. Add the greens to your blender last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
Serving Size: 1-2. May be sealed in a container & refrigerated for 24 hours if it is too much to drink.
Shannon wants to know: What’s your favorite healthy detox “green?”