Optimal health can be achieved only if you live in an alliance with nature. Growing your own food is a great way to make contact with nature. Well, have you thought about the wild plants in your yard? Plants that you consider “weeds” can be delicious if they are prepared properly. These plants are not only free food, but can also serve as a free natural remedy. So grab a basket, get out and see what is hiding in your backyard!
Purslane is a true treasury of omega-3 fatty acids so essential to our health. There is a big chance that this plant is now growing in your yard, because according to statistics, it is the most widespread “weeds” in the world. Purslane is a miniature plant, with juicy fleshy leaves and reddish stems. It grows as a wild plant in backyards, along rivers, streams, canals and the edges of forests. It is resistant to high and low temperatures and drought, thrives in poor soil. This plant is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, A, B and E and omega-3 fatty acids. From this table you can see that purslane compared to other plants contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
There are several types of sorrel, some of them are edible, while others are not. White sorrel (lat. Chenopodium album) is a European relative of spinach and beetroot. It can find along the edges of roads, in fields, on construction sites, and probably growing in your own backyard. White spinach can grow up to 6 meters in height. This plant has leaves in the form of diamond, which are covered with white powder, which is why it got its name.
This herb contains:
Incredible 11,600 IU of beta carotene in half a cup (much more than the chard and spinach),300 mg of calcium in a half cup (chard contains 88 mg, 93 mg and spinach), folic acid, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C, E, B6, B2 and B1. Sorrel can prepare in the same way as spinach. Its flavor is very similar to spinach, but the content of nutrients is much higher.
Last on our list, but no less important is the nettle – Urtica dioica. Underneath its beautiful leaves hide the bulb – hairs that contain a mixture of compounds, including histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine. If you touch them, the hair pours out the juice on the skin which causes stinging. This is why we need to boil before consuming nettle. However nettle can be used raw – to remove chemicals that cause stinging. Nettle has a high proportion of iron, potassium, manganese, calcium and vitamins A, C, D and K. One cup of nettle supplies you with incredible 1,790 IU of vitamin A, which is 300% of the recommended daily intake. Parts of nettles that are commonly consumed are its leaves and root.