The Power of Purslane
Purslane — also known as duckweed, fatweed, pursley, pussley, verdolagas and wild portulaca — is the most frequently reported “weed” species in the world. It can grow anywhere that has at least a two-month growing season, but little is known in North American kitchens about this delicious and nutritious food.
Purslane is somewhat crunchy and has a slight lemony taste. Some people liken it to watercress or spinach, and it can substitute for spinach in many recipes. Young, raw leaves and stems are tender and are good in salads and sandwiches. They can also be lightly steamed or stir-fried. Purslane’s high level of pectin (known to lower cholesterol) thickens soups and stews.
Here’s a few good reasons to eat this power packed food:
- This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories and fats; nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- High in Vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acids, in fact it provides provides six times more vitamin E than spinach.
- Purlane provides seven times more beta carotene than carrots.
- It is an excellent source of Vitamin-A, one of the highest among green leafy vegetables.
- Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin-C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
- Furthermore, present in purslane are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, which are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies.