Beta Carotene is the substance the body converts into vitamin A and that's generally thought to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Carrots are considered to be loaded with beta carotene, with 6.1 milligrams per 10 grams. Dandelions contain 8.4 milligrams for the same amount, according to Agriculture Department figures.
Not only do dandelions contain more beta carotene than carrots, but they have more potassium than bananas, more lecithin than soybeans and more iron than spinach. In addition, they are particularly rich in fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, the B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin and a veritable alphabet of other vitamins and minerals. They also are rich in rare micronutrients such as copper, cobalt, zinc and boron.
Organic dandelions are sometimes available at health food stores or Farmer's/Green Markets. They are an excellent addition to salads or soups. They can be bitter if eaten alone.
They can also be added to green juices.
Some of this article came from Betty Parham at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, June 2000.
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