Bitter Greens

I’m talking about the green leafy but bitter ones here. So if you’re usually not into them better take a closer look of what I have to say about these amazing bitter greens:


Dandelion is a flowering plant with brilliant flowers making them more popular as ornamental than medicinal plant.  There are many dandelion varieties but the most common is known scientifically as Taraxacum Officinale. So what is so great about these greens apart from being a decorative plant? Do you know that dandelions are rich in calcium, which is essential for growth and strength of bones, and is rich is anti-oxidants like vitamin-C and Luteolin, which protect bones from age related damages due to free radicals, such as weakening and loss in density.

Dandelion is highly diuretic in nature. In fact, its French name literally means “urinate in bed”. Dandelion juice can help diabetic patients by stimulating production of insulin from pancreas and thus help keeping low the blood sugar level. Dandelion sap, also known as dandelion milk, is useful in treating skin diseases which are caused due to microbial and fungal infection, as this sap is highly alkaline and have germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties. Dandelion has pretty good iron, vitamin and protein content. The fiber in dandelion is also helpful in reducing cholesterol and thereby assists lowering of blood pressure.


Also known as salad rocket is a nutritious leafy green vegetable of Mediterranean origin. It belongs to the brassicaceae family like mustard greens, cauliflower, kale and many others. It has scientific name Eruca sativa. This vegetable also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions. Rocket salad is rich source of certain phytochemicals such as indoles, thiocyanates, sulforaphane and iso­thiocyanates. Together they have been found to counter carcinogenic effects of estrogen and thus help benefit against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. Rocket is very good source of folates. 100 g of fresh greens contain 97 mcg or 24% of folic acid. When given around conception period it helps prevent neural tube defects in the newborns. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A.


These spicy, pungent mustard greens or leafy mustard are indeed one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables. These greens actually have more vitamin A, carotenes, vitamin K and flavonoid anti-oxidants than many common fruits and vegetables. They provide an excellent source of vitamins B6, C, and E, folic acid, calcium, carotenes, manganese, copper, and fiber.  They also offer a very good source of phosphorus, vitamins B1 and B2, magnesium, protein, potassium, and iron. Mustard greens are rich source of anti-oxidants flavonoids, indoles, sulforaphane, carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Indoles, mainly di-indolyl-methane (DIM) and sulforaphane have proven benefits against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.


These are often cultivated commercially for the small, pungent leaflets; it is used as a peppery salad green or garnish. Watercress was formerly used as a domestic remedy and against scurvy. Watercress is rich in Vitamin C.


It is a variety of endive whose leaves are broader, paler and less bitter than other members of the endive family. High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked. Endive is a very low calorie leafy vegetable. 100 g fresh leaves provide just 17 calories but contribute about 8% of RDA of fiber.

So the next time you fill that plate, remember to go high on greens!





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