Move over, holy kale…the best vegetable for health, nutrition, detox, and glowing skin is the dandelion green. The biggest benefit of this overlooked leafy green is that it cleans the liver. Studies have shown that it promotes healthy lipid profiles and reduces fat accumulation in the liver. A healthy liver means less toxicity, which has a direct link to clearer skin.
My aesthetician extraordinaire John Tew (at Temptress in Manhattan Beach, 310-647-3467) suggested that I start including dandelion greens in my diet. I never really had issues with acne, but recently have had cyst-like pimples on my chin as a result of the changing hormone levels that come with age (ugh, as if we need more things to deal with as we get older). While I’ve been trying to clear it up with facials and treatments, John suggested an inside-out approach.
I already drink a green smoothie every day, so it was easy for me to add dandelion greens. It doesn’t take much, and you don’t want too much because they have a bitter and very grassy flavor. But in a smoothie full of delicious fruits and other veggies, I hardly noticed they were there. My skin sure took notice, though. After only a week, it looks amazing. My face is luminous, the texture is smoother, and my pores are way less congested. And with clearer pores, come smaller pores!
You can also include dandelion greens in salads, but only in moderate doses. If you don’t mind the slight bitter flavor, you can sauté them with garlic and finish them with olive oil (never cook with olive oil since it destroys all the goodness; always add it after removing from heat).
Other than the obvious benefit to my skin, dandelion greens are really good for overall health. They contain 14% protein (more than spinach) and are chock-full of vitamins and minerals including iron, which is so important for women. They’re also natural diuretics to reduce swelling. If you need a full flush for any reason (a UTI, cold sores, a cold, or a recent stint of antibiotics), these will help immensely. Just make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids and stay near a bathroom. Or if you have too much sodium in your diet, and you need to get in to that tight dress, this will do the trick.
They’re easy to get at Whole Foods or at your local farmers market. I got a bunch today for only $1. But trust me, as dandelion greens gain momentum, you will see their availability increase. Your favorite farm-to-table restaurants will soon be turning out 25 ways to serve them. If you don’t have a Whole Foods or farmers market near you, or just don’t have to time to deal with all this, here are alternative sources. Of course, a fresh, natural source is the best, but the reality is that sometimes we’ve got to take what we can get!
Organic Dandelion Root Tea (on Amazon for $15.28)
Dandelion Extract (on Amazon for $9.42)