Super Greens to Revitalize (Liver) Health
There are a few foods that I believe should be included in absolutely every dietary dictate. Also known as “super foods”, these foods are a superior source of nutrients that help us stay healthy, trim, and active. Kale, broccoli, avocado, and quinoa are a few of the most widely approved super foods and rightfully so. My personal list would also include the entire cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage; root tubers like sweet potatoes and yams; and, of course, some high quality, ethically sourced meat, poultry, and fish. Throw in a few berries and coconut oil and we’ve got ourselves one of the most potent health promoting, disease reversing tonics known to man – a nourishing whole foods diet!
These foods are most definitely awesome, but I’m not here to recite what we already know. I’m here to blow open the doors of your nutritional consciousness and create a new paradigm in your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing!
That being said, I would like to submit to you a new, beyond super, food whose ability to enhance your health may surpass that of all the aforementioned goodies.
Folk healers believe that dandelion has many therapeutic properties, but the most cited is the enhanced formation of bile and elimination of water to help decongest the liver. A congested liver impairs detoxification and elimination promoting the accumulation of toxins in the system, which may contribute to every variety of hepatic dysfunction and disease.
Touching on our main purpose hear at Twelve Wellness – diet and lifestyle modification to overcome addiction and repair the damage caused by process addictions – promoting liver function is essential in detoxifying the body of chemicals that can accumulate throughout the body in those with substance abuse disorders. Decongesting the liver allows the safe elimination of toxins so that they are not allowed to poison the body as our cells release them into the bloodstream. Further, improving the liver’s ability to detoxify harmful substances improves it’s functional capacity in the production bile, plasma proteins, cholesterol; the conversion of glucose into glycogen, or stored energy; and the regulation of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins that promote tissue growth and neurotransmitter production.
Dandelion greens are also cited as being a strong blood purification agent that simultaneously helps regulate hormone synthesis and metabolism.
Those of that appreciate a more modern approach to nutritional healing will marvel at the fact that one serving, according to Dr.Mercola, provides an amazing 535% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, 112% of the daily minimum of vitamin A, and a substantial amount of other phytonutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. Minor amounts of essential nutrients can also be found in dandelion greens, which include folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
Powerful indeed and eating dandelion greens couldn’t be easier. You can simply throw them into a smoothie for a quick snack, toss them with your favorite mixed greens to keep you light and energized through the long summer days, or simply stir them into finished soups or stews on a chilly spring evening.
If you want to get a little more adventurous, here’s what I did with a fresh batch of dandelion:
Bacon Dandy Sandwich
- 1 piece Canadian bacon, thickly sliced
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee, seperated
- 1 ½ cups dandelion greens, copped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 grain-free biscuit
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon mustard or mayonnaise (optional)
- Warm a small pan over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp on both sides, or desired degree of doneness. Set bacon aside to cool while keeping the grease warm in order to cook the greens.
- Turn heat to medium-low and melt one tablespoon oil or ghee in pan. Add dandelion greens and garlic to pan and cook till tender, tossing frequently. Once wilted, sprinkle greens with vinegar, stir, and then remove from heat and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean and then heat the remaining oil or ghee over medium heat. Once melted, fry the egg as preferred.
- While the egg is cooking, assemble the sandwich by placing the greens on the bottom half of the biscuit. Lay the bacon on top of the greens and spread the mustard or mayonnaise over the top half of the biscuit. When finished, top the dandelion greens and bacon with the fried egg and the top half of the bun.
The grain-free biscuits used in this recipe, developed by Danielle Walker of Against All Grains, are super simple to prepare and also pair very nicely with a hearty soup or stew.
Eating more dark leafy greens, especially dandelion, is a safe and easy way to nourish the body and heal the damage caused by physical and psychological stress. Eat them early and often. Your body will thank you!