I know the snow has been on the ground, and it hardly feels like spring…but the daffodils are beautiful and the stinging nettles are beginning to shoot up!
However eating or drinking a stinging nettle is not the most appealing offer you’ve had all week I am sure! For most of us consuming anything whose name includes “stinging” is perhaps something we may try and avoid. The thin hairs on this plant may irritate your skin if handled without gloves, but preparing stinging nettles for pain-free consumption is well worth the effort as believe it or not this green vegetable offers excellent nutritional value…
What are the benefits?
Stinging nettles have a long history of use as a diuretic and joint pain treatment. Incorporating nettles into your diet helps to promote healthy adrenal glands and kidneys, encouraging your body to expel toxins and react to stress in positive ways. Eating nettles may also offer you relief from season allergies, and many people use stinging nettle to make tea, (or if you are really brave you can juice it), taking it for a variety of maladies, including respiratory and urinary problems, diabetes and protection against kidney stones, as well as to speed wound healing.
Stinging nettles supply iron and lots of it! Each 1 cup portion contains 7.7 percent to 17.5 percent of the daily recommended intake, depending on your nutritional requirements. Many people are urged to consume more iron-rich foods, to combat anemia or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The calcium content of stinging nettles is also significant in that 1 cup provides 32.9 to 42.8 percent of the amount you require daily. Calcium, as we all know, promotes strong teeth and bones, and it may also lessen the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, preventing headaches, mood swings and bloating.
By including stinging nettles in your diet it gives you a huge boost in vitamin A, for example a 1-cup serving contains 1,790 IU of this vitamin, nearly three times the amount you need in a single day. Vitamin D works with calcium to strengthen your teeth and bones, although its main role in the body is to normalize the amount of calcium and phosphorus in your bloodstream.
Your body is able to store extra vitamin A, so the additional vitamins you consume are not wasted. Stinging nettles also serve as an excellent source of vitamin K, a vitamin your body requires for blood clotting. Each 1-cup portion contains 369 to 493 percent of the daily recommended intake. Like vitamin D, your body can store vitamin K for later use.
So, make use of this wild growing plant. Its free, its easy to find and it will do you the power of good!