Purslane, or Portulaca oleracea, is grown by many people in their gardens for its beauty; oblivious of the fact that it also has a plethora of health benefits.
In some cultures, it is grown for consumption, while it is considered a weed in others.
Popularly known as pig weed, purslane is an all-natural plant with very powerful seeds that can remain viable in land for as much as 40 years.
It can thrive in a well-maintained garden as well as in an arid environment.
The plant is not only beneficial for our immune system, but for our overall health as well.
It is among the leafy green vegetables with the highest vitamin A content, i.e 1320 IU/100 g, providing 44% of RDA.
As such, it can provide protection against numerous types of cancers, in addition to boosting eye health. Furthermore, it has more healthy Omega 3 fatty acids compared to many fish oils.
It is also loaded with yellow beta-xanthins and reddish beta-cyanis, two betalain alkaloid pigments that are powerful anti-mutagens and antioxidants.
Other significant nutrients found in purslane include vitamins C and B-complex, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and carotenoids, as well as trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron.
Thus, purslane has a rich nutritional value and provides a wide range of nutritional benefits.
In that regard, it should no longer be regarded as a weed, but as a health-boosting plant that should be consumed on a regular basis.