Edible flowers serve an important role in the kitchen. They are used as a colorful garnish in the art of plating your dish. Plus, they also add a unique burst of flavor in many cuisines such as in soups, salads and certain beverages.
It doesn’t stop there, however. Edible flowers, though used commonly for their popping colors and beauty, are also rich in nutritional value.
Here are 7 healthy edible flowers you may want to add to your next meal.
Calendula is a flowering plant, widely consumed as a tea or an ingredient in traditional medicines. Despite its slightly bitter taste, it possesses antioxidant properties, mainly from flavonoids, that protects the body from free radicals and pro-inflammatory compounds like cytokines.
More to that, calendula also contains linoleic acid which plays a special role in supporting heart health and function.
Though too pretty to eat, you might binge on this flower after knowing its amazing health benefits. Often found in herbal teas and supplements, dandelions have been used as a natural option for blood sugar management. Two bioactive compounds in this plant — chicoric and chlorogenic acid — are known to improve insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels.
Dandelions are also rich in the prebiotic inulin which helps treat constipation and improve digestion.
Research into the benefits of this edible flower has shown promise. However, most of its evidence is pointing to its ability to help people relax and fall asleep.
A handful of clinical studies suggest that chamomile tea may function like benzodiazepine, a prescription drug that can reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
Marigold is a multipurpose flower with medicinal value that is cultivated almost all over the planet. Its florets can be prepared into tea and consumed internally to aid digestion and improve liver health. It also helps bring relief to various discomforts like nausea, menstrual pain and stomach ulcers.
Chrysanthemum is a perennial herb that has a long history of use as a traditional medicine for headaches, insomnia and bone disorders. This flower is a great source of anthocyanin, a potential pharmaceutical ingredient found in plants that are thought to be anti-inflammatory.
Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, chrysanthemum is also used in Chinese medicine as a sedative for nerves — easing anxiety and reducing stress.
Lavender has established a big name in aromatherapy. It has a sweet floral scent that is loved by many. It is not just a fragrant plant, however. It is also an edible flower with medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
Studies suggest consuming lavender as a tea can help with digestive problems. A number of studies also support its ability to relieve pain from headaches, sores, sprains and toothaches.
Hibiscus is a time-tested remedy for a host of ailments. As it has a tangy and sweet fruity flavor, it can easily be made into jams, jellies and teas.
Hibiscus contains vitamin C which supports collagen formation and iron absorption. It also helps boost your immune system and prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
Furthermore, some studies also show that drinking hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
You may not realize it but some of the flowers you grow in your garden are actually safe to eat and are an excellent source of nutrients. Incorporating them into your food and drinks is a great way to take advantage of their health benefits.
Take note, however, that not all parts of these flowers are edible and some can result in allergic reactions.