Edible flowers are a unique and nutritious addition to the diet of active people. These flowers — which can be consumed fresh, dried, and with other foods — offer many health benefits that boost your overall well-being and performance. From anti-inflammatory effects to antioxidant properties and immune system support, edible flowers can be a valuable addition to your diet. Let’s discuss some potential health benefits of edible flowers for active people in detail.
Chrysanthemums and hibiscus contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. For example, Hibiscus is rich in H. sabdariffa, a substance that prevents severe impairments due to overtraining. Such compounds are particularly beneficial for active people, as physical activity can increase inflammation in the body. Ingesting these flowers or using them topically may help to reduce inflammation and soreness, which can improve recovery time and overall performance. So, if you’re wondering what to have in your next flower delivery, hibiscus and chrysanthemum might be the best options.
Edible flowers like roses, violets, and lavender, contain antioxidants that can help to protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other edible flowers that have strong antioxidant effects include:
- Nasturtiums: These bright and colorful flowers have a slightly spicy flavor and are high in vitamin C, an incredibly strong antioxidant. You can use these flowers to add flavor and color to salads and sandwiches.
- Calendula: Also known as pot marigold, calendula flowers have a slightly bitter and tangy flavor. They are high in antioxidants and you can use them to make tea or add a pop of color to your salad.
- Rose: Rose petals have a delicate, sweet flavor and are high in vitamin C, polyphenols, and plenty of other antioxidants. You can add them to your tea, desserts, and sweet dishes for flavor and fragrance.
Some flowers like hawthorn and roses have been shown to have a positive effect on heart health — this is very crucial for athletes and other highly active people. Roses contain polyphenols that alleviate the risk of heart disease. Hawthorn, on the other hand, has been used for centuries to boost cardiovascular health. It is believed to work by improving blood flow to the heart and relaxing the blood vessels, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the workload on the heart.
Some studies have also suggested that hawthorn may have antioxidant properties, which may help protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals.
Many flowers contain fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Some edible flowers have been found to help with digestive problems, such as reducing bloating, improving digestion, and reducing the risk of constipation and other digestive problems that can arise from intense physical activity. For example, chamomile tea, made from the chamomile plant’s dried flowers, is often used as a natural remedy for digestive issues such as indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Immune System Support
As we’ve already seen, most edible flowers are rich in antioxidants, which can protect your body against harmful radicals and chronic diseases. Antioxidants are also believed to support the immune system by helping to reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.
Take the example of the elderflower. This flower is high in vitamins C and A, which are important for a healthy immune system. Elderflower is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which may help to boost the immune system. According to WebMD, elderflowers can treat flu and sinuses, though there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims.
Better Skin Health
Roses and hibiscus have been shown to positively affect skin health. Rose water, for example, has been used for centuries to soothe and hydrate the skin, making it a popular choice for natural skin care products. Hibiscus, on the other hand, has been found to have anti-aging properties and improve skin elasticity. Both of these flowers can be particularly beneficial for active people because physical activity can sometimes cause skin irritation and dryness.
Another benefit of incorporating edible flowers into your plant-based diet is that they are good for the eyes and mind. Edible flowers can be a good way to incorporate a touch of beauty and novelty into your meals, which can help reduce stress and improve your overall sense of well-being. The act of preparing and enjoying a meal with edible flowers can be a mindful and relaxing activity, and the vibrant colors and unique flavors of the flowers can enhance the sensory experience of the meal.
Edible flowers such as dianthus, chrysanthemums, and begonias are rich in potassium, the mineral that boosts cognitive function. These flowers contain compounds that can improve brain health, including mental clarity and focus — you need these two to maintain your mental sharpness and stay on top of your game.
The dandelion flower may have potential health benefits for the bones, according to Healthline. This flower contains vitamin K and potassium, both of which are essential for bone health. Vitamin K plays a role in bone metabolism by activating proteins that help to deposit calcium in the bones. Some studies have suggested that increasing the intake of vitamin K through diet or supplements may help to improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
Besides dandelions, orchids are the other edible flowers that can boost bone health. These blooms are rich in calcium, the mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
From anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties to heart health and digestive support, edible flowers offer a wide range of potential health benefits. Flowers like lavender and chamomile can provide stress relief, while begonias and chrysanthemums can support cognitive function. Nettles and dandelions can support bone health, and hibiscus and bitter melon can have a positive effect on weight management. Overall, incorporating edible flowers into your diet can be a simple and enjoyable way to support your health and boost your performance as an active person.
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