Healthsomeness Written Logo

Purslane

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Purslane Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 92.9 g
Calories: 20 kcal
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 3.4 g
Fat: 0.4 g
Vitamin C: 21 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.5 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 12 μg
Calcium: 65 mg
Iron: 2 mg
Magnesium: 68 mg
Phosphorus: 44 mg
Potassium: 494 mg
Sodium: 45 mg
Zinc: 0.2 mg

Purslane is considered by many to be nothing more than a weed, as it is very widespread and easy to grow. But if by a weed you mean something you shouldn’t be eating, well, nothing could be further from the truth.

With a distinctive, slightly salty taste, purslane is great for everything from a light garnish to a heavy stew. The real headline here, however, is it’s astonishing list of health benefits: cardiovascular, neurological, hepatoprotective, anti-oxidant, anti-tumour and anti-viral.

Purslane is an extremely nutrient-dense leaf vegetable. 100g contains just 20 calories. For those 20 calories, you get 35% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C, 26% DV of vitamin A, 17% DV of magnesium, and 14% DV of potassium.

Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other green leafy vegetable. Considering this is mainly found in fish, purslane is an excellent choice for anyone looking to benefit from the heart and brain boosting benefits offered by omega 3 fatty acids.

In terms of health, purslane has an amazing variety of health benefits, all of which are backed up by a solid body of research. It helps to preserve cognition from environmental factors, protects your liver from toxic compounds, reduces our risk of type 2 diabetes and treats some of the complications, and has anti-viral, antioxidant and anti-tumour benefits (see this review). Purslane is a true health food!

Firstly, it has substantial neuroprotective effects, in that it protects your brain from all kinds of environmental damage. Studies have been done both on damage done via oxygen starvation and through various kinds of toxic compounds.

This is immensely important because it shows that purslane may have the potential to protect your brain from damage as you age and come into contact with multiple environmental toxins. In addition, the fact that purslane contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids means it is a real brain food.

Secondly, it has hepatoprotective (liver protecting) effects, which is immensely important considering one of the liver’s primary roles is to keep the body free of toxic substances through a variety of mechanisms (bile production etc.).

Both the neuroprotective and hepatoprotective effects may be due to the proven antioxidant effects of purslane, although this is speculation. The antioxidant properties of purslane are important because it demonstrates the capacity to combat DNA damage and cell death.

Purslane has even had pronounced anti-tumour effects in certain experiments, making it one of the most promising avenues of nutritional research.

Finally, purslane is also proven to have some influence when it comes to preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. In fact, it has positive effects when it comes to managing one of the complications of diabetes, diabetic nephropathy. Additionally, it has even been shown to have anti-viral effects, surely making this one of the best foods that most people aren’t eating!