Health and Nutritional Benefits of Pigweed

Pigweed (Amaranthus blitoides) is also known as amaranth and it is now found on most continents except Antarctica. The plant is often considered to be an invasive weed, but like many weeds, it is quite edible and healthy to eat. This edible wild plant originated in North America and has become naturalized in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. The plant can be found in all US States and Canadian provinces. It has such great benefits that survivalists would be doing well to recognize it and to learn of its medicinal properties. Pigweed appearance Some species of pigweed grow more than three feet in height, but Amaranthus blitoides is low growing and sprawling, seldom growing taller than a few inches tall, with the branches laying upon the ground. It sometimes forms dense mats and the stems can be over a foot in length. The leaves are small, rarely over a half-inch in length and oval-shaped. The flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. The stems usually contain some reddish coloration and the leaves are normally dark green. Pigweed in general This annual grows well in sandy soil and doesn’t like clay soils that don’t drain well and which can become compacted. It is common in waste places, along fence rows, in fields and in lawns. Some species are purposely grown as a food crop, particularly in Asia and parts of Africa. Besides the wonderful nutritional benefits, pigweed is easy to grow and all parts of the plant are edible. Native Americans primarily Continue Reading →

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The Health and Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes

In most developed countries, potatoes are among the most important staple crops. However, many people in those nations think of potatoes as simply something that are tasty and filling. Potatoes are a lot more than just comfort foods, though. The following information is regarding the potato tuber. All other parts of the potato, including the stems, leaves and flowers are inedible. This is understandable since this plant, which originated in Central America, is a member of the deadly nightshade family. Potatoes for dieters Potatoes are well suited for helping people lose weight. A medium sized potato (about a third of a pound) has no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium, yet it only has 110 calories. That is with the potato skins included. About a fifth of the nutrition of a potato comes from the skin. Potatoes for vitamins and minerals According to the self nutrition data website, 2 cups of baked potato (about 2/3 pounds) contains almost 100 percent of the vitamins C and B6 that an average adult requires each day. Potatoes are also very good sources of Niacin, Thiamin, Folate and Pantothenic Acid. Potatoes are also packed with minerals. They are high in iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and potassium. In fact, potatoes contain more potassium than spinach, bananas or broccoli. Additionally, potatoes are high in fiber, so they help the digestive system. This vegetable may even help fight cancer or prevent it. This is in part because of the amount of fiber found in potatoes Continue Reading →

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