In the long list of healthy foods you could indulge in, why would we prompt you to include flowers in your diet? Emerging markets and research are fueling a growing niche for medicinal and edible flowers (EF). These nutraceuticals — meaning natural foods that offer health benefits, prevention of, and defense against disease — at times have a denser nutritive benefit than some fruits and vegetables. But how do you incorporate edible flowers into your diet to get these health benefits?
Expand Your Diet to Increase Nutrient Intake
Diversity in your diet is key to maintaining a healthy body.Regardless of your preferred produce, it’s essential that you mix it up, and eat in season (ebb with the earth and enjoy the freshest harvest). This too is where EF can positively play a role in expanding the human diet.
To receive the necessary vitamins, minerals, and compounds for healthy operation and longevity – you need a complete tool kit in the fridge. Varying between fruits, vegetables, roots, sprouts, nuts, herbs, and EF can help you reach optimal nutrient intake and get you feeling fueled.
Take Advantage of Their Natural Medicinal Properties
Flowers have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. If brewing potions sounds interesting to you, make it as simple or as complex as you’d like and use these guides to get you started. From treating wounds, to alleviating toxins, and treating serious ailments — flowers have more to offer than just beauty. Potions, sorcery, brujería, and magic tea — all sound good to me!
2 Crucial Keys for Flower Consumption
- Do Your Research!
Not every flower is edible or safe for humans! These hefty charts will give you a good starting point for non-safe (Table ONE) versus edible flowers (Table TWO), in addition to flavor profiles, growing tips, and peak harvesting.
- Buy, Harvest, and Preserve Correctly
There is a hierarchy of nutritive content and potency remaining in harvested flowers. Opt for EF that have been vacuum-dried (as opposed to dried or dehydrated), frozen, or preserve them yourself in oils, vinegars, or this egg-white and sugar wash!
How Else Can You Use Flowers to Improve Your Life?
If you’re not a morning person, try adding fresh flowers to your bedside. It’s shown to incline you towards a happier morning if they’re the first thing you see when you wake up. Another study found hospital patients with flowers in their room reported less anxiety or need for pain medications.
Aside from eating and using them medicinally, flowers are meant to be enjoyed! If you give them the opportunity, flowers will play their part in connecting you to nature, adding beauty to a kind gesture, purifying and giving a sweet aroma to the air – and, boosting your mood!
Normalize giving flowering plants as gifts, like geraniums or jasmine! This gift keeps on giving, without wilting. Not every moment has to be filled with cut flowers or roses.
Let aromatic and colorful flowers protect and add vibrancy to your home. It’s nothing new to utilize flowers for potpourri (a great way to recycle cut flowers), repelling mosquitos, or colorful arrangements and centerpieces.
If you’re able, don’t write flowers off as an unnecessary purchase, think of them as an investment in your relationships, home, mood, and health!
Benvenuti, S., & Mazzoncini, M. (2021). The Biodiversity of Edible Flowers: Discovering New Tastes and New Health Benefits. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.569499
Flowers and Morning Moods Study | About Flowers. (n.d.). Society of American Florists. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://safnow.org/aboutflowers/quick-links/health-benefits-research/flowers-and-morning-moods/
Ghosh, R. (n.d.). Which Flowers Are Used Profusely In Medicine? Ferns N Petals. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://www.fnp.com/article/which-flowers-are-used-profusely-in-medicine
Newman, S. E., & O’connor, A. S. (2020, October). Edible Flowers. Colorado State University Extension. https://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/07237.pdf
Rop, O., Mlcek, J., Jurikova, T., Neugebauerova, J., & Vabkova, J. (2012). Edible Flowers—A New Promising Source of Mineral Elements in Human Nutrition. Molecules, 17(6), 6672–6683. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules17066672
Upadhyay, R. K. (2011). Kareel plant: A natural source of medicines and nutrients. International Journal of Green Pharmacy (IJGP), 5(4). https://doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v5i4.210
Vierra, B. (2018). The secret health benefits of flowers. Earth.com. https://www.earth.com/news/health-benefits-flowers/