Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Omega 3 Surprise - Purslane

A bundle of purslane

In Brooklyn there is a large farmers market adajacent to the Brooklyn Public Library and smack in front of the Prospect Park entrance. One sunny Saturday I spotted purslane due to the fact that there was a bold statement on a handwritten sign that said "PURSLANE - 3 Times Higher in Omega 3"
There was no clinical study attached yet I trusted that the farmer knew of what he spoke. It clearly got my attention as I am always looks for new ways to add Omega 3's and purslane is something I see rarely. Although I use olive oil liberally and am experimenting with chia seeds, the idea of a green plant being a rich source of Omega 3's meant that I could sautee it in my preferred oil of choice and get my greens and the 3's. Wikipedia had this (and much more!) to say about purslane.
Considered a weed by some knowledge of it's extraordinary properties show it is anything but useless.
Portulaca olercea in latin
"Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular[4]) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Research published by Artemis P. Simopoulos states that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for a land-based vegetable source. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, some algae, and flax seeds.[5] It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies."

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