28 Jul Superfood Tuesday – Nettles
This Tuesday we are talking about…
What it is: Nettles–or “stinging nettles” are plants that grow wild across much of our country. They are similar to spinach but without the oxalates which can inhibit the absorption of minerals. If you are going to pick this wild or use it fresh…use gloves! The hairs on the bottom will “sting” you. However, once you dry it or cook it, these hairs no longer have any stinging power.
What it does: Nettles are not only extremely high in all electrolytes, they are also very mineral-rich and anti-inflammatory. They hydrate the body, strengthen bones and connective tissue and are extremely effective at raising iron levels. They are alkalizing and a great long-term tonic that have positive effects on many body systems including cardiovascular, digestive, immune, musculoskeletal, reproductive and urinary.
How to use it: You can juice the fresh leaves or cook them up like you would with spinach. I really like getting dried leaves/loose leaf tea and making a tea out of it (let it steep for about 10 minutes). It’s quite mild, earthy and not as bitter as green tea.
In my experience: Since I don’t eat meat, I drink nettle tea almost every day to make sure I’m getting enough iron. It kinda makes me feel like the energy in my body is flowing better…a bit hard to describe…it’s not so much of an energy boost, but because it’s so nutrient-dense, it just feels like everything is working as it should. I find it especially useful if I’m feeling dehydrated. You could add some honey and pour it over ice for an all-natural, post-workout electrolyte drink! I also like to add it to many of my custom-tea blends for my clients depending on their individual needs.
Where to get it: It grows wild across the country so you may be able to pick it or grow it yourself. I know it overtakes yards in San Diego pretty easily so some people may even beg you to take it from them. You can also buy it at farmer’s markets or get the loose leaf tea using the link below (I bought this bag and it will probably last me about a year).
Anyone else have experience with nettles? What are your thoughts?