What happens if you eat stinging nettles? - Britt's Superfoods

What happens if you eat stinging nettles?

If they're prepared correctly the short answer is - you'll receive a nutrient boost!

Nettles nutritional information

  • Low in calories
  • Rich in flavonoids and polyphenols
  • Contain Vitamins A, C and K
  • Have all of the essential amino acids
  • Contain minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium.

Most of us first come across nettles as children when we try to avoid them so as not to get stung. They appear to get everywhere and are often thought of as a nuisance. However, they have many beneficial properties including: 

Butterflies love them

The red admiral and the painted lady love nettles. They eat the nutritious leaves and lay their eggs on them. Butterflies are great pollinators and without them, many food crops would suffer, so nettles are essential to maintain our food chain. 

Nettles can be used to make fabric

The fibre in the plants can be spun into string, which in turn can be made into fabric and paper. In fact nettle cloth was fairly common until at least the 18th century and was used by the German army in world war 1 to make uniforms.

Nettles actually taste great

When boiled into a tea, made into soup or simply baked into crisps, this plant is extremely tasty. Making a splash in the high dining world nettles are added to pasta, butter, curry, pesto and more. As they can be foraged from the wild, they also make for a great value meal.

Nettles have medicinal properties

Used for centuries for various ailments from keeping warm to joint pain. Science is now exploring the benefits these plants can bring, for example they can:

  • Help boost immunity: Containing, iron, selenium and Vitamin C, nettles can give your immune system a boost. Research has shown that these immune-boosting properties could be useful in future aqua farming techniques.
  • Act as an anti-inflammatory: Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory benefits of stinging nettles against autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis .
  • Help skin conditions: Nettle leaves contain histamine which means that they generate anti-histamine qualities, these can be used as natural treatments for eczema, healthy skin and hair.
  • Alleviate joint pain: Nettles can help with joint pain, especially when made into tea. This is because nettle tea is a diuretic and helps to remove excess uric acid which, in turn, helps to alleviate joint pain.
  • Promote blood health: Rich in chlorophyll a chemoprotein that gives plants their green colour. Regular consumption means you’re getting a hit of nutrient-dense goodness for optimum health and wellbeing. Nettles are also rich in iron which helps in blood building.

We know how good nettles are for us, so how can we incorporate them into our diet? The majority of nettle varieties have little needle-like hairs that hook into your skin and release a burst of chemicals, including serotonin, formic acid and histamine.

These cause the irritation to occur and the rash to form when we're stung. However, simply by cooking the leaves, the hairs disappear, and the stinging sensation goes. Here are some popular ways to enjoy nettles:

Nettle crisps

Pick the nettles and wash and pat dry (wearing gloves). Add olive oil and nutritional yeast and your flavourings, we used a few chilli flakes and coat the nettle leaves.

Place on a lined baking sheet on low heat in the oven and leave until crispy. The result is a healthy nettle crisp which will get your guests talking.

Nettle soup

Pluck the leaves from the nettles and rinse. Cook your base, we used potato, onion, carrot and vegetable stock. When all the vegetables are tender add the nettle leaves and allow them to wilt. Blend and enjoy nettle soup.

Nettle tea

Simply add washed leaves to boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off from the heat and allow flavours to seep through. Strain leaves and heat remaining water to enjoy as nettle tea.

Nettle juice

We mix nettle juice with matcha tea, organic wheatgrass juice and organic barley grass juice to bring you our blended green juice.

This incredible blend of superfood juices can contribute to healthy energy levels, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, increased mental and physical performance, a boosted immune system and increased red blood cell development.

A word of warning on nettles

Just to be safe:

  • Don’t pick nettles from polluted sites, where they could have been sprayed with chemicals
  • Don’t pick nettles in flower as they change their nutritional properties and are not as beneficial.

These plants have been used since the Bronze Age as a recent archaeological dig has shown, mentioned in literature from Anna Karenina to Bed Knobs And Broomsticks, and used by herbal practitioners to treat a range of ailments.

To take advantage of the benefits of this plant in the most convenient way, order our Blended Green Juice today and feel the benefits.

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