The plant is rich in minerals and vitamins with potassium concentrations at 610 mg/100 g and carotene at 3.4 g/100 g in edible portions. In addition, the plant contains various antioxidants (in stem, leaf,and root tissues) that have potential long-term benefits for human health, although toxic (dioxin) properties have also been observed. Extracts from C. coronarium var. spatiosum have been shown to inhibit growth of Lactobacillus casei, a beneficial human intestinal bacterium.
Weight Loss Benefits From Chlorogenic Acid
Garland chrysanthemum contains chlorogenic acid, a type of hydroxycinnamic acid that is also abundant in coffee beans. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to possess properties that slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal, which makes it an excellent weight loss nutrient. In Northern Europe, chlorogenic acid made from green coffee beans is marketed under the tradename Svetol and is used in chewing gums and mints to promote weight loss. Indeed, Svetol has been shown to reduce body mass index (BMI) and to increase the lean mass to fat mass ratio. In addition, garland chrysanthemum leaves are very low in calories, with a 100 gram serving providing only about 22 calories. They are also rich in fiber and extremely low in fat, which also contributes to the weight loss benefits of these healthy greens.
In addition to its potential weight loss benefits, chlorogenic acid in garland chrysanthemum offers antioxidant protection. Chrysanthemum greens are also rich in other anti-oxidant compounds such as flavonoids, vitamins and carotenoids. Antioxidants have beneficial effects on human health as they gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease, premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, cancer and other ailments. To preserve the antioxidant effects of garland chrysanthemum leaves, cook them only slightly.
Potassium for Better Health
A 100 gram serving of boiled garland chrysanthemum provides a whopping 270 milligrams of potassium. If you consume your chrysanthemum greens raw, you will get even more potassium: 460 milligrams for every 100 grams! This is almost 30% more potassium than a similar serving of bananas would provide — an interesting fact considering that bananas have long been touted as the gold standard for potassium. Potassium is an important mineral without which nerve impulses would not be able to travel and muscles would not be able to contract. A diet rich in potassium provides protection against high blood pressure (hypertension), strokes, kidney stones, bloating, cellulite, and bone loss.
Protection Against Lung Cancer
A large case-control study published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 investigated the association between a diet rich in vegetables that provide vitamin A (in the form of carotene) and the risk of lung cancer among the Taiwanese study participants. The consumption of 13 food items and vitamin supplements was analysed using a food frequency questionnaire. The research group found that a higher consumption of vitamin A rich vegetables was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. Garland chrysanthemum leaves, along with sweet potatoes, were found to be particularly effective at reducing the risk of lung cancer in the study participants.
Possible Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Some people may experience side effects, such as mild to moderate stomach upset, when consuming garland chrysanthemum. An adverse reaction triggered by the handling of chrysanthemum leaves or flowers is also possible.
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