Dandelion Greens Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Most of us wouldn't consider eating weeds from our garden, so it might seem strange to consider adding dandelion greens to your diet. But dandelion greens are quickly becoming a health food staple.

Technically, dandelion (Taraxacum) is an herb, not a weed. All of the plant is edible, including the greens, the flower, and the roots. Each part is rumored to provide different health benefits, but the greens, in particular, are packed with nutrition.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one cup (55g) of raw, chopped dandelion greens.

  • Calories: 25
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 42mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5.1g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 0.4g
  • Protein: 1.5g

Carbs in Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are a low-calorie food that provides your body with complex carbohydrates. If you consume one cup of chopped dandelion greens you'll get 5 grams of carbohydrate in the form of starch, fiber, and naturally-occurring sugar.

Starch and sugar provide the body with quick energy. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar, boost satiety, and improve digestive health.

There are no published studies regarding the glycemic index of dandelion greens. However, the glycemic load (of a one-cup serving) is estimated to be about two. Glycemic load takes into account the serving size of a given food or beverage to estimate the effect of food on your blood sugar. It is considered to be more helpful than just using the glycemic index for people who are choosing foods based on their effects on blood glucose.

Fats in Dandelion Greens

There is almost no fat in dandelion greens. You'll get less than a gram of fat in a single one-cup serving. Some of that fat is saturated fat (considered to be a less healthy fat), but the very small amount is not likely to make a big difference in your daily diet totals.

Protein in Dandelion Greens

Each one-cup serving of dandelion greens provides your body with 1.5 grams of protein.

Micronutrients in Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens provide the body with several key vitamins and minerals.

One serving provides your body with a whopping 535 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K and 112 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A

Dandelion greens also provide vitamin C. You'll benefit from 19.3 mg of vitamin C, or 32 percent of your total recommended daily intake if you consume a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

You'll get smaller amounts of vitamin E, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, and niacin.

Minerals in dandelion greens include calcium (almost 8 percent of your daily needs) and iron (almost 10 percent). You'll get 5 percent of your recommended daily intake of magnesium, 4 percent of your daily needs for phosphorus, 9 percent of your daily needs for manganese, and smaller amounts of copper, zinc, and sodium.

Health Benefits

Dandelion greens are good for your body because of the important benefits provided by the vitamins they contain.

The vitamin K in dandelion greens is essential for good health. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with blood clotting functions in the body and is especially important for people who take blood thinners. Vitamin K also boosts bone health. A vitamin K deficiency may put you at greater risk for osteoporosis.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps you to maintain good vision, immune function, and healthy skin. Vitamin A is also necessary for proper cell division and differentiation.

The vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) in dandelion greens also provides benefits. The vitamin acts as an antioxidant to protect cells in your body from free-radical damage. Vitamin C also boosts collagen production, improves immune function, and helps your body to absorb iron—an important mineral needed for a healthy body.

Some people use dandelion greens and other parts of the dandelion for medicinal purposes. For example, dandelion is known to promote urination. According to experts at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the plant has also been used to treat cancer, diabetes, jaundice, and other liver diseases. Some new mothers also use it to stimulate lactation. However, evidence to support these uses is lacking.

Common Questions

How do I select the best dandelion greens?

Many grocery stores now carry dandelions greens because their popularity has increased. Many farmer's markets, health food stores, and organic markets also carry them.

Look for fresh, bright green leaves with few blemishes.

Can I consume dandelion greens from my yard?

Eating any part of the dandelion from your yard is not recommended. It is hard to know what these greens have been exposed to or sprayed with. To be safe, consume dandelion greens that are grown for human consumption.

How should I store dandelion greens and how long do they last?

Store dandelion greens in the refrigerator the same way that you would store other fresh greens. You can wash your greens immediately when you bring them home from the market. Some experts recommend that you store them in the refrigerator in a large bowl covered in plastic wrap or in a sealed plastic bag with a paper towel inside. The paper towel helps to absorb and reduce moisture from the leaves so your dandelion greens stay fresh and crunchy. Your greens may stay fresh for 3 to 5 days.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

You can use dandelion greens in the same way that you would use other types of leafy greens. Toss them into a salad, a smoothie, or saute them and enjoy them with eggs or fish. Dandelion greens have an earthy, nutty, bitter taste that pairs well with certain cheeses, bacon, ham, and seafood.

Try any of these recipes that call for a variety of greens. Use dandelion greens instead of spinach or kale.

Allergies and Interactions

Dandelion greens are likely safe for most people when consumed in amounts typically found in food. It is also likely safe for most people when used medicinally.

It is not known if dandelion greens are safe for consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is also theorized that dandelion may cause problems for people with kidney problems or bleeding disorders.

People taking antibiotics, lithium, medications changed by the liver, diabetes medications, water pills, or drugs that slow blood clotting should be cautious about consuming dandelion greens.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, if you are allergic to other members of the Compositae family (such as artichokes, ragweed, or chamomile), you may experience an allergic reaction to dandelion. Symptoms may include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or heartburn.

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Article Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Dandelion. Professional Monograph. The Natural Medicines Database. Food, Herbs & Supplements. 2018.

  • Dandelion greens, raw. USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release.

  • Dandelion. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products. 2018.

  • National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C. Fact Sheet for Professionals. 2018.