Dandelion Greens Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Dandelion greens annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Most of us would never consider cooking up weeds from our garden, so the idea of eating dandelion greens may seem strange. Though considered by many to be a weed, technically, dandelion (Taraxacum) is an herb. In fact, every part of the plant is edible and believed to provide various health benefits. Dandelion greens are packed with health-promoting nutrients that might have you thinking twice about this ubiquitous yellow flower.

Dandelion Greens Nutrition Facts

One cup of raw dandelion greens (55g) provides 25 calories, 1.5g of protein, 5.1g of carbohydrates, and 0.4g of fat. Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamin A, iron, and calcium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 25
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 42mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5.1g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 0.4g
  • Protein: 1.5g
  • Vitamin K: 428.1mcg
  • Iron: 1.7mg
  • Vitamin A: 279.4mcg


Fresh dandelion greens provide just 5 grams of carbohydrate per cup, with about 2 grams of fiber. They're naturally very low in sugar.


Dandelion greens are not a significant source of fat on their own, but fat may be added during preparation.


A cup of fresh dandelion greens has 1.5 grams of protein. Like most plants, dandelion greens don't provide all of the body's essential amino acids, so it's important to consume a variety of protein foods to meet your dietary needs.

Vitamins and Minerals

Dandelion greens are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K and also provide the mineral calcium. They also provide some potassium, iron, folate, and magnesium. The type of iron in dandelion greens is non-heme, making it less absorbable, but it is still a wise choice for non-meat eaters to acquire enough of the mineral.

Dandelion greens are exceptional for the amount of vitamin K they provide. One cup contains 357% of your daily recommended amount based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Vitamin K plays a role in preventing osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.


One cup of raw dandelion greens (55g) provides 25 calories, making it a very low-calorie food. Approximately 69% of the calories come from carbs, 20% from protein, and 11% from fat.


Dandelion greens are a low-calorie, highly nutritious food packed with vitamin K, calcium, vitamin E, iron, and vitamin C. They are also a decent source of fiber.

Health Benefits

Dandelion greens are a nutritious vegetable, filled with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Here's what you stand to gain by adding dandelion greens to your diet.

Helps Protect Vision

Dandelion greens are a good source of vitamin A. The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is given as retinol activity equivalents (RAE), and most adults need 700 to 900 micrograms per day. Dandelion greens supply 279 micrograms in a one-cup serving.

Other forms of vitamin A are also present in dandelion greens: lutein and zeaxanthin. Because lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the retina, they are particularly beneficial in preventing age-related macular degeneration.

Helps Regulate Blood Sugar

Dandelion roots have several bioactive compounds that work against type 2 diabetes symptoms. For instance, dandelions are rich in inulin, a type of fiber that's been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels. They also contain chlorogenic acid, which impacts both the secretion of and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, dandelion's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against long-term complications of type 2 diabetes (like heart disease).

Promotes Wound Healing

The vitamin C and vitamin K in dandelion greens both come in handy in the event of an injury. Vitamin K promotes blood clotting to prevent excessive loss of blood. Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, which helps the body rebuild skin for wound repair. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system.

May Improve Heart Health

In studies on rabbits, dandelion effectively reduces triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) while raising HDL (good cholesterol levels). Although more human studies are needed to prove cause and effect, the nutrients in dandelion greens are promising for human heart health.

Dandelion contains potassium, which is known to reduce blood pressure. Dandelions are naturally low in fat and sugar and high in fiber. They're also a good source of heart-healthy vitamins like folate and vitamin C.

May Help Prevent Colon Cancer

In limited in-vitro (test tube) research, dandelion root extract has been shown to promote the death of colon cancer cells without causing harm to healthy surrounding cells. Although more research in humans is needed, dandelion root has the potential to kill cancer cells that have become resistant to drug treatment. Because dandelion root is generally non-toxic, it may be a good adjunct to conventional cancer therapy.


According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), 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 can include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or heartburn.

Dandelion has been shown to cause contact dermatitis in children after handling the plant. Latex allergies can also be triggered by dandelion sap. If you suspect an allergy to dandelion, contact your physician for a full evaluation.

Adverse Effects

Dandelion greens are likely safe for most people when consumed in amounts typically found in food. It is unknown, however, whether dandelion greens are safe for consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Dandelions show estrogenic activity with the potential to increase the growth of hormone-sensitive cancer cells. The efficacy of blood thinners can also be affected by the vitamin K in dandelion greens. Because of dandelion's diuretic effects, it may interfere with lithium or water pills. Before eating dandelion, people who take diabetes medication, immunosuppressive agents, or cytochrome P450 substrate drugs should speak to their doctor.

Anyone who follows a low FODMAP diet for the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should be aware that dandelion greens contain inulin, a fructooligosaccharide that may cause flare-ups for those who are sensitive to it.

When It's Best

Many grocery stores now carry dandelion greens because of their increased popularity. Farmer's markets, health food stores, and organic markets also tend to carry them. Look for fresh, bright green leaves with minimal blemishes. Dandelion roots and blooms are best when still young and tender in early spring.

Storage and Food Safety

Foraging dandelion from your yard or public spaces 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 exclusively for human consumption.

Wash dandelions well under running water as soon as you bring them home. Look for bugs and soil that may be stuck to the undersides. Store clean dandelion greens in the refrigerator the same way that you would store other fresh greens.

A large bowl covered in plastic wrap or a sealed plastic bag with a paper towel inside will help keep dandelion greens fresh for longer by absorbing moisture. Cook or consume within 3 to 5 days, but always discard greens that show visible signs of decay.

How to Prepare

Fresh, young dandelion greens can be added to salad mixes. Dandelion blooms may also be eaten fresh or boiled, cooked in fritters, pickled, or used to make wine or jelly.

Cooking mature dandelion greens in boiling water for 10 minutes will reduce bitterness. Roots that are 2 years old may be roasted and ground for use as a coffee substitute.

13 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.