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Add Beauty + Antioxidants To Meals with Edible Flowers

Get creative in the kitchen with edible flowers. Bonus: They are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.

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Have fun and be creative with edible flowers that are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.

Not all flowers are just for show. Noshing on edible blossoms may supply you with a potent dose of disease-fighting antioxidants, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Food Science. Researchers found that extracts of 10 common edible flowers have high levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that provide protection against disease-related inflammation. Above the rest, the tree peony, an easy-to-grow woody shrub, had the highest level of healthful components. Other top flowers included the China rose and honeysuckle.

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BONUS The flowers could act as a natural preservative and help slow food oxidization. Extracts are available online at sites like medicineflower.com; meanwhile, whole edible flowers contain the same antioxidants (though at lower levels) and are sold at farmers’ markets, natural groceries, or high-end shops. Just be sure to do your homework, as not all flowers are safe to eat. Have fun and be creative: Enjoy edible flowers with dark chocolate or on their own as a fragrant spring salad.