Lavender, a fragrant flower, is also an edible herb. You can use lavender to add flavor to baked goods and other recipes. However. the strong flavor can be overpowering, so add it sparingly. There are many benefits to eating lavender, including upping your intake of vitamins and minerals.
Calories and Fat
Including lavender in your meal plan gives you access to a low-calorie, low-fat food with a floral scent. A 100 g serving of lavender introduces 49 calories into your diet as well as 1 g of fat. Lavender is typically not consumed alone, so factor these calories into the foods to which you add lavender. The fat in lavender is negligible in your meal plan -- the maximum recommended intake of this macronutrient is 44 to 78 g per day if you follow a 2,000 calorie meal.
A serving of lavender provides you with 287 IU of vitamin A, which is only a small portion of the 5,000 IU you need each day. The vitamin A in this floral food is excellent for your eye health. This vitamin helps prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration as well as night blindness, dry eyes and eye infections. It also keeps your skin and mucus membranes healthy.
Lavender contains 215 mg of calcium per 100 g portion. As a rule, your diet requires 1,000 mg of this mineral each day, although as you get older you need 1,200 mg or more. The calcium in lavender boosts the strength of your bones, warding off osteoporosis. It may also ease symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Eat lavender to increase your iron intake. One serving has 2 mg of iron, a considerable portion of the 8 to 11 g you should consume each day. Iron helps make hemoglobin and myoglobin in your blood. Without adequate quantities of iron in your diet, you may develop anemia, a condition that makes you tired and listless
Eating lavender has no known interferences with medications, although you may consider avoiding the use of this flower in cooking if you suffer from anxiety or pain and take medications to control it. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that due to lavender's relaxant properties, the possibility exists that lavender may enhance the effect of medications that treat central nervous system depression.
- Gourmet Sleuth: Cooking With Culinary Lavender
- MayoClinic; Healthy Diet: End the Guesswork With These Nutrition Guidelines; February 2011
- All About Vision; Vitamin A and Beta Carotene: Eye Benefits; Gary Heiting, OD; October 2010
- MedlinePlus; Vitamin A; February 2011
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Calcium; March 2009
- Office of Dietary Supplements; Iron; August 2007