Nasturtiums are bright, colorful flowers that are easy to grow and are excellent garnishes. They are known for having peppery and tangy flavors that do well in salads, party trays as well as being trap plants or to cover your arch and trellis.
Nasturtium flowers contain about 130 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per 100 grams (g), or 3.5 ounces. Notably, nasturtiums boast the highest lutein content — 45 mg per 100 g serving — found in any edible plant.
The importance of lutein for your eye health was noted by researchers, who said, “As increasing evidence supports the role of lutein and zeaxanthin in reducing the risk of cataract and macular degeneration, food sources of these carotenoids are being sought.”3 According to the Urban Cultivator, nasturtiums are more than just a pretty flower; they have well-known medicinal properties:4
“Both the leaves and petals of the nasturtium plant are packed with nutrition, containing high levels of vitamin C. It has the ability to improve the immune system, tackling sore throats, coughs and colds, as well as bacterial and fungal infections. These plants also contain high amounts of manganese, iron, flavonoids and beta carotene.”
Further building the case for the nutritional value of nasturtium plants, The Kansas City Star states:5
“In traditional medicine, an ointment is made from nasturtium flowers and used to treat skin conditions, as well as hair loss. The group of phenols in the pigments of orange and red flowers helps [neutralize] the damaging effects of free radicals, thereby helping to protect us from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
“How to Grow Nasturtiums” by Dr. Mercola