What Is Parsley?

Parsley is an herb that pretty much everyone has in their spice cabinet. But what exactly is it? Native to the Mediterranean region, Parsley is known for its versatility has a spice and garnish. However, you might be surprised to find out that it also has a wide range of health and nutritional benefits.

What Are The Health Benefits?

Many people might not realize that parsley can be much more than a garnish. This mild herb contains a wealth of health benefits. Here are some amazing ways it can help benefit you.

Cancer Prevention

Parsley contains one of the highest concentrations of myricetin per 100 grams, which is a naturally occurring compound that is shown to help prevent skin cancer. Parsley also contains a chemical called apigenin, which has been shown to decrease the size of tumors in an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Bone Health

Parsley has incredible anti-inflammatory properties because of its richness in vitamin C, which can help joints by fighting rheumatoid arthritis. Parsley is also a good source of vitamin K, which can help the bones absorb calcium more easily and reduce secretion of calcium.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Because of parsley’s richness in vitamin K, it also may benefit Alzheimer’s patients. Studies show that vitamin K has the ability to reduce the damage of nerve cells in the brain.

Digestive Aid

Parsley is rich in fiber, which means it can be a helpful digestive aid for people who suffer from flatulence, indigestion, or constipation. Parsley can also be used to help treat and prevent bladder infections.

man grinding parsley with mortar and pestle

How To Incorporate Parsley Into Your Diet

Not only is parsley good for you, but it is also an incredibly versatile herb. Here are our favorite ways to prepare it!

Makes The Perfect Cup Of Tea

Not many people realize that parsley can be used to make a great, steaming pot of tea. Parsley has amazing diuretic qualities, making it ideal for treating conditions such as chronic bad breath and also cleansing the liver and kidneys. Parsley is full of chlorophyll, a chemical that is found in leafy greens that also contributes to its color. Chlorophyll helps to detoxify the body and alleviate conditions such as cancer, due to the plant's naturally occurring apigenin, which is an anticarcinogenic compound and antioxidant. To reap the full benefits of parsley tea, simply steep a few leaves in water and drink. Drinking at least one cup daily will help combat symptoms such as asthma, sore throat, IBS symptoms, and even a chronic cough.

Can Be Used In Smoothies

Chewing on a piece of parsley during a meal enables you to feel more satiated so that you stop eating due to its palate-cleansing benefits, which also helps you to lose weight. Additionally, parsley also works wonders for cleansing the liver and detoxifying the body of salt and toxins that have accumulated so your body can function more efficiently. One way of enjoying its many advantages is to apply it to a smoothie, making it the perfect go-to herb for hangovers and when you've overeaten. One cup of parsley contains just half a gram of fat and 22 calories, so it's an ideal accompaniment for a variety of dishes adding a diuretic solution if you are also looking to lose water weight and decrease bloating symptoms.

Makes A Nutritious Snack

As aforementioned, parsley contains apigenin, a naturally occurring plant flavone that also contains anti-inflammatory, as well as anticarcinogenic and antioxidant characteristics. While other foods such as onions and celery also contain this compound, dried parsley contains a remarkable amount at 13,000 mg per 100 grams, making parsley one of the most abundant sources of apigenin. Parsley also contains an ample source of myristicin and apiol, chemical compounds renown for preventing migraines. Other foods that contain apigenin, such as onions, celery, lettuce, and rutabagas, can all be combined to create a delicious salad or snack for a mid-day pick-me-up, or when you desire to boost any meal with antioxidants.

parsley on grilled chicken breasts

Makes A Delicious Marinade

Because parsley is typically dismissed as just a garnish, many people miss out on its important qualities, such as promoting the reduction of asthma symptoms, as well as a chronic cough and other respiratory illnesses. One of the best ways to utilize this wonder food is to puree it along with other herbs and spices to create a delicious marinade. By incorporating it with your favorite protein, you'll help boost your immune system and fill up on vitamins, such as iron and calcium.

Makes A Delectable Companion To Eggs

Eggs contain a powerhouse of benefits, and when parsley is incorporated you've got a superfood meal. No matter how you cook them, adding parsley to eggs not only makes a more colorful meal, but it is a simple and quick way to boost your nutrient intake. While eggs already contain a healthy dose of calcium, adding parsley ups the ante on this bone-boosting mineral and adds more iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Makes Pesto Tasty

Pesto is a delicious blend of basil, olive oil, lemons, pine nuts, and garlic and is ideal for dressing up your favorite salads and pasta. Pesto is already chock full of nutritious ingredients, but when you add fresh parsley you gain the advantage of a meal that can boost circulation. If you suffer from conditions such as anemia, pasta, and other grains help to boost your iron content. Because parsley is also rich in iron, you get more of this rich source to help boost your energy and help repair oxidized blood cells. The calcium levels of parsley also help boost the absorption of iron to build muscle and bone. Just add a bunch to your favorite pesto recipe to boost its nutritional value.

Pairs Well In A Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette is a salad dressing composed of vinegar, olive oil, and herbs. Though vinaigrette comes from Italy, it is used all over the world as a light dressing to an array of salads and comes in a variety of different flavors, such as strawberry vinaigrette. Vinaigrette also helps with weight management and is full of antioxidants that increase your immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Parsley is typically an ingredient that is added to a vinaigrette, and for good reason, as it helps you eliminate salt, fats, and toxins. If you have a food processor or a blender, then you can easily incorporate parsley into your everyday eating regimen. Or you can simply dress the vinaigrette over a blended salad that contains added parsley or parsley that is eaten alone.

Parsley is often used as a garnish and for that reason, it is typically seen as an afterthought to creating a nutritious meal. However, you should really think twice about throwing it out because you could be missing out on many important vitamins and minerals. Parsley is a relatively inexpensive way to add more flavor and quality to your meals. Keep these facts and tips in mind when it comes to incorporating parsley into your next recipe idea.

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