Scientifically named as Petroselinum crispum, Parsley is widely used as a vegetable, herb, and spice. Mainly used in European, American, and Middle Eastern dishes, it is a flowering plant that has its origin from the Mediterranean region. Parsley can be broadly classified into three types: curled leaf, flat-leaf, and Hamburg.
The first one, i.e., curled leaf parsley is the most common type that is mainly used for garnishing soups, stews, and other dishes. The second one (flat-leaf) is also known as Italian parsley, which comes in many flavors and used in salads and sauces along with the soups and stews. The last one is also called as turnip-rooted or German parsley. This lesser-known variety is a turnip-like root that can be roasted or fried.
We underestimate parsley and use it for garnishing only but in reality, it offers much more than just making your plate look pretty. But before you dig deeper into the health benefits of parsley, let’s know about its history and nutritional profile:
History of Parsley
Parsley was earlier used for making medicines and also to adorn winners of various athletic contests. The ancient Greeks believe this plant to be sacred; hence, they used to use it for decorating the tombs of the deceased. It was the Roman civilization that started using Parsley for garnishing food items.
Nutritional value of Parsley
There is no denying that parsley is rich in nutrients. Check out below to know the exact nutritional benefits of it:
Vitamin A: 12% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Dietary Fiber: 3.3 gram (8.5% of the recommended daily allowance)
Vitamin C: 16% of the RDI
Cholesterol: 0mg (0% of the recommended daily allowance)
Vitamin K: 154% of the RDI
Carbs: 6.33 gram (5% of the recommended daily allowance)
RDI refers to Reference Daily Intake.
Parsley Health Benefits
Prevents breast cancer
Adopting a lifestyle that can keep deadly diseases such as cancer at a bay is a wise decision for sure. And adding parsley to your daily meal is one such food habit that prevents breast cancer. According to research done in 2017, this herb has apigenin, a substance that works as a non-toxic remedy for breast cancer.
It is a major contributor of flavonoids that slow down cancer cell proliferation. Similarly, the herb also contains luteolin, which is a good cancer-preventing component.
Parsley has amazing benefits for skin as it prevents lines and wrinkles. Moreover, it also aids in improving your complexion. Wondering how? Let’s get a bit into technicality; Parsley is loaded with Vitamin C, which makes collagen that renders strength and structure to the skin. Furthermore, it also keeps your skin look young and glowing.
Good for bones
Due to the high content of Vitamin K, Parsley helps in strengthening your bones. Consuming only ten leaves of the herb in a day can fulfill your daily nutritional requirement of Vitamin K. Parsley also helps in avoiding bone fractures as it makes necessary protein for your bones.
Parsley also helps with digestion. Yes, we are not lying. The herb contains certain compounds that facilitate the expulsion of gases from the body and prevent your stomach from bloating. It is a boon for those facing gastric problems.
Masks bad breath
Parsley acts as a natural mouth freshener and it can easily mask your bad breath that is a big problem especially when you eat food items that are loaded with garlic or onion.
Cures bladder infections
Those suffering from Urinary Tract Infections can consider adding this beneficial herb to their diet. According to a study, many Homeopathic practitioners use Parsley for treating their patients suffering from UTIs. Parsley contains a special chemical that leads to muscle contraction in bladder, uterus, and intestines, which further aid in throwing various issues out of the body.
Prevents heart diseases
Raw parsley is rich in Folate, which is an essential Vitamin B for the body. The nutrient is responsible for stabilizing amino acid homocysteine. The rise in the level of this acid can lead to various cardiovascular problems.
Protects your eyes
Parsley is a good source of Vitamin A, which prevents common eye problems such as night blindness, cataracts, and dryness. It makes sure the good health of your eyes.
Apigenin, a major component in parsley also has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also used to treat kidney and bladder inflammations, which can further cause stones and gravels. Another superb antioxidant, quercetin, which can help your body fight against inflammation, is also there in Parsley.
Makes your immune system stronger
High quantity of Vitamin C in parsley validates it as a go-to-food for improving the immunity of the body. This immune-boosting functionality of the parsley also makes the body wounds heal in a jiffy.
Boon for those suffering from anemia
The abundance of iron in parsley makes it an ideal choice for those suffering from anemia. To increase the iron content in your body, just garnish it over your dish or start your day with a fresh parsley smoothie.
Have antibacterial properties
According to a study conducted in Egypt, parsley has great antibacterial properties mainly against bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which makes them a perfect pick for the manufacturing of various medicines.
Improves gland health
Various studies done by medical professionals revealed that parsley has the power to heal enlarged and swollen glands. It also removes unwanted mucoid matter and watery poison from your body.
Refreshes blood vessels
If consumed in the form of juice and smoothie, parsley benefits blood vessels, mainly capillaries and arterioles to a great extent. However, this research is still undergoing.
So, what are you waiting for? Find out the most amazing recipes of parsley and give it a permanent space in your plate. (Please note that if you are allergic to specific food items or experience any sort of problem right after consuming parsley, then it is advised to consult your doctor before taking this herb.)