Table of Contents
- What Is Parsley?
- Reduces Water Retention
- Serves as a Kidney Cleanser
- Improves Digestion?
- Heart Attack Stopper
- Anti-inflammatory Antioxidant
- Keeping Your Eyes Healthy
- Balancing Hormones
- Antimicrobial Properties
- Helps Treat Osteoporosis
- Reduces Risk of Getting Cancer
- Reduces Skin Inflammation and Scars
- Fights Anemia
- Use Parsley in Moderation
- Can You Believe in All These Benefits?
Parsley is an herb that is served on meals as a garnish, which adds a touch of aesthetics and elegance to a plate before serving. But, did you know that many Hollywood starlets precisely use this emerald green herb as a secret ingredient to their dishes when they have to drop a few pounds before a major event? Yes, you have read that right! And this is only the beginning of surprising health benefits of parsley.
As Elizabeth Peyton-Jones (a nutrition specialist whose clients include multiple celebrities) states, herbs like parsley are full of antioxidants that can strengthen your muscles, bones, joints, and even veins. Not only that, but they can also improve your skin, nail. As Peyton-Jones also mentioned, the best thing about parsley is that you can easily include it in every meal. That’s right – a sprinkle of this precious spice and your body will feel more energized and stronger instantly.
Even if you are not a Hollywood rising star trying to lose weight, you can still benefit from using this herb. Here’s what we mean by that.
For starters, winter is coming (brace yourself!), which only means that winter fatigue is just around the corner. Having no energy, combined with a lack of concentration, can definitely slow you down and put you in a blue mood. To stop the sleepiness and being slow, the most natural thing you can do is pay attention to your diet. Believe it or not, parsley is one of the best herbs you can include in your diet.
There are so many health benefits of parsley, and in the text below, we are going to name them all. Even the ones you haven’t heard of. Before we present you with the most unknown health benefits of parsley, let’s first get to know this herb.
What Is Parsley?
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), is an herb from the family of Apiaceae. As you probably know, its root, leaf, and seed are used in medicine, to prevent multiple diseases.
Parsley is native to Sardinia, and is connected to the Mediterranean region. Nowadays it is cultivated in more than several countries across the world, including USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. As was previously mentioned, parsley is used as a garnish and a seasoning for different types of food. It is an ingredient that can commonly be found in stews, soups, meat, and poultry; and even salads, stocks, and sandwiches.
What makes parsley a favorite spice used in kitchens all over the world? For starters, its characteristic – its almost spicy flavor, caused by volatile oil. What you probably didn’t know is that some of the nutrients found in fresh parsley include, vitamin C, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. Not only that, it is a good source of multiple vitamins:
● Vitamin A and B6
● Vitamin E and K
● Iron and zinc
● Thiamin and niacin
Analyzed from a nutritional point of view, the leaves of parsley contain proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, all in one. It’s genuinely a wonder herb, isn’t it?
What if we told you that it has a way of playing a significant part in treating Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), diabetes, constipation, asthma, and high blood pressure? This is all just the beginning of health benefits of parsley.
Parsley has such a wide range of uses because of several chemicals and compounds that you can find in the text below. However, what makes parsley so universal is the fact that it can be safely used when added to almost any dish.
Reduces Water Retention
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that celebrities often use parsley to lose weight before red carpet events. So, how does parsley do it?
Parsley is a natural diuretic that reduces water retention. As you have probably heard, bloating reduction is a tricky process because it can cause you to lose a certain amount of potassium. Fortunately, parsley doesn’t cause that, and here’s a study to prove it.
According to a 2002 study, Diuretic effect and mechanism of action of parsley, the use of parsley is a great way to lose excess amount of water from your body. The study showed rats that were given aqueous parsley seed extract to drink eliminated more urine in 24 hours, compared to when they were drinking water. Additionally, they didn’t eliminate potassium from their organisms.
Serves as a Kidney Cleanser
Remember when we casually mentioned that the herb in question can help with Urinary Tract Infection? Well, this is one of the health benefits of parsley, which is connected to it being a natural diuretic.
Parsley is proven to help with treating kidney stones, gallbladder stones, and bladder infections.
If you have ever experienced indigestion (and we are sure you have), then you know how uncomfortable it can get – it can cause bloating, gas, and even nausea. Several spices can help with digestion problems, but one of the most effective ones is definitely parsley.
Why is parsley useful for improving digestion? Because it contains, among other things, fibers. Therefore, it has a significant role in improving the digestion of proteins and fats.
Heart Attack Stopper
Did you know that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the US, every year? Poor diet, excessive alcohol use, diabetes, and obesity are all causes of this condition.
Luckily for you, there is one plant that is going to help you lower the risk of getting a heart attack. Parsley!
There are two compounds that can lower this risk. One is folic acid, which is the most essential type of B vitamins, which actively reduces homocysteine. The other is homocysteine, an amino acid that can become a threat to your blood vessels when the levels are too high. Thanks to folic acid, parsley protects blood vessels, and therefore, lowers the risk of a heart attack. This is one of the most significant health benefits of parsley, without a doubt.
That’s a lot of “Anti’s,” isn’t it? In this case, that is a good sign.
Parsley being an herb that has anti-inflammatory properties, means it can effectively reduce pain. It reduces the pain thanks to eugenol, a potent anti-inflammatory volatile oil, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. These compounds make parsley the number one natural cure for arthritis, joint pain, and swelling.
When it comes to antioxidants, parsley is full of lycopene, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene.
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy
If there is a vegetable in the world that is recommended for improving eyesight, it’s definitely the carrot. Why carrot? Because it has a high dosage of beta-carotene. And so does parsley.
Be sure to remember that one of the health benefits of parsley is its ability to prevent macular degeneration of the eye, as well as to protect the eye from cataracts.
Another benefit of parsley is its ability to stimulate estrogen production. In fact, it is beneficial for treating conditions that are hormonal-wise; it is recommended for treating severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or if you are going through menopause.
Also, keep an eye on your libido levels, since it will most likely be enhanced as soon as you start consuming this herb.
When you read or hear the word microbes, you probably have a negative association. But, what happens when you read the words coliforms, molds, and Staphylococcus aureus? We bet you get the chills.
To brighten up your mood, we have good news. Parsley can effectively fight all the mentioned microbes. According to a 2010 study, Antimicrobial effects of pepper, parsley, and dill and their roles in the microbiological quality enhancement of traditional Egyptian Kareish cheese, parsley, along with some other herbs and spices, managed to reduce the yeast count within two hours after intake. Also, to the consumer, parsley was considered the most acceptable spice of them all.
This study just proves how evergreen the taste of parsley is. In addition to that, it’s one of the herbs that can kill bacteria pretty fast. Who knew parsley had so many health benefits?
Helps Treat Osteoporosis
Another example of fantastic health benefits of parsley is its ability to treat osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of the old one. It causes bones to become fragile and weak. In fact, this disease can even cause bone fracture if you sneeze a bit harder or simply bend over. The truth is, the older you get, the higher the risk of getting osteoporosis.
Fortunately, Mother Nature has a way to protect you from this condition, and you guessed it – it’s parsley. Parsley, having vitamins C and K, as well as B-complex, will help keep your bones healthy. In fact, according to a 2007 study Natural products as alternative treatments for metabolic bone disorders and for maintenance of bone health, parsley can inhibit bone resorption which will benefit your bone skeleton and overall health.
Reduces Risk of Getting Cancer
If we had to choose out of all the health benefits of parsley, this would be our favorite.
A lot of nutrition experts claim that by improving your diet, you can cure cancer. Although there are a lot of obverse opinions on this matter, one thing is for sure – eating healthier can reduce the risk of getting cancer. One of those “healthier” options is no other than parsley, and here’s why.
As you might have heard, flavonoids are plant compounds that have been proven to eliminate all the agents in the body that can cause diseases. Two of those flavonoids are apigenin and myricetin. Myricetin is the more significant one of these two, and the good news is that parsley is full of it. As the 2014 study, Evaluation of protective effect of myricetin, a bioflavonoid in dimethyl benzanthracene-induced breast cancer in female Wistar rats shows, myricetin can increase the antioxidant level in plasma, especially in the breast tissue. As the authors further stated, myricetin is a potent antioxidant that is a potential treatment in the field of oncology.
Now, let’s talk more about apigenin. This is a chemical that has proven to have decreased the size of breast tumor. Not only that, apigenin has a way of improving brain function by stimulating neuron formation and improving your memory. In other words, apigenin also makes parsley a potent tool against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Having a high level of flavonoid called apigenin makes parsley one of the best herbs that have anti-cancer properties.
Reduces Skin Inflammation and Scars
In one of the previous paragraphs, we mentioned that parsley has a high level of vitamin C. This is the reason one of the health benefits of parsley is treating skin conditions.
In the article we wrote about 5 ways you can reduce scars naturally, we mentioned that lemon juice works well for reducing redness and dark spots. We also stated that its effectiveness comes from a high level of vitamin C. Well, guess what? Parsley has a higher dosage of vitamin C! Parsley has around 130 mg of vitamin C per 100-gram serving, while lemon has only 53 mg. That means parsley has more than twice the amount of vitamin C than a lemon.
If you want to put this statement to the test, why not make a mask, which will soothe and hydrate your skin? According to Organic Facts, you can make a facial mask out of parsley, apple cider vinegar and honey. All you have to do is mix all three ingredients in a blender, then apply it to your face.
Did you know that spinach contains a significant amount of iron – precisely 2.71 mg per 100 gm? No wonder Popeye was so strong! But, what if we told you that parsley has a higher level of iron than spinach? Does 6.2 mg of iron per 100 gm sound familiar? No? Well, it should.
What does having a high level of iron mean? It means that parsley is one of the best herbs which can be used to fight and cure anemia. So, the next time you stop and think which spice you can add to your salad, remember not to skip on parsley.
Use Parsley in Moderation
After reading all the mentioned health benefits of parsley, you might start thinking that it is a good idea to include parsley-based supplements as a part of your diet. Before you do that, it’s our job to inform you about the potential risks for taking too much parsley.
Parsley can cause severe problems for people with bleeding disorders. Parsley has a way of slowing down blood clotting, so be sure to keep that in mind.
Another thing to bear in mind is that if you have diabetes, you should probably skip this herb, or use it wisely and moderately. Why? Because parsley lowers the blood sugar level. However, if you do decide to take a moderate dosage (combined with food), be sure to monitor your blood sugar, and adequately react to any kind of change.
In the end, there is no such thing as an appropriate level of parsley dosage. It all depends on your age, health state, and previous history of medical diseases. We would advise to include it in your diet, and add flavor to the food with this herb, according to your own taste.
Can You Believe in All These Benefits?
Well, believe it or not, all these health benefits of parsley are true. We can positively say parsley is a Holy Grail among other herbs. And the best thing about it? It’s so universal and easy to use.
If you are still not a believer, we challenge you to do an experiment. Add parsley to your list of spices in your kitchen for a month, and write down all the changes your body goes through. We encourage you to share with us your parsley story in the comment section below.
Images credit: Pixabay.com