We’ve all seen parsley added to a dish—it’s particularly popular in more upscale restaurants where the appearance of food is taken very seriously. However, is there any benefit to eating parsley or is the mild herb from the Mediterranean region added only for visual appeal alone?
The answer: parsley is, in fact, a surprisingly healthy food, for a number of important reasons. Having been used for centuries, it’s more than just a garnish, but a incredibly healthy herb that contains a wide range of helpful vitamins…
1. Parsley Contains Vitamin C
Parsley is chock full of vitamin C, one of the most highly regarded vitamins out there. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for all humans—without it, we can develop nasty illnesses like scurvy, which can result in the rotting of the gums, an incredibly painful condition.
Vitamin C is typically associated with citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, but it’s also highly prevalent in parsley. Vitamin C is best known for giving our immune system a boost, thereby keeping us safe from both common and serious health conditions.
2. Parsley Aid Kidney Function
Bet you didn’t know that the tiny herb parsley can actually improve kidney functionality by helping the human body do away with excess fluids. But that’s the case: parsley is a diuretic and according to Livestrong.com, it plays an important role in the process of removing unnecessary fluids from the body.
But here’s the sticker: eating parsley might actually be dangerous for people with kidney or gall bladder issues. So, as long as you haven’t encountered these kinds of problems, parsley is an excellent choice.
3. Parsley Can Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Parsley contains ample amounts of folic acid, a type of vitamin typically found in foods like peas, lentils, oranges, whole wheat items, beets, brussels sprouts, and spinach. Research from Harvard Medical School shows that foods high in folic acid can help the body regulate blood pressure and produce and maintain new cells.
And that’s not all: folic acid may also help prevent changes to our DNA that could lead to the development of cancer. So, if you’re worried about the existence of heart disease or cancer in your family, you may want to add more parsley to your diet.
4. Parsley Contains Vitamin K
Okay, chances are you’ve heard a lot about vitamin C, one of the vital antioxidants found in parsley. But do you know much about vitamin K, another vitamin found in ample supply within parsley?
Probably not. Here’s the good news: vitamin K is an incredibly important nutrient in helping the body respond to injuries. Why? Because it helps in the clotting process, giving the body a chance to stop the damage and begin the healing process. Vitamin K has also been shown to help reduce the risk of bone damage and build bone durability.
5. Parsley Aids Digestion
Each year millions of Americans deal with a wide range of digestive problems, from ulcers to irritable bowel syndrome. There are many prescription and over-the-counter drugs that treat these issues, such as Pepto Bismol, but parsley offers a more natural remedy.
That’s because parsley contains compounds that can aid in digestion, according to research from WebMD, to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with a range of issues, including colic, intestinal gas and constipation.
6. Parsley Helps Prevent Hair Loss
Are you worried about losing your hair? You’re not alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, Americans spend more than $3 billion each year trying to prevent the loss of hair.
Unfortunately, there are few reliable remedies for this frustrating condition. But parsley might offer some help: research has shown that when parsley oil is rubbed into the scalp it can effectively limit hair loss.
7. Parsley Reduces Joint Pain
There’s no denying that joint pain is a huge problem in the United States. It’s also a huge business, with Americans spending billions each year to try and overcome pain associated with joint inflammation.
Parsley may offer an affordable and appetizing way to limit this pain, however. That’s because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation around the joints and ease the pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis. In fact, a study published by the Journal of Natural Remedies found that lab rats treated with parsley leaf extract experienced reduced inflammation in their paws.
8. Parsley Could Help Fight Breast Cancer
Parsley is one of a number of beneficial foods that contain flavonoids, which are pigments often found in plants. Parsley is particularly high in the flavonoid apigenin, which research has shown could help reduce the multiplication of breast cancer cells.
So far the research on parsley and breast cancer has been limited to animal testing, but if you’re worried about a family history of this disease it may be wise to get more parsley in your daily diet.