What are the health benefits of Parsley?
Most people think of parsley as nothing more than a garnish to add a bit of green to a plate, but parsley has been used for around 2,000 years and it can boast some pretty amazing health benefits. Originally, parsley wasn’t even used as a seasoning; it was cultivated for its medicinal uses. In ancient Greece, parsley was viewed as being a sacred plant and it was used for decorating tombs and as a badge of honour for victorious athletes. The herb, which is related to celery, is extremely nutritious and it contains potent compounds that can help to protect you against cancer and boost your immune system. It contains vitamins C, K, and A, and it also has many minerals including iron calcium and potassium. The herb has many more nutritional benefits than most people realise, so here are ten of the amazing health benefits of parsley.
1. Reduces inflammation
Parsley can be very useful for people who suffer with arthritis. It contains a volatile oil called eugenol, which is a known anti-inflammatory that can significantly reduce swelling and ease pain in the joints and elsewhere in the body.
2. Parsley is a good source of antioxidants
Parsley is a rich source of the antioxidants that fight the damage to cells that can be caused by free radicals. The antioxidants in parsley include the flavonoid lutein, which is particularly good at fighting oxidative stress in the body. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C, both of which also have antioxidant properties.
3. Helps the body detox naturally
Parsley also has the ability to help your liver function properly and it promotes the removal of toxins from the body. It contains two compounds, apigenin and myristicin, that actively promote the production of the enzymes in the liver that are responsible for removing toxins from the body.
4. It has anti-bacterial properties
Parsley is a super source of the antibacterial agent chlorophyll, which fights bacteria in the body and can help stop infection. It’s also very good for killing the bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath, so chewing on a sprig of parsley after a meal could help you avoid being embarrassed by bad breath later on in the day.
5. Controls diabetes
Parsley was traditionally used in Turkey to treat people with diabetes, and the ability of the herb to control blood sugar levels was proven in scientific tests. Researchers at Marmara University in Istanbul tested parsley in rats that had diabetes and found that consuming the herb over a period of one month reduced the blood sugar levels in the test subjects.
6. Reduces the risk of cancer
Regular consumption of parsley could also reduce the risk of cancer. Parley contains high levels of a flavonoid called apigenin, which is believed to help prevent cancers like skin cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Apigenin is also an antioxidant and it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
7. It protects the heart and the blood vessels
There is an amino acid that can cause damage to the blood vessels and to the heart called homocysteine, which parsley can help to combat. Parsley contains a good amount of folic acid, or folate, which reduces the amount of the harmful homocysteine enzymes in the body. This can be useful in helping to protect against both strokes and heart attacks.
8. Strengthens bones
Just two teaspoons of parsley will provide you with more than 150% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to produce a protein called osteocalcin, which is used in the process of creating and strengthening bones. Vitamin K also stops calcium from building up in tissues in the body, which, if the calcium gets too high, can cause cardiovascular disease.
9. Strengthens the immune system
Parsley contains a cocktail of ingredients that all help to boost and strengthen the immune system. The chlorophyll that is found in parsley fights bacterial and fungal infections, the Vitamin A improves the effectiveness of white blood cells and the antioxidant properties help to combat cancer and even the signs of ageing.
10. Protects against kidney stones
Parsley is a diuretic, which means that it promotes the processing of fluids through the body. This effect helps to prevent kidney stones forming and stops excess fluid being held in the body. Improving the flow of fluids through the body will also help to protect against gallbladder stones, urinary tract infections, and it will help to stop bloating too.
Do you know other health benefits of parsley?