Parsley is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean but widely spread in our country and we can easily find it in the «assorted vegetables» that we buy in any neighborhood business, as well as at the fair.
Over the years, parsley has been used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, allergies, and inflammatory conditions (1Trusted Source).
Today, it is widely used as a fresh culinary herb or dried spice. It is bright green in color and has a mild bitter flavor that goes well with many recipes.
Often labeled as one of the most powerful plants to fight diseases, parsley provides great nutritional value and offers many potential health benefits.
Here are 8 awesome health benefits and uses of parsley.
Parsley offers many more nutrients than people suspect.
1/2 cup (30 grams) of chopped fresh parsley provides:
- calories: 11 calories
- carbohydrates: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 108% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 53% of the IDR
- vitamin K: 547% of the IDR
- Folate: 11% of the IDR
- Potassium: 4% of the IDR
The herb is rich in many vitamins, particularly vitamin Kwhich is necessary for blood clotting and bone health.
parsley too It is a great source of vitamins A and C, important nutrients with antioxidant properties.
In addition, it is very low in calories but full of flavormaking it a great low-calorie ingredient for many recipes.
Rich in antioxidants
Parsley contains many powerful antioxidants that can benefit your health.
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cell damage from molecules called free radicals. Your body requires a healthy balance of antioxidants and free radicals to maintain optimal health.
The main antioxidants in parsley are:
- vitamin C
This aromatic herb is particularly rich in a class of antioxidants known as flavonoids. The two main flavonoids include myricetin and apigenin.
Studies show that flavonoid-rich diets may reduce the risk of diseases, such as colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
In addition, the beta carotene and the lutein are two antioxidants known as carotenoids. Many studies associate a higher intake of carotenoids with a reduced risk of certain diseases, including lung cancer.
Vitamin C also has strong antioxidant effects and plays an important role in supporting immune health and protecting against chronic disease.
Curiously, the dried parsley may have more antioxidants than fresh twigs. In fact, one study found that the dried herb had 17 times the antioxidant content of its fresh counterpart.
Supports bone health
Your bones need certain vitamins and minerals in varying amounts to stay healthy and strong.
Parsley is packed with vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone health. 1/2 cup (30 grams) provides an impressive 547% RDI.(*Recommended Daily Intake)
Vitamin K helps strengthen bones by supporting bone-building cells called osteoblasts. This vitamin also activates certain proteins that increase bone mineral density, a measure of the amount of minerals present in the bones.
Bone density is important, as lower bone mineral density is associated with an increased risk of fractures, especially in older adults.
Some studies suggest that eating foods high in vitamin K can reduce the risk of fractures. One study found that a higher intake of vitamin K was associated with a 22% lower risk of fractures.
Typical dietary intake of vitamin K may be below the levels needed to improve bone mineral density and reduce fracture risk. Therefore, eating foods like parsley may benefit bone health (19Trusted Source).
Contains cancer-fighting substances
Parsley contains plant compounds that may have anticancer effects.
Oxidative stress, a condition characterized by a imbalance in the levels of antioxidants and free radicals, is associated with the development of certain chronic diseases, including cancer.
Parsley is particularly rich in flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin C, which reduce oxidative stress in your body and may reduce your risk of certain cancers.
For example, a high dietary intake of flavonoids can reduce the risk of colon cancer by up to 30%.
Additionally, subgroups of certain flavonoids in parsley, such as myricetin and apigenin, have shown anticancer activity in test-tube and animal studies.
Also, eating foods rich in vitamin C may also reduce the risk of cancer. 1/2 cup (30 grams) parsley provides 53% of the RDI for this nutrient.
One study found that increasing vitamin C by 100 mg per day reduced overall cancer risk by 7%. Also, increasing dietary vitamin C by 150 mg per day can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 21%.
Rich in nutrients that protect your eyes
Lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin they are three carotenoids of the parsley that They help protect the eyes and promote healthy vision. Carotenoids are pigments found in plants that have powerful antioxidant activity.
lutein and zeaxanthin they can prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an incurable eye disease and one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.
beta-carotene is another carotenoid that supports eye health. This carotenoid can be converted to vitamin A in your body.
This beta-carotene conversion explains why parsley is so rich in vitamin A. One 1/2 cup (30 grams) of freshly chopped leaves provides 108% of the RDI for this vitamin.
Vitamin A is essential for eye health, as it helps protect the cornea, the outermost layer of the eyeas well as the conjunctivathe thin membrane that covers the front of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.