How much do you know about parsley? Chances are, you only think of it as that unpleasant green frill you find on your plate at fancy restaurants. While most of the time it is treated merely as a garnish, it turns out that parsley is actually packed with vitamins and minerals that make it quite valuable for health. It may seem too good to be true, but there is some evidence that parsley can be employed in a wide variety of applications for medicinal benefit. Here are seven good reasons why you should avoid leaving parsley on your dinner plate:
If you suffer from chronic aches or pains, particularly those related to arthritis, parsley can potentially improve your quality of life. The herb contains a significant level of various antioxidants, a list which includes beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and many others that can help combat inflammation and other symptoms associated with arthritis, including pain. The diuretic properties of parsley can also speed the evacuation of uric acid, which can cause pain if allowed to collect in deposits upon the joints. It only takes one teaspoon of parsley mixed with one cup of boiling water to create an effective treatment for pain.
6. Cancer Prevention
Because of its antioxidant compounds, parsley is exceptional at fighting cancer. Antioxidants help protect the body’s cells from damage, whether it is caused by the environment or harmful substances. This allows the cells to survive and divide correctly, as opposed it flaw replication that might occur with damaged cells, ultimately leading to cancer. However, parsley’s antioxidant presence does more than just strengthen the body’s cells. The antioxidants can also prevent the growth of cancer cells by limiting their ability to replicate, and also prevents them from migrating throughout the body, which is a common complication that sometimes occurs with cancer.
5. Heart Health
Folate, a B-Vitamin, is found in parsley. It has proven to be a great contributor to heart health because it is instrumental in protecting the blood vessels. Furthermore, it reduces the odds of a heart attack because it can convert homocysteine, a potentially dangerous compound, into other forms that are harmless. Parsley also provides an abundance of potassium, another heart helping mineral. Potassium strengthens the blood vessels by making sure that they stay flexible and stretchable, so that blood may pass more easily through them. This reduces the chances of blood clots which could lead to heart attack or stroke.
As mentioned briefly in the first point, parsley can serve as an anti-inflammatory agent. In fact, it has a long and storied history of traditional medicine for such a purpose. While inflammation is part of the body’s immune response, it can cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to other complications; fortunately, there are some studies that indicate parsley’s anti-inflammatory properties may help with this, in addition to the anti-hepatotoxic properties, which cleanse certain organs, such as the liver. Internal inflammation, particularly inflammation of the organs, which might lead to interference with their function, is relieved, averting a potentially dangerous situation.
3. Immune Health
The immune system comprises the body’s defense against harmful agents of infection and disease. In addition to specialized cells, such as white blood cells, the immune response triggers body wide changes such as fever and inflammation, to keep infections contained. Parsley is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, which all contribute to immune health. Vitamin A, for example, directly empowers white blood cells, while other anti-bacterial factors of the plant prevent the development of infection. Likewise, a number of components of the immune system rely on the Vitamin C found in Parsley and other sources to function most efficiently.
2. Diabetes Prevention
Believe it or not, Parsley can also help prevent diabetes, and also assist in the control of diabetic complications for those who already have the disease. Research indicates that myricetin, a nutrient that occurs naturally, can decrease the odds of developing type 2 diabetes. Parsley can provide this nutrient. Additionally, another natural compound called flavonol has been inversely related to diabetes; those who regularly consume flavonol, also commonly found in parsley, were less likely to have diabetes. Furthermore, NCBI research indicates there are diabetics in Turkey who consume parsley regularly as a means to help control their blood glucose levels.
As mentioned earlier, parsley is a great natural diuretic, meaning it helps the body’s digestive system work more effectively. This is due in part to its fiber content, which helps to shape waste for a more streamlined evacuation. Essentially, it is an herb that can help flush waste, along with various toxins from your body, contributing to lower blood pressure. For example, this process can also help you to remove excess sodium from your system, which if left unchecked, can cause high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart complications due to a hardening and blockage of the arteries.
All in all, parsley has numerous positive effects on the body’s health. It has been used in the traditional medicine toolkits of a lot of cultures around the world, and even now, scientists are learning more and more about parsley’s numerous benefits. If you’re interested in protecting your health, include parsley in your healthy diet (along with regular exercise). While fresh parsley works the best for your nutritional needs, there is still some benefit to be gained from dried parsley flakes. Either way, keep this in mind the next time you go out: finish your plate- and your parsley, too.